Tell us about your experiences with weight management. Take our survey!

A person's arm out revealing an armpit with plaques and deodorant floating toward it

Armpit Psoriasis Is Quite Literally, the Pits!

Psoriasis in the armpits, is quite literally the pits. Are you familiar with this idiom? To say something is "the pits" is essentially saying it's the worst. It's historic origin dates back to the 1950's - when "pits" referred to something bad smelly, like sweaty armpits without deodorant.

Add a layer of painful psoriasis skin to those sweaty armpits, and you're adding a whole new meaning to "the pits".

Inverse psoriasis in the armpits

Psoriasis in the armpits is a unique type of psoriasis called inverse psoriasis. Over the past year, I have had several inverse psoriasis flares. Inverse psoriasis is smooth and shiny - much different than the raised plaque psoriasis we may see on the outside of our skin.

Believe me, the irritability is the same, my friends.

I can't seem to get this inverse psoriasis in check - and it was all due to a unique trigger. To capture my sweat and smell, I layered on deodorant and layered on some more. Nobody want to smell bad, right? It was due to all this excess deodorant use that my inverse psoriasis began appearing - and then began flaring.

Even though I wanted to protect myself (and everyone around me) - I ended up making an innocent mistake and patches in my pits began appearing. The itching and irritations are inexpressible.

I couldn't put my arms down!

The armpits are not an area that you can just "air out". The pain was so intolerable, I had trouble lowering my arms. The moment I would start sweating in that area, it felt like somebody sprinkled pepper in an opened wound. I went running to my savior, my doctor.

The trigger was not just too much deodorant, it was using deodorant with an associated fragrance. A lightbulb went off, after 60+ years with psoriasis, I totally forgot about the “no fragrant” product rule.

I was prescribed an ointment to soothe my painful armpit skin and recommended to use powder to keep my skin dry. I started wearing soft, loose fabric shirts to avoid any further friction. Of course, used only non-fragrant shower products for my sensitive skin.

I totally avoided using a loofah or body scrub in the shower. Even my the bath towels are soft, I preferred to pat dry my body.

Seeing improvements...

With these mindful changes, I was able to prioritize the healing of my painful pits and see some improvements. I started spraying perfume on my clothes rather than directly exposing my body to the fragrance.

Another thing which helped a lot was my water intake. I kept myself well hydrated and it actually helped my skin to heal in healthy ways.

In the summertime, it sure does get difficult to manage pits with all the sweat and friction. It is still manageable, with dry non-fragrant powders and soft body wash. I ended up managing it in good ways.

I shared this experience because summer is here, and we all need to take care of yourselves. Learn from what I went through and save yourself extra effort and pain. Because I want all of us to be happy and enjoying this summer season.

By providing your email address, you are agreeing to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Join the conversation

Please read our rules before commenting.