A boil is a bacterial infection of a hair follicle. So where there’s a hair follicle, a boil can show up. This is the reason why it’s not uncommon for a boil to form on the underarm. If right now you have an armpit boil, keep on reading. Below you will come across some of the most important things you need to know about it.
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Just like what’s mentioned earlier, an armpit boil is an infection of a hair follicle situated in none other than your underarm. While many different types of bacteria can invade and infect a hair follicle in your armpit or elsewhere, it is the bacterium staphylococcus aureus that is the one responsible for most cases of armpit boils.
It’s easy to tell if you have an armpit boil. You will notice a pimple-like growth on your underarm. The tissue surrounding it may look swollen and oftentimes feel painful or in some instances itchy.
You may also notice yellowish pus showing through the skin, which is a confirmation that a bacterial infection is indeed taking place. It’s not a good idea to pop a boil on your underarm. That’s because bacteria responsible for it may spread to other parts of your armpit, causing other boils to form!
There are certain things that tend to increase your risk of having an armpit boil:
Failure to regularly wash your underarms can cause the accumulation of dead skin cells and proliferation of bacteria in the area.
If you have sweaty underarms, it’s not unlikely for you to have armpit boils often. That’s because bacteria responsible for armpit boils love places that are warm and moist.
Is shaving your hair removal method of choice? If yes, you may be at high risk of having an armpit boil as skin irritation or opening caused by a razor may be invaded by bacteria.
A weakened immune system
It’s normal for bacteria to be present on your skin. However, having a weak or compromised immune system can cause them to multiply uncontrollably, potentially causing infections.
By the way, it’s possible for several different boils to appear right next to one another. Such can create the illusion that you have one gigantic boil on your underarm. If you have such, it’s not unlikely for you to feel like you’re going down with the flu. In fact, you may actually have fever.
Because there are many hair follicles in your underarms, having an armpit boils is very likely. The good news is it’s a matter than can be prevented rather easily.
Some of the things that you may try to keep an armpit boil at bay include:
Take a shower or bath regularly
Especially if you have sweaty underarms, keeping your armpits clean is very important.
Put on loose-fitting tops
To minimize underarm sweating, opt for tops that allow your skin to breathe. Going for those that are out of cotton and light in color is highly recommended.
Replace your razor
Make sure that the razor you use each time is sharp and rust-free. Using a shaving cream or foam is definitely a good idea.
If a boil strikes, don’t make the mistake of popping it. Doing so will only cause bacteria to spread to the rest of your armpit, potentially causing other boils to form. What you need to do instead is apply a warm compress on the boil several times a day. Once it pops, immediately wash the area thoroughly with antibacterial soap. Make sure that you also wash your hands very well afterwards to keep the infection from spreading elsewhere.