Less commonly talked about than razor burn and ingrown hairs are clogged underarm pores, but that does not make them any less painful. Dang, they can hurt! Fortunately, learning how to unclog your underarm pores is a pretty breezy process. Following the steps below, your armpits should be happy and healthy again super soon.
I reached out to Dr. Scott Dunbar of Schweiger Dermatology Group for details on how armpit pores get "clogged" in the first place, and how to deal with them when it happens. He tells me, "The armpit (or, the axilla if you want to be technical) contains millions of apocrine sweat glands that make different sweat than those on the rest of the body. These can become overrun with bacteria that cause odor or folliculitis." But whether your deodorant, shaving, or sweat is triggering your clogged pores, Dunbar first and foremost suggests visiting a doctor.
On the importance of scheduling an appointment, he shares, "Sometimes, patients can even get large boils in their armpits [from clogged pores]. This can be an indication of a more serious medical problem that requires treatment by a dermatologist." Dunbar adds, "I always think that patients struggling with these types of problems should be evaluated before they embark on a home treatment regimen."
After you've chatted with your doc and know that what you're dealing with is solely folliculitis, follow Dunbar's simple tips below to unclog your pores:
For a first step in treatment, "I recommend my patients use an antibacterial soap and water in the shower," says Dunbar.
2. Apply Gentle Deodorant
Dunbar also advises trading your maximum strength deodorant/antiperspirant for a gentle deodorant instead to see if it helps.
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Images: Author's Own; Courtesy of Brands