Armpits are an area of the body that we pay too much attention to it. They have a number of sweat glands that release fluids which can cause unpleasant odors. But, aside from checking your armpits to shave or apply deodorant, do you know that your armpits can send warning signs about your health?
It may be surprising but your armpits are one of the first body parts to show signs of a hormonal imbalance, along with other irregularities. Smells, sweat and strange sensations coming from your armpits can all be signs of a bigger health issue. In the following article, we’ll share 4 warning signs that you shouldn’t ignore.
1. Extreme Odor: Bad underarm odor is common in most people, and we have all experienced it before. As sweat builds up in the skin, bacteria starts to grow and multiply, causing a pretty awful smell. In most cases, a good scrub in the shower should help stop the problem. However, when the smell is too strong and persistent, your body might be alerting you to a thyroid problem or hormonal changes. Pay attention to body odor that has a sharp, sweet smell to it, such as rotting fruit or nail polish. This scent can be a sign of ketoacidosis, which means that your body isn’t breaking down sugar the way it should be. It can indicate symptoms of diabetes or pre-diabetes. If you notice this smell, seek medical attention.
2. Rashes: Your armpits are a hot spot for rashes because they are warm and damp, an environment where yeast infections prefer to grow. If you notice a rash combined with itching, redness, scaling or bumps, consult a doctor. It may be due to a yeast infection. These reactions can also be the result of an allergy, excess heat or chafing.
3. Itching: An itching sensation in the underarm area can be common when body hair begins to reappear after shaving. Usually it’s a sign of irritated skin due to razor burns or a reaction to chemicals in some creams and deodorants. But persistent itching can be a sign of a fungus or bacterial infection. If you notice red splotches, itching and white or yellow overgrowth, check in with a health care professional.
4. Pain: If you experience underarm pain, it may be due to sore muscles. If you’ve been putting pressure on your arms through heavy lifting or exercise, you’ll most likely feel it the next day in the muscles under your arms and across your chest. Pain from sore muscles usually goes away on its own. If you have lingering pain and tenderness in your underarms, visit a doctor. It could be caused by swollen lymph nodes or inflammation in the area.