A portrait of woman pulling her hair into a ponytail and exposing her underarms.

When your underarms get itchy and inflamed, you start playing detective to identify the cause. Could it be your new soap? Or is it a side effect of the you did last week? Many factors can increase your skin sensitivity and some of them are avoidable. If you’re itching to get to the bottom of the problem, here are the most common reasons your underarms are more reactive than usual.

Your Shaving Technique Needs Refining

seems straightforward but there are many unspoken rules to this grooming habit. Ignore them, and you’ll feel the wrath of every time you move your hands. The big kick? Even with proper technique, shaving does remove a thin layer of cells that act as your skin’s protective barrier, making your kili-kili exposed to irritation.

You don’t have to swear off shaving (unless that’s what you want!) as long as you take all the preventive measures. Lubricate your skin before running a sharp razor with the grain, not against it. After shaving, calm the skin with fragrance-free lotion or to soothe inflammation. If you’re still riddled with cactus-like texture and ingrown hair, switch to other hair removal methods like or lasers.

Your Underarms Are Recovering from Treatments

Skin sensitivity is considered normal several hours – sometimes days – after procedures that involve certain chemicals and lasers. Take IPL, for example. Since the process involves directing concentrated beams of light onto the hair follicles, it can cause temporary redness and swelling in the affected area. Similarly, chemical exfoliation like a can leave your skin feeling tender if done too harshly or frequently.

Make sure to follow your doctor’s aftercare instructions to a T post-treatment. Generally, you want to avoid any activities that trigger excessive sweating, sun exposure, and deodorants. Opt for loose-fitting clothing during the recovery period to minimize friction.

Most importantly, talk to your dermatologist if your underarms are experiencing prolonged sensitivity weeks after the procedure.

The Weather Is Too Hot for You to Handle

When temperatures soar, sweat ducts become overactive and trap moisture underneath the skin. This warm environment can increase your skin sensitivity and put you at risk of developing and intertrigo in the axilla area. Additionally, bacteria and fungi can infect the hair follicles, which triggers folliculitis.

Carry tissues and spare clothing when the weather is scorching hot. Try to stay indoors. If you’re outdoors, stay hydrated. You can also see a doctor about getting treatments for or hyperhidrosis.

Your Deodorant Is Too Harsh on the Skin 

Active ingredients in antiperspirants work great in controlling sweat and masking body odor. However, some can also dry up your underarm skin and strip down the . The same goes for deodorants with natural ingredients since most of them rely on to counteract unpleasant smell, which has a higher pH level than the skin’s.

What should people with skin sensitivity use? The answer is subjective because everyone's skin reacts differently. The rule of thumb is to go for products with zero alcohol and plenty of moisturizing ingredients. Dove 0% Aluminum Deodorant Roll-On and Dove 0% Aluminum Deodorant Spray match this description. Both have Dove’s signature ¼ moisturizing cream and are free from aluminum salts.

You Overdid It With the Exfoliation

have been all the rage in the underarm care community ever since TikTokers claimed they could banish odor and brighten . While chemical exfoliants offer benefits, they come with possible side effects, such as increased skin sensitivity, especially when used too often on already sensitive underarm skin.

Always take internet trends with a grain of salt. If you choose to exfoliate your underarms, remember that a little goes a long way. Do it once a week, use exfoliants specifically made for the armpits, and follow with a moisturizer to soothe the skin.

Heightened skin sensitivity in the underarm area is far from pleasant and it’s something that demands your attention. Keep away from these triggers as much as possible. And, if you’re experiencing sharp pain, persistent redness, or any unusual color changes, schedule an appointment with your dermatologist.