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How Do I Treat Armpit Fungus?

Alex Tree
By
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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You can treat armpit fungus by keeping the area dry, avoiding contact with unclean clothing and bedding, and seeing a doctor if your armpit does not improve. Keeping your armpits dry will be a challenge, especially on hot days, but sweating and showering feed the growth by giving it moisture. Clean your bedding and used clothing before sleeping in or wearing it again, because it is possible to recontaminate yourself or contaminate other parts of your body with the fungus. Drugstores typically sell creams for common fungi, so look there for a solution and ask a pharmacist for advice while you are there. Lastly, if the fungus does not improve, see a doctor to get a better cream or alternate diagnosis.

As moisture encourages the growth of fungi, keep the area as dry as possible. Wear shirts that quickly wick away sweat and avoid excessive showers or sweating. Some people avoid showers and baths altogether to speed the healing process. Gently pat the affected area with tissues occasionally to get rid of normal moisture that occurs throughout the day and do not rub the infected area, because it will only irritate the skin more.

Your armpit fungus can likely spread through contact with dirtied sheets and clothing your armpit touched while infected. Wash all bedding and do not wear shirts or bras twice in a row without first washing them. The same goes for other objects, like couch pillows and throw blankets, even if they are not located in your bedroom but may have been contaminated. Depending on the type of fungus, you may even need to have a veterinarian check out your pets to make sure they are not contaminated too.

Look for anti-fungal medications at a local drugstore. Many varieties are available over the counter (OTC), so they can be obtained without a doctor’s prescription. Discontinue use immediately if the fungus only gets worse after applying the cream. In most cases, if the cream works, you will see improvement within a week and be completely cured of the armpit fungus within a month.

If your armpit fungus does not show improvement or worsens, visit a doctor. Some fungi are difficult to get rid of without prescription-strength antibiotic ointments, and there is also the possibility that you have misdiagnosed yourself. Many health professionals can make a diagnosis at a glance, especially if the fungus is something common like ringworm. In some cases, they might scrape the fungus to examine it in a lab to be 100-percent sure of the necessary treatment.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Alex Tree
By Alex Tree
Andrew McDowell is a talented writer and The Health Board contributor. His unique perspective and ability to communicate complex ideas in an accessible manner make him a valuable asset to the team, as he crafts content that both informs and engages readers.
Discussion Comments
By anon987319 — On Feb 01, 2015

So if it truly is an armpit fungus, antibiotics will not cure it. Antibiotics are for bacteria, not fungi. Also, fungal infections that include any kind of hair follicle usually do not respond 100 percent to skin creams. Oral anti- fungal meds are usually the best way to go. After reading the comments, it's good to see that commenters know this, even if the article writer does not.

By candyquilt — On Sep 19, 2012

@literally45-- No, wiping will not help much, you might actually spread it more that way. If you're sweating, you can absorb the sweat with some tissues and throw them away immediately and wash your hands. But changing clothes, towels and bedding regularly is key.

You should definitely change into new undergarments every single day. If you're active and sweat a lot, change your undergarments right after activity.

I know it's hard to keep changing into clean clothes. But what you can do is hand wash your bra or shirt before you go to bed and wear it fresh the next morning. Just continue doing this while your treatment continues. As for bedding, it should be changed at least once a week but more often if you can. And don't forget to use a fresh towel each time you shower.

By literally45 — On Sep 19, 2012

I think I have an armpit fungus and I don't know what to do. How often do I need to change my clothes?

Can I just wipe my underarms instead?

By stoneMason — On Sep 18, 2012

I had armpit fungus once that was really stubborn. I didn't even realize that I had it until I went tanning. Afterward, I saw that there were these white patches on my underarms that didn't tan. I asked my doctor about it and he said that it's a fungal infection.

First, he prescribed some anti-fungal ointment. I used that for several weeks but nothing changed, the fungi was still there. So I went back to my doctor and I had to be put on oral anti-fungal medication and I continued to use the ointments at the same time. After almost three weeks, the white spots finally went away.

Alex Tree
Alex Tree
Andrew McDowell is a talented writer and The Health Board contributor. His unique perspective and ability to communicate complex ideas in an accessible manner make him a valuable asset to the team, as he crafts content that both informs and engages readers.
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