Many parts of the human body fail to grab our attention until they seek it. Our armpit is one such part of the body. You only remember it when you go sleeveless while the rest of the time you hardly realize you have something underside your shoulder joint. The chest wall, shoulder bones and muscles, and the upper arm are so arranged that they create a small hollow forming the armpit or underarm, which is also referred to as axilla.

Over 20 lymph nodes along with a high concentration of hair follicles and sweat glands constitute this part. The armpit, however, may suffer from certain difficulties sometimes, thereby leading to severe pain in the area. The cause of pain may either be a simple armpit rash or to the worst a cancer symptom.  


The causes of armpit pain can be many. It can be due to simple rash or because of a life-threatening disease. Some of the main causes have been listed below:

Allergies/Skin Irritation

It is very obvious that you use soaps, deodorants, perfumes, antiperspirants, etc. on a daily basis. Of course, after all, these are the basic daily requirements. But you will be surprised to know that any of these can be behind your armpit pain. They may lead to the armpit rash or swelling of the area.

In fact, there are some clothing materials that may not suit you and cause skin irritation, thereby leading to your underarm pain.

Cough & Cold

Common cold leads to armpit pain. People with asthmatic tendency get armpit pain very often. This is mainly because of the strain that the part goes through when you cough or when there’s congestion in your respiratory tract. It is a temporary pain that reduces as you recover from the cold or flu.

Swollen Lymph Nodes

The swelling in the lymph nodes often referred to as Lymphadenitis, cause pain your underarms. This happens when the lymph nodes are infected by some kinds of bacteria.

Sweat Gland Infection

Underarms are mostly covered, which causes sweat gland infection. Lumps in the area formed as the result of it lead to armpit pain.


It can also be the cause of armpit pain. Shingle is a skin-related condition spread through varicella-zoster viral infection. The virus causes armpit rash all over the area, leading to severe pain.

Breast Cancer

While most of the times the armpit pain indicates minor negative health conditions, there are few life-threatening diseases that may be the reason behind the pain. One of them is breast cancer.

Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD)

It is the condition that causes narrowing of the smaller arteries in the arms and legs. With this, less oxygenated blood is transported to the tissues and muscles of your limbs. This makes the muscles devoid of oxygen hurt you. If your underarm is suffering from the PAD condition, it may lead to significant pain.

Some other causes of underarm pain include pulled muscles, diabetes, cysts, inflamed hair follicles, etc.


Always remember, you armpit pain is indicating your body conditions. Don’t ignore it. The underarm pain can be the symptom of the following diseases:

  • Cancer
  • HIV
  • Tuberculosis
  • Toxoplasmosis, which is a virus found in meat that is uncooked

Home Remedies & Effective Treatment

Some of the ways in which you can treat armpit pain arising due to minor causes are as follows:

  • You can apply a cold compress
  • Avoid oily and spicy food
  • Take warm bath
  • Maintain good hygiene
  • Apply proper massaging
  • Anti-inflammatory medication
  • Apply moisturizers to get rid of the pain caused by dryness and rashes
  • Offer gentle wash to the area


  1.    What are the tests for diagnosing the armpit pain?
  2.    The diagnosis of armpit will not only include the examination of your underarm only. It will also entail the examination of ears, eyes, throats, and other parts of the body as it is found suitable. The blood test to find out the Complete Blood Count (CBC)
  3.    When do you need to see a doctor?
  4.    Armpit pain may arise because of minute causes but at the same time, it may be due to some severe and life-threatening diseases. Thus, it is recommended to visit a doctor if the armpit pain continues for a long time.
  5.    Can armpit pain be the symptom of skin cancer?
  6.    Rarely. Normally, skin cancer does not affect armpit. But there have been instances where Melanoma, a cancer type, on the back can cause enlargement or swelling of the lymph nodes present in the armpit.
  7.    Does armpit pain indicate heart disease?
  8.    Not really. Heart-related pain affects the arms or the shoulders, not the armpit.

It is recommended to patients with armpit pain to go for medical suggestions if they suffer from a severe ache or their pain lasts for a longer time.