How to Get Rid Of Armpit Boils, Pictures, Symptoms, Causes, & Treatment

Armpit boil arises from an inflammation of hair follicle under the arm. Having a recurring boil in your armpit? A painful armpit boil or cyst can be due to health problems such as hidradenitis suppurativa, diabetes or staph infection. Boil under the arm can be treated medically with antibiotics. Home remedies are also other available options to get rid of boils in your armpit. This page provides you with information including causes and treatment options. Find also images and pictures of boils in armpit.

Boils or furuncles can develop anywhere on your skin.  Commonly, boils develop on the area where there’s an infected hair follicle. Areas on skin that have hair, sweat and friction are likely to develop boils quite often. Such areas include the neck, buttocks, armpits, face and thighs. Pus will form inside the boil, causing the boil to increase in size, become swollen and more painful. A boil will burst and pus drain out without leaving a scar. It can take days or weeks for this happen.

Most boils are caused by staph infection. Ingrown armpit hair, cysts, shaving and sweating are other causes of boils under arm. Health related causes of armpit boil include hidradenitis suppurativa, diabetes, HIV and armpit breast cancer. Read through to find more on each cause

Armpit boil pictures, images

What does an armpit boil look like? Underarm boil can be small, red, swollen and big almost half an inch size. A boil can grow deep inside the skin surface. This occurs as the bacteria digs deep into the skin layer. To help you understand the appearance or how boils look like, we have images and pictures inserted in the post.

Armpit boil Image

Armpit boil Image

Armpit boil symptoms

What are the symptoms of boil in the armpit? A boil usually begins as a hard, red and painful lump.  Over a couple of days, it grows beyond half an inch, becoming softer, larger and even more painful. The signs and symptoms of a boil in the armpit include:

  • A red painful warm lump about half an inch, pea size
  • Swollen red, lump around the affected skin
  • Swollen lymph nodes near the boil
  • You may develop fever
  • A white or yellow tip develops, eventually ruptures to allow pus to drain out
  • More boils are likely to appear around the original one

What causes boils under the armpit?

Most boils are including one in the armpit are caused by staphylococcal bacteria. This group of bacteria enters the body through a skin cut or tiny nicks. You may develop boils after shaving, exposure to harsh chemicals and poor hygiene. Health problem associated with boils include breast cancer, diabetes, compromised immunity, HIV and hidradenitis suppurativa. Read more on the causes below here:

1. Staph infection

Armpit boils are caused mainly by a bacteria called staphylococcus. Staph bacteria are present on the surface of the skin. They can be found in the nose, thighs, armpits or other warm creases of the skin. Boils will develop at the site where the skin has been broken by either an injury, cut or an insect bite. This gives the bacteria easy entry. Staph bacteria thrive well in areas covered with hair, warmth and moisture. The armpit is an ideal place for staph bacteria to live.

You may need to see a doctor if the area becomes red, irritated or painful. Staph bacteria can be transmitted from one person to another. Certain health conditions or medications used to heal them can make you be at risk of staph infection. They include:

  • Diabetes
  • Cancer
  • Skin condition such as eczema

Treatment of staph infection include antibiotics. Your doctor will perform several tests to determine the type of staph bacteria. Common antibiotics prescribed to cure staph infection include certain cephalosporins or nafcilin.

2. Hidradenitis suppurativa

Boils under armpit can be caused by a condition called hidradenitis suppurativa. About 1 – 4 % of the population is affected by this condition. A recurring boil or one that refuses to go more than five times, it is likely to be caused by hidradenitis. If you have this condition, you are likely to develop about two painful underarm boils in a month. In really severe cases, the boil may be present for a long time.

Hidradenitis in Armpit

Hidradenitis in Armpit

Hidradenitis is not an infection, it cannot therefore be passed to anyone else or any other parts of your own body. Hidradenitis is caused by blocked hair follicles, in this case the armpit hair. The blockage results to inflammation, swelling and a painful large boil developing.

There are several treatment options. They include surgery, cryotherapy, retinoid drugs or anti – TNF drugs such as infliximab used by some people. Retinoid drugs should not be used if the victim is a woman who has a possibility of becoming pregnant.

3. Poor Hygiene

Poor armpit hygiene may be another cause of boil in your armpit. Dirt trapped within the hair follicles combined with sweat and bacteria can cause a painful boil to develop. This can also be due to build-up of dead skin cells and bacteria on the skin under the arm. An opening in the skin such as a cut or injury is an entry point of bacteria that lead to infection forming a boil in the armpit. Make it a habit to maintain a good armpit hygiene.

4. Armpit Ingrown Hair

Armpit ingrown hair occurs when hair follicle grows back cutting into the surface of the skin. After shaving or waxing the hair under your arm may curl back growing towards the skin. This may lead to raised bumps forming, also called armpit razor bumps. When ingrown hair in your armpits become infected, they become painful.

Ingrown hair armpit boil

Ingrown hair armpit boil

Ingrown pimple-like bumps may end developing into an abscess with fluid-filled.  If left untreated, the abscess can form very painful boils under your arm.

5. Armpit boil after shaving  

Boils under armpit can be caused by excessive shaving of the armpit hair. Shaving your underarm can leave the skin delicate, sensitive and irritated with appearance of red bumps. This skin irritation due to excessive shaving of armpit hair can cause inflammation of skin causing a bumpy red rash. The bumps can a times be itchy and swollen. If the bumps are infected, they can develop into painful pimple-like bumps or boils.

Shaving frequently, use of dull blade or shaving dry and unconditioned skin are some of the causes of razor bumps leading to skin abscesses or boils in your armpit.

6. Are armpit boils a sign of breast cancer?

It is important to keep up with your health breast more often. Take not of how your breast feel and look and note any changes. Finding breast cancer as early as possible is the key to successful treatment. A lump or mass in the breast is the most common symptom of cancer of the breast. The bumps are usually hard and painless, though some may be painful.

Be informed, not all bumps or lumps in the armpit are cancer. There are a number of benign breast condition like cysts or boils that cause lumps underarm. It is therefore important to check out any lump, boil or mass right away. The sooner you identify it to be cancer, the better it’s diagnosed.

The symptom to check out for breast cancer include:

  • A lump in breast
  • Swelling in or around armpit, breast or collarbone
  • Skin thickening or redness
  • Itching and breast warmth
  • Nipple changes and discharge
  • pain

Are armpit boils contagious?

Is it possible for one to spread boil to another person by touch or contact?  Boils themselves are not contagious, but the germs causing the boils are easily spread through skin-to skin. A boil is mainly causes by bacterial skin infection of hair follicle. Also known as furuncles, boils are usually caused by a staphylococcal bacteria.

There is a controversy about boils being contagious. The bacteria causing boils is normally found on the skin. It is possible to spread a boil if you have an infected boil and touch the skin of another person. Boils can also be contagious if popped or allowed to drain on the surrounding skin.

To stop spreading staph, avoid sharing towels, beddings, clothes or objects while you have a boil. You should stop touching the boil, instead keep it covered. Make it a habit to frequently wash your hands to prevent spreading the bacteria.

Swollen armpit boil hurts

Having a swollen armpit boil that hurts or painful? Hidradenitis suppurativa may be the cause of a swollen painful boil under the arm. It is causes by blockage of armpit hair follicles. Once blocked, the hair follicles become inflamed or infected. What follows is a swelling and a nasty painful, large boil developing under your arm.  The most areas likely to be affected are the armpits or groins but sometimes the buttocks and under the breast are affected.

Inflamed armpit ingrown can develop into pimple-like bumps developing into an abscess with fluid-filled.  If left untreated, they can form swollen and painful boils in the armpit.

Boil under armpit won’t go away, recurring or keeps coming back

Most boils usually heal with home remedies or a visit to your doctor. Rarely, the bacteria (Staph) causing boils in armpits can get into the bloodstream. A recurring boil or one that won’t go away or keeps coming back is a problem.

If you have a boil more than five occasion in your armpit, it is likely to be hidradenitis. You’re likely to develop painful boils, two in a month. It can take each about a week or to go. In severe cases, the boils may be present all the time.

Deep armpit boil with no head, won’t pop

If a boil won’t pop or burst open, you may need to get the boil lanced or drained professionally. Lancets are tiny needles that are used to draw blood briefly through your skin. Deep armpit boils are the cases of severe inflammation, where more than one boil having different pockets of pus lie under the skin. The aim is to get the pore open. The tiny needle can be pushed as far you want without feeling much pain.

For a deep armpit boil with no head or won’t pop, you should strive to get more liquid and pus out. If the boil is opened a little bit, but nothing seems to come out, use plenty of Epsom salt in a hot bath. The salt will help drain out any pus.

Painful armpit boil smell

A painful armpit cyst or boil under your arms is a case of severe inflammation. Staph infection in the skin can lead to a red, tender painful lump under your arm. This lump will turn white in a couple of days with pus collected under the skin. If the infection spreads to the deeper tissues of the skin, you develop skin abscess. The boil may have a foul smell as it drains.

Medical Treatment for Armpit Boils

Treatment for armpit boils with medicine depends on the underlying cause. Medicine including over-the-counter drugs can be used to relieve the symptoms and severity of infection. Your healthcare provider will recommend painkillers such as ibuprofen.

Other medical treatment include lancing or draining by a healthcare professional. Surgery will be done to remove large, painful boils that contain several pockets of pus. Armpit boils are mainly caused by bacterial infection. In this case, antibiotics are used to eliminate the infection.

How to Get Rid of Armpit Boil Naturally At Home

Other than going for conventional prescription medicines, there are effective home remedies to treat boils in your armpit.

Warm compress

Applying warm compress can help ease the pain and speed up blood circulation healing the boil fast. Here’s the procedure:

  • Dip a clean washcloth in warm water
  • Place it over the boil for about 5 minutes
  • Repeat the procedure thrice daily


Turmeric is one of the effective home remedy that can help get rid of boils under the arm. It is natural blood purifier having anti-inflammatory properties. Daily application of turmeric on the boil can ease the symptoms and heal the boil naturally fast. You can add turmeric powder with honey and consume it daily.

Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil is one of the preferred home remedy effective to cure skin problems. Tea tree oil has antibacterial, antifungal and antiseptic properties. It therefore can help ease your symptoms and cure armpit boil naturally and fast.

  • Dip a clean cotton swab in the oil
  • Gently dab it directly on the boil
  • Do this thrice daily for a couple of days until the boil is gone


Cornmeal is a good natural absorbent to help cure underarm boils. Here’s how you can use:

Use cornmeal to effectively treat underarm boils

Use cornmeal to effectively treat underarm boils

  • Boil half a cup of water
  • Add cornmeal and make a thick paste
  • Apply gently the paste on the boil and cover it
  • Repeat the procedure several times a day until the boil becomes soft.
  • Drain the pus and other fluid material


Garlic is essential in treating boils and skin abscesses in various ways. It has both antibacterial, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. Make a paste from two to three garlic cloves and apply on the armpit boil. Alternatively, heat one or two garlic cloves and place it on the boil for about 5 to 10 minutes. Do this several times a days until the boil heals.

Garlic cloves for treating boils

Garlic cloves for treating boils


Onions are naturally effective home remedy to cure skin problems. The antimicrobial properties in onions can be used to get rid of armpit boils.

  • Cut a thick slice of onion
  • Place it over the boil in your armpit
  • Wrap it with a piece of cloth and leave it for 10 minutes
  • Do this several times a day until the boil heals.

How To Get Rid Of A Boil Fast Naturally At Home Video

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