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Why do i have an outbreak of red itchy bumps on both my armpits?

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Practicing since : 2002
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Hello, I am a 44 year old male. 5' 9" 185 lbs. Current meds are Pravachol, Benicar and Tricor. I have had a outbreak of red itchy bumps on both my armpits which I am confident is shingles. I have had this for 5 days now. Normally I would have went to the doctor days ago, but with my current work situation, I have no health insurance for another 7 weeks. I have been putting diaper cream on it which alleviates some of the pain. Is there anything else I can put on it to speed up the healing process?
Posted Sat, 5 May 2012 in Skin Rash
Answered by Dr. Robert Galamaga 21 minutes later
Hello and thanks for the query.

Your question is a very good one and I will do my best to provide you with good information and explanations regarding what is going on.

It would be quite unusual for you to experience Shingles rash under both armpits. While this is a possibility I would consider it lower on my list. Something else which could possibly contribute to what you are reporting would be a fungal infection.

Fungal infections can sometimes progress to become quite painful and uncomfortable. In order to address this possibility I would recommend that you go to your local pharmacy and purchase a topical cream which has the active ingredient Clotrimazole. I would recommend that you apply this to the affected areas two or three times per day for five days. It should respond within one or two days if this is a fungal issue.

Regarding the possibility of Shingles there are really good number of over the counter treatment for this. Your physician could prescribe you with a medication for this but this is generally indicated as soon as the symptoms are felt. The antiviral preparations do not get rid of the infection immediately but they do shorten the duration of the illness.

If you could possibly send a picture of the rash which you are experiencing right now, it could be helpful to me in suggesting you better. You have a feature to upload the reports / image by yourself at the right side of the query page, please utilize it.

In the mean time you could try the topical therapy which I have mentioned. In addition I would recommend that you keep your armpits clean and free of any topical antiperspirant or deodorant. Sometimes the chemical substance within these preparations can exacerbate a local inflammatory infection.

Thank you again for submitting a question. I know you're dealing with something that is quite uncomfortable right now and I really hope that we can make a difference to help you feel better as soon as possible. If you have any additional questions I would be happy to address them too.


Dr. Robert
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Why do i have an outbreak of red itchy bumps on both my armpits? 10 hours later
Hello, I have added a photo of the rash. I tried to get most of the diaper cream I have been using off of it. It is the same rash I get on my butt when I get stressed out. Also, I have had chicken pox as a child if that helps.
Answered by Dr. Robert Galamaga 12 hours later

I am unable to view an image here. I see a file attached is an empty file. I will forward it to tech support and get back to you.

You can also mail the image to YYYY@YYYY with Sub : Attn Dr Robert Galamaga.


dr. Galamaga
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Answered by Dr. Robert Galamaga 10 hours later

I had a chance to review the file. I apologize for the delay on that.

I would recommend you do two things:
1) Start the Topical Clotrimazole treatment. This is a cream you apply three times daily for a total of 5 days.
2) Start taking Lysine - this is an over the counter amino acid. It has antiviral activity as well. Take a 500 mg tablet three times per day for the next week.

Also - change your deodorant/antipersperant to a different brand. I recommend Sure or Tom's of Maine as these tend to be less irritating.

I am hopeful that this will clear up slowly in the next week or two. If not, I am available here for any followups. I hope this exchange has proven to be helpful for you.


Dr. Galamaga.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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