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Furuncle in armpit: causes and home remedies

by Alivia Nyhan
Published: Last Updated on

A boil is a small pocket of pus that forms under the skin when the hair follicle (where hair grows) becomes infected due to the colonization of bacteria present on the surface of the skin. Although it can appear anywhere, it is most common in wet, hairy, and friction-prone areas such as the groin, armpits, thighs, buttocks, face, and neck. In this FastlyHealarticle, we are going to focus on the boil that appears in the armpit, an area that due to sweating, friction and the presence of hairs is very prone to suffering this type of injury. Let’s see below what are the possible causes of a boil in the armpit , the treatment to follow and the home remedies that can help to accelerate its healing.

Why do boils appear in the armpit

The boil in the armpit generally appears when a hair follicle in the area becomes infected by staphylococcal bacteria ( Staphylococcus aureus ). These bacteria usually enter the subcutaneous tissue through small wounds in the area, cuts, scratches or breaks in the skin. When this happens, neutrophils (the most common type of white blood cell) travel to that area to fight infection, resulting in inflammation and pus formation.

Although anyone can develop armpit boils, there are a number of risk factors that can make some more likely to develop them than others. These are the ones we list below:

  • Bad hygiene habits or hair removal in the area.
  • Excessive sweating
  • Weakened immune system
  • Diabetes.
  • Acne or eczema.
  • Obesity.
  • Wearing very tight clothing.
  • Chronic skin diseases.
  • Renal insufficiency.
  • Advanced age.
  • Share bedding, towels, and clothing with a person with this condition.
  • Genetic factors: people with direct relatives who are prone to furunculosis are at higher risk.

Symptoms of a boil in the armpit

The armpits are more humid areas due to sweating and in which there is more friction, which makes them more prone to bacterial colonization and boils. The symptoms that can alert us that we have a boil in the armpit are the following:

  • Appearance of a small, red, painful subcutaneous nodule or lump in the armpit. This lump tends to increase in size with the passage of days due to the accumulation of pus and dead cells inside it. This causes that, finally, a white or yellowish point appears in the center of the nodule which is what will break and allow the pus to drain out.
  • Red and swollen skin.
  • Pain and discomfort in the area.

When the pus is finally drained to the outside, the discomfort associated with the boil subsides. Normally, these bumps heal without scarring the skin in the area, however, if they are large and with a significant depth, they can leave some type of scar in the armpit. In those cases in which the infection is more severe, the person may also have fever, fatigue and general malaise.

Treatment to remove a boil in the armpit

In many cases, boils heal on their own after a few days, draining a large amount of pus. During this healing period, it is important that:

  • Do not squeeze or try to burst the boil, it should drain the purulent material on its own.
  • Do not apply creams or topical drugs on behalf of others.
  • Warm compresses with hot water are applied to the lump about 3 times a day to promote spontaneous drainage of all the pus. These hot water compresses should continue to be applied after the boil has opened to promote healing and healing. You can clean the area with warm water and mild soap.

However, when the boil in the armpit is of a considerable size and the drainage does not occur spontaneously with the passage of days, it will be necessary to go to a medical consultation so that a specialist indicates the appropriate treatment. Generally, treatment to cure a boil may include the following:

  • Small surgery to drain the boil: the doctor makes a small incision in the lesion to drain all the purulent material, reduce pain and promote the healing of the skin in the area.
  • Antibiotic drugs: in case of severe or recurrent infection, the medical specialist may prescribe the use of an antibiotic drug.

Home remedies for armpit boils

In addition to the above, there are some home remedies that can help to remove a boil more quickly and reduce the discomfort that it causes until its drainage:

Tea tree oil

This oil is a powerful natural antiseptic, antibiotic, and antifungal, making it excellent for fighting infection and relieving pain:

  1. Dilute 4 or 5 drops of tea tree essential oil in 1/2 cup of water and stir.
  2. Apply the mixture on the boil.
  3. Let the product dry on its own.

Oatmeal baths

Oatmeal acts as a good anti-inflammatory and soothing in case of boils. It is best to do an oatmeal bath as follows:

  1. Boil about 500g of rolled oats for about 5 minutes.
  2. Shake the mixture and add it to the warm water in the bathtub.
  3. Take a bath for about 20 minutes, ensuring that the affected armpit area is submerged in the water.


One of the best home remedies for armpit boils is turmeric, as it is a spice with very powerful antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.

  1. Make a paste by mixing a little turmeric powder with a little warm water.
  2. Apply this paste to the affected area and leave it on for a few minutes.
  3. Then wash the area with warm water and mild soap.


Honey is a substance with antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties that will help the boil drain and heal in less time.

  1. Apply a generous amount of organic honey to the area.
  2. Leave it on for about 10-15 minutes.
  3. Wash the area with mild soap and water and repeat the treatment two or three times a day.

Hygiene measures

To prevent the infection from getting worse and to cure the boil properly, it is important to take into account the following hygiene and care measures:

  • Keep the affected area clean, washing it only with warm water and mild soap, and if you are wearing a dressing that covers the injury, change it frequently.
  • Wash your hands before and after touching the boil.
  • Wash clothing and towels that have been in direct contact with the injury.
  • Do not share personal hygiene items with other people.

This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to Furuncle in the armpit: causes and home remedies , we recommend that you enter our category of Skin, hair and nails .

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