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My armpits are alarming.

Shaving is the pits.

I have irritated armpits. So I stoped shaving for a while. Hairy armpits are often viewed as a no-go for women. I watched an interesting video with an American Ballet Theatre dancer on Allure’s YouTube channel. She made an interesting point about performers and body hair. Women are required to have smooth pits to help not distract the eye from viewing the length of their bodies. Like when they are on their toes and arm are above their heads. (Very scientific ballerina terms here.)

I don’t have issues with armpit hair. If you want it, go for it. Your hair does not affect my life in anyway. But I it makes sense, why it is shaved, when you think about the art of ballet.

Growing up with armpits.

I have had pit issues since high school. I remember getting what was essentially a giant zit in one of my armpits. My mom knew exactly what it was. She told me “I get them and Grandma gets them.” So it ran in the family. The culprit? Deodorant. To be more specific: antiperspirant. 

I was an athlete — ok, not like a real one… like a small town one. You know… the ones who are really not good, but all your friends are on the team? That was me. — I sweat a lot. I needed a “good” deodorant. I used what every 16-year-old girl buys at Walmart… Secret. But my secret was irritated armpits.

I lived with this issue for several more years. It wasn’t until college that I started experimenting with natural deodorants. But it was getting worse. And I started to smell with nothing to help. My armpits were so angry at me.

I have tried, what feels like, every natural deodorant known to man kind. Those salt rocks? Tried it. The entire selection at Natural Grocers? Tried it. Homemade? Tried it. The ONE men’s deodorant I found at Dillons without aluminum? Tried it. How about the $18, half-filled container “made my a woman for women” that was served in an ad to me on Instagram? Yes. It made me smell worse. Nothing worked. 

I used Schmidt’s for a while. My mom still uses it and loves it. But it turned on me one day. I started to get a terrible rash under my arms. Painful and itchy. NOTHING helped.

I started to google it. You know, a good WebMD “might be cancer” search. I came to the conclusion — a very gross one — that it was a bacterial infection. Talk about the pits, man. 

irritated armpits

Hairy healing.

The action plan was simple. Get rid of the rash. Let my armpits breath for once in their life.

I bought athlete foot spray and some anti-bacterial body wash. Everyday I would wash my armpits and spray them morning and night. It was working.

I changed my deodorant at that point to Native brand. It works OK, but still not great. After a few hours I’ll start to smell again. I know that your armpits are supposed to sweat. It’s a natural reaction your body has and needs. But it’s not always a cute look. 

I stopped shaving my armpits. Each time I shaved, they would flare up again. Itching and burning. So fun, right? It’s currently winter, so it’s not as bad. I mean, I stop shaving my legs in the winter, so why bother shaving my armpits anyway? 

Future of my pits.

My mom gave me some new oil to try. Her co-worker with similar armpit issues uses it. DoTerra Yarrow|Pom — it’s a gross blue oil. I put a drop in each pit after each shower. So far, so good. I haven’t smelled yet. I use it under my Native deodorant.

I grabbed a new razor the other day and did shave my armpits to test out the oil’s effectiveness of irritation. Another one where I’m doing OK. I also use my eucalyptus tea tree body wash on my armpits in every shower. Double bonus, it does wonders to clear out your sinuses. 

What is next? I’ll ride on this wave as long as my armpits let me. But I also have my mom’s laser hair remover. (It’s an at home one, so not near as powerful as professional ones.) I’m all for body hair, but I just don’t want it in my armpits. I might try to zap off more of my hair to help prevent the need for shaving and further irritation. 

If you have armpit issues, know you are not alone. There are lots of us out here struggling. 

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