Why Do I Get Pimples in My Armpits When I Shave?

Published: July 24, 2017
Dear TeenHealthFX,
Why do I get pimples in my armpits only when I shave them?
Signed: Why Do I Get Pimples in My Armpits When I Shave?

Dear Why Do I Get Pimples in My Armpits When I Shave?,

The bumps in your armpits that you are getting from shaving are probably ingrown hairs, also known as razor bumps. They are very common and can often occur in the armpit and bikini areas for women. According to WebMD:

What are razor bumps?

Razor bumps, or ingrown hairs, are small, irritated bumps on the skin. They happen after you shave, when strands of hair curl back on themselves and grow into the skin. They cause irritation and pimples. They also may cause scarring.

Can razor bumps be prevented?

These tips can help when you shave:

  • Moisten your skin with water and mild soap first. This will soften the hair and open the pores.
  • Use a thick shaving gel.
  • Don't stretch the skin when you shave. Always shave in the direction the hair is growing. Use the fewest razor strokes possible. Rinse with cold water.
  • Use an electric razor if you can adjust it to avoid the closest setting.
  • After you shave, use a moisturizing cream.


To learn more about shaving, read the WebMD article, Shaving Tips for Teen Girls. You can also speak to your primary care physician, adolescent medicine specialist or a dermatologist about how to prevent and treat razor bumps. If you don't have a doctor and live in northern New Jersey, you can call the Adolescent/Young Adult Center for Health at 973-971-5199 for an appointment with an adolescent medicine specialist or contact your local teen health center. You can also contact your insurance company for a list of in-network providers.

Signed: TeenHealthFX