How to Get Rid of Blackheads Under Arms: Best Skincare Tips

Consistent skin cleansing and care are the keys to eliminating blackheads under your arms. With a routine involving deeply purifying products – like those containing salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide you can effectively combat the buildup of dead skin cells, oil, and bacteria that lead to these troublesome spots. You might be surprised to know that certain everyday items, like tight clothes or even specific deodorants, can play a role in causing blackheads. 

The most effective way to treat blackheads under the arms is to maintain proper hygiene and adopt a targeted skincare routine. Gentle exfoliating products containing salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide can help unclog pores and prevent blackhead formation. Additionally, regularly washing the underarm area with a mild cleanser and using topical creams or gels with retinoids or alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) can aid in reducing blackheads and improving overall skin texture.

Root Causes of Underarm Blackheads

The interplay of various factors often causes blackheads under the arms. Let’s break down these causes into simple terms.

  1. Dead Skin Cells, Oil, and Bacterial Buildup: These are the essential ingredients in our recipe. When dead skin cells, oil, and bacteria accumulate in the hair follicles under your arms, they combine to create the perfect environment for blackheads to form. It’s like when you leave dirty dishes out—the dirt builds up, creating a breeding ground for bacteria over time.
  2. Friction from Clothing: Tight clothing can rub against the skin, causing irritation and friction. This can lead to skin cells being pushed into the pores, making them more prone to clogging; just like constant rubbing in one area can cause irritation, friction from clothing can exacerbate blackhead formation.
  3. Excessive Sweating: When you sweat a lot, your body produces more oil, which can mix with sweat and dead skin cells. This mixture can get trapped in your pores, leading to clogs that result in blackheads.
  4. Occlusive Skincare Products: This is like adding too much salt to a dish—it’s meant to be good for you, but too much can ruin it. Certain skincare products containing heavy oils or waxes can block pores, trap bacteria, and cause inflammation, ultimately contributing to blackhead formation.

Popular Products for Blackhead Removal

When tackling blackheads, using the right products is crucial, especially in sensitive underarm areas. Salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide are two proven ingredients for combating blackheads. These components are renowned for their exfoliating and pore-cleansing properties, as they penetrate deep into the pores to remove excess oil, dirt, and dead skin cells, effectively unclogging the pores.

  • Salicylic acid, known for its deep pore penetration and exfoliating properties that reduce inflammation and redness, is also effective in preventing new blackheads.
  • On the other hand, benzoyl peroxide is a powerful antimicrobial agent with excellent pore-cleansing properties. 
  • It’s important to note that following instructions carefully and avoiding overuse is essential when using products containing these potent ingredients. Also, a patch test before full application is advisable to ensure no adverse reactions or sensitivity.

Dry Skin Solution

Natural Alternatives for Blackhead Treatment

Taking an all-natural approach can be soothing and effective when handling blackheads under the arms. 

  • Tea tree oil is renowned for its antibacterial properties and has been scientifically proven to reduce acne lesions when used at a 5% concentration. This makes it an excellent option for addressing underarm blackheads, which often stem from clogged pores and bacterial buildup. Similarly, witch hazel, containing tannins, can effectively reduce inflammation and eliminate excess oil from the skin, making it highly favorable for managing blackheads in sensitive areas like underarms.
  • Selecting products containing these natural ingredients in appropriate concentrations is essential to ensure they are safe and effective. Overdoing it on potent natural ingredients can lead to irritation, so moderation is key. 

When considering natural alternatives for blackhead treatment, it’s crucial to understand that their effects might take longer to become noticeable compared to certain potent chemical products. However, the gradual improvement is often accompanied by long-term benefits such as improved skin texture and reduced inflammation. In cases of persistent or severe blackheads, seeking professional advice from a dermatologist is always recommended.

Hygiene Practices to Prevent Blackheads

Ensuring proper hygiene is the first defense against blackheads under the arms. Regularly washing this area with a mild, non-comedogenic cleanser is fundamental. Non-comedogenic cleansers are formulated to clean the skin without blocking the pores, thus reducing the risk of blackhead formation. 

In addition to using a non-comedogenic cleanser, incorporating a gentle exfoliating scrub into your skincare routine can be highly beneficial. This helps to remove dead skin cells and unclog pores, reducing the likelihood of blackheads forming. Choosing a gentle body exfoliating scrub specifically formulated for the underarm area is important. 

When washing the underarm area, it’s crucial to focus on thorough but gentle cleansing to dislodge any impurities without causing irritation or damage to the skin. Using lukewarm water can help open up the pores, allowing for effective cleansing while avoiding excessively hot water that can strip the skin of its natural oils, leading to dryness and potential irritation.

Moreover, after cleansing, patting the underarm area dry with a soft towel is recommended instead of rubbing vigorously to avoid irritation or friction that could potentially exacerbate blackheads. Maintaining good overall skincare practices by wearing breathable clothing and avoiding excessive sweating can also aid in preventing blackhead formation.

Lifestyle Changes for Avoiding Blackheads

When preventing blackheads under your arms, a few changes in your lifestyle and routine can make a difference. Let’s start with something that may surprise you: your choice of clothing. 

  • Wearing breathable fabrics is important because it allows your skin to stay cool and dry, preventing excessive sweating and accumulating dirt and oils that can lead to blackheads.
  • Tight clothes and synthetic fabrics can trap sweat and bacteria against the skin, creating the perfect environment for blackheads to form. So, opt for looser, natural fabrics like cotton or bamboo that allow your skin to breathe.
  • Another essential lifestyle change is switching from antiperspirants to deodorants. Antiperspirants are designed to limit sweat production by blocking your glands, often leading to pore blockage. On the other hand, deodorants help control body odor without affecting sweat production. This switch can significantly reduce pore blockage and improve underarm skin health.
  • In addition to choosing the right clothing and products, minimizing exposure to excessive heat and humidity can also play a crucial role in reducing underarm blackheads. Excessive sweating in hot and humid conditions can exacerbate the clogging of pores, leading to blackhead formation. Stay cool, especially during the hot summer when sweat and oil production increase.

When to Seek Professional Dermatological Help

If, despite following a consistent skincare routine and making necessary lifestyle adjustments, your underarm blackheads persist and seem to be getting worse, it’s time to consult a professional dermatologist. Persistent or severe blackheads can indicate underlying skin issues, and a dermatologist can provide you with expert guidance and personalized treatment plans tailored to your specific needs.

Furthermore, if over-the-counter treatments have not yielded significant improvement or if you experience any adverse reactions to these products, seeking professional help becomes even more crucial. Dermatologists possess the expertise and resources to diagnose the underlying causes of persistent blackheads and recommend advanced treatment options that are not available over the counter.

Untreated blackheads can lead to inflammation, scarring, and potential skin infections. Seeking prompt, professional intervention can mitigate these risks and prevent further skin damage.

Dermatologists may employ potent treatments such as prescription-strength retinoids or chemical peels for stubborn cases. These interventions specifically address deeply rooted blackheads and promote overall skin health. By accessing professional care, individuals with persistent underarm blackheads can benefit from advanced medical-grade solutions that are not widely available without a prescription.

Additionally, dermatologists can assess your skin type, overall health condition, and medical history to create a personalized plan for managing and preventing future blackhead formation. This tailored approach often yields more effective results compared to self-administered treatments.


Seeking professional dermatological help is a proactive step towards effectively managing persistent underarm blackheads and safeguarding long-term skin health. Consulting with a dermatologist ensures access to specialized care, advanced treatment options, and personalized guidance for addressing stubborn blackheads comprehensively.

If you’re facing persistent underarm blackheads despite trying various remedies, it might be time to consult a professional dermatologist. Visit Sumlab for further insights into skincare solutions.


  • Michael Reed

    Michael Reed is a medical writer at Sumlab, focusing on dermatological studies and treatments. His articles help demystify complex clinical results for a broad audience.

    View all posts