What Are Ingrown Hairs and Why Do They Happen During Puberty?

What Are Ingrown Hairs and Why Do They Happen During Puberty?

Our expert: Dr. Cara Natterson

Our resident expert on all things girls. She’s a board certified pediatrician, author of the best-selling book series The Care and Keeping of You, and travels the country speaking about health and wellness issues to both kids and parents.

Is it natural to have pimples on your underarms when you’re going through puberty?

Bumps under your arms probably aren’t pimples. Pimples show up mostly on the face, neck, chest and back. Sometimes, as you start to get hair under your arms, the hairs get stuck under the skin and small bumps form. These can get a little red and look like they have a whitehead, much like a typical pimple. It’s called an ingrown hair.

If this is the case, when you are in the shower, wash well with soap and a washcloth or gentle loofa – this will slowly scrub away the old skin cells and make room for the hairs to pop out. Other times, kids will get rashes from chafing. This happens because the skin in the armpits rubs against itself throughout the day, especially when you are running around. That, combined with sweaty armpits, can chap or irritate the skin.

If this is happening, keep the area clean by using soap in the shower and dry by using antiperspirant – but choose one without a lot of perfumes or additives because those can sting irritated skin. If your skin ever gets super red or stings, tell someone so that you can have a doctor check it out.

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