What Is The Cause Of Armpit Fat & How To Get Rid Of It?

Armpit fat can have different causes, but one thing is common, it brings significant embarrassment to the person who suffers from it. Most often, when women wear tight and fitting clothing, these armpit bulges appear more prominent and don’t add up to the looks. These small pouches of fat deposits also called chocolate bags can affect anyone, even in person with normal body weight, and are mostly harmless.

In this post, we will explore the possible causes of armpit fat and find out ways to get rid of them. Let’s hop in then!

What is armpit fat? 

Armpit fat

Armpit fat, also known as bra bulge or axillary fat, refers to the collection of adipose tissues in the underarm region. It can be more pronounced in some individuals while others may suffer from it with less severity. In any case, it’s completely normal to have these pouches of fat deposited in the armpit. However, in some people, armpit fat can be so pronounced that it hinders body positivity or becomes a cause of embarrassment.

The good thing is you can get rid of armpit fat easily, but first, you have to understand what causes armpit fat;

9 Major Causes of Armpit Fat that You Must Know 

As we told earlier, armpit fat can have many causes; here we have listed them in order;

Genetic Predisposition 

How and where your body will store fat is largely determined by genetics. According to a study published in ScienceDirect, The genetic influence on body fat distribution, there’s a direct correlation between genetic factors and body fat deposition. Likewise, if your parents have armpit fat, you are more likely to suffer from it too.

Hormonal Changes 

Next time genetics and hormonal imbalance and changes contribute significantly to armpit fat. Alteration in progesterone and estrogen production can cause fat to accumulate under the arms. Likewise, Prolactin that is released during pregnancy can cause breasts to swell and the skin between the breasts and armpit to bulge out.

Poor Posture 

Poor posture is also a leading cause of armpit fat. It affects muscle engagement which can weaken them and result in armpit bulges.

Inactive Lifestyle 

Lack of physical activity and sedentary lifestyle can lead to weight gain. It can lead to accumulation of fat tissues across different body parts including the underarms and armpit.

Incorrect Bra Size 

Believe it or not, wearing an ill-fitted bra can also lead to armpit fat. Extra tight bras can potentially lead to tissue migration. When this happens, your armpit will look extra bulging as if you have armpit fat.

Chronic Stress 

Although stress doesn’t seem to be related to armpit fat, it can lead to the condition. Chronic stress has a strong correlation with obesity as per a study published on Biomedicine Hub. Stress can disturb hormonal balance and influence fat distributors across the body. These extra fat deposits can manifest in the form of armpit fat too.

Limited Upper Body Exercise

People undergoing strength training may overlook upper body exercises. Insufficient focus on the upper body could lead to weakened muscles and reduced tone in the underarm area. It can contribute to the appearance of armpit fat.

Axillary Breast Tissue

Axillary breast tissues can also appear in the firm of armpit fat. The axillary breast consists of glandular tissues and fat which can make the underarm look bulging. The ‘axillary breast’ or ‘accessory breast’ are quite common and are equally susceptible to hormonal fluctuations. These changes such as fluctuations in estrogen and progesterone levels during pregnancy or menstruation can make these axillary breasts look more protruding as if fat bulges in the armpit.

Swollen Lymph Nodes (Lymphedema)

Lymph nodes are found throughout the body, including armpits. Infections and injury can cause these lymph nodes to swell, a condition called Lymphedema. These swollen lymph nodes can appear as armpit pouches. That said, Lymphoma and Breast cancer can also cause the lymph nodes in the axillary area to swell. Therefore, if you suspect your armpit pouches are due to lymph nodes, better get them checked by a doctor.

How To Get Rid Of Armpit Fat?

It’s not too challenging to reduce the size of armpit bulges or make them go away. Follow this advice to get rid of armpit fat quickly;

Ear Balanced Diet

A nutritious diet helps with weight management and reduces excess body fat including in the armpit area.

Regular Exercise

Running, swimming, and another cardiovascular exercises can burn calories fast. These exercises can melt away the excess fat making your underarms smooth and toned.

Strength Training

Strengthening exercises that focus on the upper body can also help reduce armpit fat.

Posture Improvement

Take heed of your posture and correct it to strengthen the upper body muscles. It can prevent sagging and fat bulges in underarms and armpits.

Avoid Crash Diet

An extreme diet can lead to muscle loss and contribute to the rebound effect. It can alter fat deposition potentially leading to the appearance of armpit fat.

Surgical Treatment for Armpit Fat

If lifestyle adjustments don’t help with the reduction of armpit fat, you can go the surgical route. Various options are available that can help you get rid of armpit fat;

  • Liposuction – It’s a minimally invasive surgery that suctions out excess fat from the body. It can be targeted to the area too and help reduce fat deposits.
  • Breast Reduction Surgery – People suffering from prominent axillary breast tissue can benefit from breast reduction surgery. It can help eliminate the fat.
  • Cosmetic Procedures – Cosmetic procedures can also help with fat reduction. Laser therapy, radiofrequency, etc. can tighten the skin in the underarm region.
  • Arm Lift (Brachioplasty) – It’s a surgical process that is used to address the sagging and loose skin in the arms. It removes the excess skin and tightens the loose tissue making armpit fat disappear.


Armpit fat can be normal but certainly demeans the overall look. Thankfully, it’s easy to get rid of armpit fat with diet, exercise, and surgery. In most cases, dietary modifications and exercise alone are enough to get a toned body, free from excessive fat pouches in underarms. The key is to follow a healthy lifestyle and in most cases, you won’t suffer from armpit fat.

Dr. Vanessa Rodriguez is a board-certified general practitioner with more than 15 years of patient care experience. She takes an integrative approach to patient care that considers the whole person – mind, body, and spirit – and is deeply committed to assisting her patients in achieving and sustaining optimal health. Dr. Vanessa is also a skilled writer and medical reviewer, specializing in preventive care and health promotion. Her articles are written in an approachable manner that is simple to comprehend and implement in one’s own life. Dr. Vanessa’s mission is to equip her patients and readers with the knowledge and resources necessary to live their greatest lives.

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