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Latin axilla
Gray's subject #149 585
MeSH A01.378.800.090
Deep muscles of the chest and front of the arm, with the boundaries of the axilla.

The axilla (or armpit, underarm, or oxter) is the area on the human body directly under the joint where the arm connects to the shoulder.

The contents of the axilla include the axillary vein and artery, as well as the brachial plexus, lymph nodes and fat. Axilla is the space between the side of the thorax and the upper arm. It is one of the sites on the human body of apocrine sweat glands which produce pheromones

Terminology[edit | edit source]

The term "underarm" typically refers to the outer surface of the axilla. However, the terms are sometimes used interchangeably in casual contexts. Colloquially, armpit refers to an object or place which is smelly, greasy, hairy or otherwise undesirable.[1]

The term oxter is most often used in the United Kingdom [2] and the Republic of Ireland. In Northern Ireland "oxter" generally replaces all other names for the armpit.

Underarm hair[edit | edit source]

Main article: Underarm hair

Underarm hair usually grows in the underarms of both females and males, beginning in adolescence. In modern Western culture, it is common for women to remove underarm hair for aesthetic reasons. As underarm hair grows quickly, shaving must be performed frequently, or else stubble will appear in the axilla.

Throughout the feminist movement, previously in the hippie culture, and in some areas of the punk rock scene, some women choose to keep their underarm hair for a variety of reasons, from subversion to egalitarianism to comfort. Conversely, some men choose to remove their underarm hair for similar aesthetic reasons or to reduce friction in some sports, such as swimming.

Male arm pit with hair  
Female arm pit shaven  

Miscellany[edit | edit source]

  • The axilla is one of the four sites (the other three being the mouth, rectum, and ear canal) in which a medical thermometer may be inserted in order to measure body temperature.
  • The underarms are among the locations in the human body which are most vulnerable to tickling.
  • The sexual attraction to the underarms is called axillism and/or also called as Armpit Fetish.

Gallery[edit | edit source]

Anatomy of the axilla
Superficial muscles of the chest and front of the arm.  
Axillary artery and its branches - anterior view of right upper limb and thorax.  
The veins of the right axilla, viewed from in front.  
The right brachial plexus (infraclavicular portion) in the axillary fossa; viewed from below and in front.  
The left side of the thorax.  

See also[edit | edit source]

Notes[edit | edit source]

External links[edit | edit source]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to:
[[Commons: Category:armpits

| armpits

Human anatomical features
Human body features.png

HEAD: ForeheadEyeEarNoseMouthTongueTeethJawFaceCheekChin

NECK: ThroatAdam's apple

TORSO: ShouldersSpineChestBreastRibcageAbdomenBelly button

Sex organs (Penis/Scrotum/Testicle or Clitoris/Vagina/Ovary/Uterus) – HipAnusButtocks

LIMBS: ArmElbowForearmWristHandFinger (Thumb - Index finger - Middle finger - Ring finger - Little finger) – LegLapThighKneeCalfHeelAnkleFootToe (Hallux)

SKIN: Hair

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