Tips, Tools and Tricks to beat unwanted, embarrassing sweat.

Did you know the average human sweats around 278 gallons each year?

That’s a lot of soaked shirts and sweaty armpits.

Experts say the human body has 2-4 MILLION sweat glands.

Unfortunately, large numbers of these sweat-secreting glands live in your armpits.

Now you know who to send those thank you cards to…

Dear sweat glands, thanks for the sweaty armpits! They made my presentation truly... unforgettable.

Joking aside… sweaty underarms and pit stains are no laughing matter. They ruin your shirts, cripple your social life and sap your confidence.

You need a strong deodorant to tame those sweat glands and keep foul body odor at bay.

Lucky for you, we’ve scoured the universe in search of deodorants that are strong on sweat and even stronger on odor.

And we’re sharing this rare and valuable list with you…

Top 10 Best Deodorants for Sweaty Armpits

Organized by strength and sweat severity.

Best Deodorants for Light Sweating

  • 1. Dove Advanced Care Antiperspirant Deodorant
  • 2. Degree Advanced Protection Antiperspirant Deodorant
  • 3. Art of Sport Antiperspirant Deodorant
  • 4. Gillette Antiperspirant Deodorant

Best Deodorants for Moderate Sweating

  • 5. Certain Dri Everyday Strength
  • 6. Degree Clinical Antiperspirant Deodorant
  • 7. Dove Clinical Protection Deodorant Antiperspirant
  • 8. Gillette Clinical Strength Antiperspirant Deodorant Gel

Best Deodorants for Excessive Sweating and Hyperhidrosis

  • 9. Certain Dri Prescription Strength Roll On
  • 10. SweatBlock Clinical Strength Antiperspirant Wipes

Skip to detailed list.

Confident Woman with Dry Armpits

What is the best deodorant for sweaty armpits?

This is a tricky question. It’s almost like asking “what’s the best car for space travel?”

Confused? Let me explain…

A car won’t get you very far on your space odyssey. Just like a deodorant won’t get you far in your fight against armpit sweat.

You need a spaceship for space travel. You need antiperspirant for stopping sweat.

There are several differences between antiperspirant and deodorant, but the main difference is this…

Deodorant stops odor. Antiperspirant stops sweat.

If armpit sweat is your problem, you should be asking “what is the best antiperspirant for sweaty armpits?”

If ending stinky AND sweaty armpits is your goal, you need both antiperspirant and deodorant -or- a deodorant antiperspirant combo.

Now that we’re asking the right question, we can get some real answers…

What is the best deodorant (antiperspirant) for sweat?

When choosing the best deodorant for sweat, you need to consider a few things:

Sweat Levels

  • How much do you sweat? (light, moderate, excessive)
  • What climate do you live in? (cold, hot, humid)
  • What’s your lifestyle like? (sedentary, active, always on the move)

Your sweat levels will largely determine which deodorant options will work best for you.

If you’re a light sweater, a deodorant antiperspirant combo is best.

If your sweating is on the heavy side, you’ll get better results when using a pure antiperspirant.

If your sweat is excessive, you’ll want a clinical strength or prescription strength antiperspirant. These antiperspirants are much stronger and specifically formulated to treat excessive sweating and hyperhidrosis.

Bottom line… the more you sweat, the stronger you’ll want your antiperspirant.

Ingredients

Many people with sensitive skin prefer an all-natural or unscented deodorant or antiperspirant. These natural products are available online, or at retail outlets like Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s. You can find them made with natural ingredients like essential oils, baking soda, witch hazel, or coconut oil. Keep in mind, antiperspirants don’t typically fit in the natural category and contain ingredients like Aluminum Chloride. If you need a product to stop sweat, you may have to compromise on your natural prefrences. In fact, unless the product contains aluminum, it won’t be very effective at stopping those sweaty pits.

Staining

If you don’t mind occasionally cleaning white marks and residue off your clothes, you can choose from the full range of affordable drugstore brands of antiperspirant deodorants. They work fairly well and are available at all drug stores and supermarkets. But if white antiperspirant stains drive you crazy, you might want to consider antiperspirant wipes, spray versions, or even gels.

Top 10 Best Deodorants for Sweaty Armpits

For the sake of transparancy, this list was compiled based on 2 primary factors; popularity and consumer feedback. While other “cute” deodorant products are out there. This list contains only the serious sweat contenders. For your convenience, we’ve organized them by strength and sweat severity.
If you’re after natural deodorant options, you won’t find them on this list. Natural solutions will do little to nothing to stop armpit sweat.

Best deodorants for light to mild sweating

1. DOVE Advanced Care Antiperspirant Deodorant for Women

Dove deodorant is a gentle, over-the-counter antiperspirant deodorant for women with sensitive skin or who don’t necessarily need clinical strength formulations.
Strength: 💪
Active Ingredient: Aluminum Zirconium Tetrachlorohydrex GLY (15.2%)
Sweat & Odor Protection Duration: 48 Hours
Available at: Amazon.com

2. DEGREE Advanced Protection Antiperspirant Deodorant

Degree deodorant is another over-the-counter brand that offers a wide range of body-responsive products for both men and women, all designed to work hardest when you need them the most.
Strength: 💪 💪
Active Ingredient: Aluminum Zirconium Tetrachlorohydrex GLY (18.2%)
Sweat & Odor Protection Duration: 24 Hours
Available on: Amazon.com

3. ART OF SPORT Antiperspirant Deodorant for Athletes

Performance driven and formulated by and for athletes.
Strength: 💪 💪
Active Ingredient: Aluminum Zirconium Tetrachlorohydrex GLY (15.2%)
Sweat & Odor Protection Duration: 24 Hours
Available on: Amazon.com

4. GILLETTE Antiperspirant Deodorant for Men

Degree deodorant is another over-the-counter brand that offers a wide range of body-responsive products for both men and women, all designed to work hardest when you need them the most.
Strength: 💪 💪
Active Ingredient: Aluminum zirconium octachlorohydrex GLY (16%)
Sweat & Odor Protection Duration: 48 Hours
Available on: Amazon.com

Best Deodorants for Moderate Sweating

5. CERTAIN DRI Everyday Strength Antiperspirant Deodorant

Certain Dri deodorant antiperspirant provides all day protection against sweat and odor.
Strength: 💪 💪 💪
Active Ingredient: Aluminum Zirconium Tetrachlorohydrex GLY (20%)
Sweat & Odor Protection Duration: 24 Hours
Available on: Amazon.com

6. DEGREE CLINICAL Antiperspirant Deodorant

This product represents the Degree brand’s strongest concentration of active ingredient designed to prevent heavier sweating. Like all Degree products, this one is designed to respond to your body chemistry in order to provide the highest level of sweat protection.
Strength: 💪 💪 💪
Active Ingredient: Aluminum Zirconium Tetrachlorohydrex GLY (20%)
Sweat & Odor Protection Duration: 24 Hours
Available on: Amazon.com

7. DOVE Clinical Protection Deodorant Antiperspirant

Dove offers this stronger deodorant antiperspirant combo for moderate sweating. Strong, but soothing with ingredietns to condition and moisturize the skin.
Strength: 💪 💪 💪
Active Ingredient: Aluminum Zirconium Tetrachlorohydrex GLY (20%)
Sweat & Odor Protection Duration: 48 Hours
Available on: Amazon.com

8. GILLETTE Clinical Strength Antiperspirant Deodorant Gel

If you’re heading for a marathon, a strength-training session, or just a stress-filled workday, this sport-level, strong deodorant for men boasts that it can keep the sweat away.
Strength: 💪 💪 💪
Active Ingredient: Aluminum Zirconium Octachlorohydrex GLY (20%)
Sweat & Odor Protection Duration: 48 Hours
Available on: Amazon.com

Best Deodorants for Excessive Sweating

For those who need something stronger, consider the following products that are formulated to treat excessive sweating and axillary hyperhidrosis.

9. CERTAIN DRI Prescription Strength Antiperspirant Roll-on

If you’re a heavy sweater, Certain Dri can effectively stop sweaty underarms for up to 72 hours.
Strength: 💪 💪 💪 💪
Active Ingredient: Aluminum Chloride (12%)
Sweat Protection Duration: 72 Hours
Available on: Amazon.com

10. SWEATBLOCK Clinical Strength Antiperspirant Wipes

Deemed by customers as “the antiperspirant that works when nothing else will!” SweatBlock is an over-the-counter pure antiperspirant solution. Featured on many TV shows and publications including The Rachael Ray Show, Dr Oz, Buzzfeed, Bustle and Men’s Fitness. The first antiperspirant of its kind, boasting 4-7 days of sweat protection with a unique wipe application.
Strength: 💪 💪 💪 💪 💪
Active Ingredient: Aluminum Chloride (14%)
Sweat Protection Duration: 4-7 Days per application
Available on: Amazon.com

Once you determine which antiperspirant or deodorant you want to try, make sure you use it correctly. Yes, there’s a right way, a best way to use deodorants and antiperspirants.

How to get the most out of your antiperspirant

The best antiperspirant in the world may not be helpful if you don’t use it to its fullest potential. Below are a few tips to help you get the most out of your antiperspirant every time you use it.

Apply your antiperspirant to clean, dry, non-irritated skin and give it plenty of time to dry before you get dressed. This will help it be more effective and cut down on its potential to leave any residue on your clothes. For example, you don’t want to apply antiperspirant to armpits that are already sweaty or that are still damp after your shower. Consider using a hair dryer on a cool setting once you get out of the shower to make sure your armpits are nice and dry before applying antiperspirant.

If you’re using a clinical-strength deodorant or antiperspirant, apply at night to allow the active ingredients to start working on your sweat glands before you need it. You’re also typically cooler at night before bed, so this allows the antiperspirant to have maximum effectiveness. In fact, using your antiperspirant at night allows it to work all night while you sleep, which sets you up for a sweat-free day. And if you apply your antiperspirant at night, you dramatically reduce your chances of any residue discoloring your daytime clothes.

You can still apply your antiperspirant again in the morning; twice-daily applications have, in some studies, shown the greatest user benefits. But if you only want to apply it once a day, night time is best. Some users report that gently massaging the antiperspirant into their skin is also beneficial.

One point to remember: Go easy on the amount of antiperspirant you use – a little antiperspirant goes a long way. You don’t have to cake it on and doing so can wreak havoc on the clothes you’re wearing.

Can You Use Deodorant and Antiperspirant Together?

Yes, you can combine deodorant and antiperspirant, but you do need to keep some particulars in mind. The main difference between deodorant and antiperspirant is that deodorant is formulated merely to neutralize body odor once sweat is already on your skin, while antiperspirant is able to temporarily block the flow of sweat before it begins. The metallic salts in antiperspirants, including compounds like aluminum chlorohydrate, create a temporary blockage within the sweat duct, which reduces sweat flow.

Most dermatologists agree that the best deodorant for sweaty armpits is actually a combination of deodorant and antiperspirant. By using the combo, you’re fighting sweat at its source and also any chance of resulting odor.

Take Control of Your Armpit Sweat

It’s no fun to spend your day worrying about raising your arms for fear of revealing sweat stains and odor. The reality is that the wrong antiperspirant–or deodorant–can literally put you right in the middle of a sticky (not to mention smelly) situation. If you sweat lightly, you’re probably fine with a regular deodorant to keep smelling fresh. People who sweat moderately would do well using an antiperspirant and deodorant combination. For those who suffer from extreme sweating, a clinical-strength antiperspirant like SweatBlock is the best way to stay dry.

Picking the right antiperspirant or deodorant for you can be a challenge, especially since so many options are available. But if you follow the guidelines here, you’ll be well on your way to making a well-informed decision, along with staying dry and odor-free.

Out of the calm comes the impending doom. It happens when you interact with others. Perhaps it’s a meeting, a presentation, a first date, or even a simple chat with a significant someone. You begin to sweat because you’re nervous. Then you get even more nervous because you’re sweating. You’re caught in the vicious vortex of anxiety sweating.

anxiety sweat

11 Tips to Beat Anxiety and Reduce Stress

  • 1. Let Go and Relax
  • 2. Try Meditation, Visualization or Yoga
  • 3. Dress to Sweat Less and Stress Less
  • 4. Limit “Sweat Triggers” from Your Diet
  • 5. Drink Your Water!
  • 6. Consider a Home Remedy
  • 7. Splash Some Cool Water on Your Face and Wrists
  • 8. Carry a Handkerchief or Baby Wipes
  • 9. Use a Prescription-Strength Antiperspirant
  • 10. Anxiety Medications
  • 11. Other More Expensive and Invasive Treatments

Understanding your nerves and social anxiety is the first step to beating stress sweat.

What is Anxiety?

Anxiety is the emotion you feel when you’re afraid or worried. It’s a natural response to stress. When you feel threatened, physically or emotionally, you feel apprehension and fear about what might be coming.

Anxiety is normal and can be healthy. If anxiety is due to a physical threat, adrenaline is injected into the bloodstream and prepares you with the fight or flight reflex.

Emotional anxiety is that worrisome feeling and unease, sometimes vague, that occurs when no physical threat or danger is apparent, but we fear some social or mental threat. Our emotional anxiety can be caused by negative emotions such as sadness, fear, anger, and rejection, to name a few.

Emotional anxiety is normal. However, normally occurring anxiety and anxiety disorders are two very different things. When our emotional anxiety becomes chronic, hard to control, and interferes with daily life–it’s probably an anxiety disorder.

Why Does Anxiety Cause Excessive Sweating?

We have a love/hate relationship with sweat. The body’s sweating mechanism is a marvel of physiological engineering. When triggered by the hypothalamus in the brain, apocrine and eccrine sweat glands secrete sweat. The evaporation of sweat, composed mostly of water, salt and electrolytes, creates a cooling effect that helps maintain body temperature. Sweating at the gym or when working out is desirable and keeps us healthy.

When does sweat turn from desireable to deplorable? When it’s anxiety sweat — sweat that is excessive, embarrassing and only increases its flow when you begin to stress about it.

Stress and anxiety cause the body to secrete the fight or flight hormones that prepare us for action. These hormones cause our breathing rate to increase, our heart to beat faster, our blood pressure to rise, and–you guessed it–our sweat glands are activated to produce more sweat. A lot more. More than we need, and certainly way more sweat than we want.

Why Does Sweating Lead to Anxiety?

Nervous sweating often leads to even more sweating–sometimes uncontrollably–because we feel self-conscious about it during social interaction. It’s a vicious cycle that feeds on itself.

If you suffer from anxiety sweating, this cycle of stress sweat is probably familiar.

You sweat >>> you stress about sweat >>> your stress causes more sweat >>> your sweat causes more stress… you get the picture.

For many of us, stress and anxiety rear their ugly heads when our confidence is low. We wonder if we have what it takes to succeed in a particular set of social circumstances. In a way, our own bodies betray us by signaling to the outside world that we’re nervous. What do those who suffer from social anxiety fear?

Everyday situations that cause social anxiety sweating are:

  • Public speaking
  • Making a request or presenting information
  • Meeting new people
  • Wanting to impress or be accepted
  • Fear of rejection
  • Being judged or evaluated- as in a job interview
  • Looking odd or feeling out of place
  • Being thrust into unfamiliar situations
  • Wanting to be in control

Do I Have Anxiety?

Let’s be clear: Bouts of anxiety are a natural part of life. It’s a normal response to stressful events and situations we all encounter. Family or relationship problems, changing employment and financial worries are some of the common events that can cause anxiety and some degree of anxiety sweating.

But the kind of normal anxiety that we experience from time to time is much different than the kind of chronic, ever-present anxiety that disrupts our lives at every turn. When the symptoms of severe anxiety overshadow the events that caused them and turn everyday life upside down, they could point to an anxiety disorder.

Here are some of the most prevalent signs and symptoms of anxiety disorders:

Excessive Worrying

This kind of worrying is generally linked to anxiety disorders is way out of proportion to the event that triggers it.

Agitation

Anxiety is our way of telling the nervous system that we’re facing some kind of threat. When that happens, blood is diverted away from your digestive system, your heart rate increases as does the rate of your breathing. And, you sweat excessively. While all this may be appropriate and helpful if a real threat is present, it’s debilitating when the threat is only imagined.

Feeling Restless

Restlessness can be a symptom of anxiety disorder, especially when it occurs in children and teens. Not everyone who has been diagnosed with anxiety experience restless feelings, but it is one of the signs doctors look for in diagnosing anxiety.

Fatigue

If you become easily fatigued, it may be a sign of anxiety. It’s often a sign of depression, too.

Difficulty Concentrating

Many people who suffer from anxiety report having trouble concentrating. Studies including children, teens, and adults demonstrate that 60% to 90% of people diagnosed with anxiety have serious difficulty concentrating.

Feeling Irritable

Even those of us who experience normal anxiety levels feel more irritable when we’re feeling anxious. A study including over 6,000 adults found that more than 90% reported having feelings of heightened irritability when their anxiety disorder was in high gear.

Muscle Tension

If your muscles feel tense on most days, that can be another symptom of anxiety disorder. Some doctors have found that treating muscle tension with muscle relaxants can at the same time reduce feelings of anxiety.

Trouble Sleeping

One of the most frequently reported symptoms of anxiety is falling asleep and waking up often during the night. It’s a chicken and egg conundrum. Does anxiety cause insomnia or does insomnia cause anxiety? We just don’t know.

Panic Attacks

Panic disorder is a specific kind of anxiety disorder. A panic attack produces intense episodes of fear. Panic attacks can trigger rapid heartbeat, increased sweating, chest pain, and even nausea.

Fear of Social Situations

Social anxiety disorder is not uncommon and affects an estimated 12% of adults at some point in their lives. If you feel anxious about social events and avoid them, it can be a sign of social anxiety disorder. Fear of being judged, embarrassed, humiliated, or scrutinized by others are red flags that point to social anxiety. Extreme shyness and remaining silent in groups can signal social anxiety, too.

Excessive Sweating

Cold sweats, night sweats, and excessive sweating on the hands, palms, forehead, face, under the arms–and even sweaty feet– can all be symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder. Excessive sweating and uncontrolled sweating could also be caused by hyperhidrosis. Hyperhidrosis is often the root cause of social anxiety.

Diagnosing generalized anxiety disorder includes a physical exam to determine if anxiety might be caused by an underlying medical condition, such as hyperhidrosis, or medications you’re taking. Your medical history and a psychological questionnaire will also be used to arrive at a diagnosis. One such anxiety disorder test includes questions like these:

  • Do a lot of things cause you to worry or feel anxious?
  • Do you think you worry excessively?
  • Do you worry most days?
  • Has it been six months or more that you’ve been worrying like this?
  • Do you have difficulty controlling your worry?
  • Have you noted physical symptoms like, trouble sleeping, feeling restless, chronic fatigue, tense muscles, trouble with concentration or feeling easily irritated?
  • Is your ability to function at work, in social situations, at school or in other areas of importance to you, negatively affected by your worrying?

If you’re wondering if you have an anxiety disorder or if you have anxiety attack symptoms, visit with your doctor. Anxiety disorders and panic attacks can be treated and managed.

What Causes Anxiety?

Stress is the number one cause of anxiety. For those who suffer from anxiety sweating, the phrase, “Don’t sweat it,” seems like mockery. Anxious people stress over almost everything, and that stress makes them sweat. A lot. Learning how to stop stress sweat and finding an effective stress treatment are high priorities.

Stress and sweat travel together, and they’re rarely separated. There are three basic causes of sweat: heat, activity, and–you guessed it–stress. We produce different types of sweat depending on the cause.

Sweat from heat and activity is secreted by the eccrine sweat glands. It is composed of 99% water and small amounts of protein, lipids, and other nutrients. It’s the kind of sweat that cools us down as it evaporates.

In contrast, stress sweat comes from apocrine sweat glands. Of the 2 to 4 million sweat glands that cover our bodies, most are eccrine glands. Apocrine glands are concentrated in areas where there is an abundance of hair follicles, like armpits, and around the genitals. Apocrine glands secrete sweat that is thicker than heat sweat and contains more lipids, nutrients, and proteins. Stress causes the apocrine glands to push stress sweat to the surface of the skin.

Waiting on the skin’s surface is bacteria. When bacteria come into contact with the high levels of protein and nutrients in stress sweat, the bacteria begin to feast. The result is not only unsightly moisture, but it also produces a strong odor. A really bad, offensive odor. To answer the question, “Does stress sweat smell worse than sweat from exercise?” the answer is a resounding YES.

Here’s another interesting tidbit. Recent studies have found that people can tell if sweat odor is caused by emotional stress. Your smelly stress body odor lets everybody know that you’re anxious.

Stress and stress sweat can be caused by perceived physical threats, emotional anxiety, pain, and mental duress. Most of us experience stress sweat before a job interview, making a presentation in a meeting, receiving criticism or evaluation or even running late for an appointment.

How to Stop Stress Sweat

Ideally, the best way to stop anxiety sweating is to simply stop the stress. But for most of us, that’s just not an available option. So, here are a few ways to stop stress sweat and the unpleasant odor it brings:

Deodorants

Deodorants can stop stress sweat odor, although they can’t stop the sweat itself. Fragrances mask the undesirable odor and may help reduce bacteria, but they can’t do anything about those telltale sweat marks around your armpits.

Antiperspirants

Everyday antiperspirants can temporarily block sweat glands when the aluminum chloride ingredient comes in contact with sweat. These products usually contain a fragrance as well.

Prescription-Strength Antiperspirants

Prescription-strength antiperspirant products contain higher concentrations of aluminum chloride and can be purchased without a prescription. A single application can last up to 7 days. Prescription-strength antiperspirants can be an effective stress sweat treatment that works for many who suffer from stress sweating caused by anxiety or hyperhidrosis.

Other Treatments

If you find that antiperspirants or prescription antiperspirants don’t adequately manage or stop your stress sweat, there are other stress sweat treatments. However, these are more invasive and expensive. Treatment options include Botox injections, microwave treatments, and even surgical sweat gland removal.

How to Deal with Anxiety and Stress Sweat

Here are 11 ways to deal with sweat caused by stress and chronic anxiety:

1. Let Go and Relax

Much of the anxiety we all experience from time to time is due to our need to feel in control. Letting go of the urge to control every situation can go a long way to reducing the stress we feel. It sounds overly simplistic but relaxing a little can make a big difference.

2. Meditation, Visualization or Yoga

Meditation can help you contain your anxious feelings and relax your breathing. Relaxed breathing can quell an active stress response and help reduce stress. Visualizing desired outcomes and behavior can help form a healthy response to a stressful situation. Yoga is a mind-body activity that brings together physical activity, breathing control, meditation, and relaxation.

3. Dress to Sweat Less and Stress Less

Wearing loose-fitting clothes that breathes easily can help reduce sweating due to anxiety. Avoid tight-fitting clothing and artificial fabrics that aren’t absorbent and may constrict airflow. Don’t wear the same shoes every day and avoid socks made of cotton as they don’t wick away moisture. Wearing the right socks and changing them often will help keep sweaty feet at bay.

4. Limit “Sweat Triggers” from Your Diet

Your diet and blood sugar level can either help or hinder your efforts to control sweating due to anxiety. Here are some foods and beverages to avoid:

  • Stimulants, like caffeine, can put your nerves on edge. Minimize or eliminate coffee, tea, and caffeinated soft drinks.
  • Fatty, processed foods are low in fiber and harder to digest. Longer digestion times raise your body’s temperature and can trigger more perspiration.
  • Spicy foods.

5. Drink Your Water

Don’t skimp on your water consumption. Water contributes to just about every critical body function. When you don’t get enough water to keep your body running smoothly, it can lead to stress and anxiety. In fact, dehydration and stress go hand-in-hand. Stay hydrated to keep anxiety and sweat at bay.

6. Consider a Home Remedy

Home remedies for controlling sweat include herbal products like sage, chamomile, valerian root, and St. John’s Wort. When applied to the skin, apple cider vinegar is an astringent that can contract skin pores. Tomato juice is thought to have the same astringent effect as apple cider vinegar. Other natural treatments include tea tree oil (another astringent), fresh lemon rubbed on your underarms, and applying cornstarch, baking soda, or baby powder to sweaty areas. These remedies may be less effective if your sweat is caused by an anxiety disorder. But give them a try; they may work for you.

7. Splash Some Cool Water on Your Face and Wrists

Breaking away to a restroom for a few moments to splash some cool water on your face and wrists can help reduce profuse sweating caused by anxiety. Cooling your face and wrists signals the body that its internal temperature is okay. Also, taking, a minute or two away from the action will provide time to take a few deep breaths, slow down your breathing, and can help you relax.

8. Carry a Handkerchief or Baby Wipes

This is a simple but effective way of temporarily dealing with excessive sweat. When you experience forehead sweat or sweaty palms, a handkerchief can mop up profuse sweat before it becomes noticeable. If you can duck into a nearby restroom, a baby wipe can be used to clean up under your arms or wipe away nervous sweating.

9. Use a Prescription-Strength Antiperspirant

Applying a prescription-strength antiperspirant helps prevent sweat before it can cause you anxiety. A prescription-strength antiperspirant, like SweatBlock, can eliminate armpit sweat for up to 7 days. The powerful aluminum chloride ingredient blocks sweat glands and prevents perspiration from reaching the skin’s surface. Wetness and bad odor are prevented before they even happen. And now, there are specially formulated antiperspirant creams that can be applied to the hands and feet as well.

10. Anxiety Medications

If your profuse sweating is caused by stress, anxiety medication may help. Benzodiazepines are often prescribed for panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, and social anxiety disorder. Brand names include Xanax, Librium, Klonopin, Valium, and Ativan.

11. Other More Invasive and Expensive Treatments

If none of these remedies are helping you, it may be time to consider other more complex treatments. These medical treatments can be expensive and require a doctor’s care.

Botox Injections

Botox is a neurotoxin made from botulism microbes. Botox injected directly into the areas where sweating is a problem blocks the nerves from communicating with the sweat glands. While effective, Botox injections must be repeated every 6 months or so to prevent chronic anxiety sweat.

Microwave Therapy

Microwave therapy makes use of a device that sucks sweat glands close to the surface of the skin and then destroys them with microwave energy. A qualified doctor must perform this procedure.

Anticholinergic Drugs

Anticholinergic drugs work to block the hormone the nervous system uses to send signals to your sweat glands. When the signals are blocked, you don’t experience sweating of any kind. These drugs are expensive and come with a number of unwanted side effects.

Sweat Gland Surgery

As a final and last resort, doctors can surgically remove your sweat glands from the sites most prone to excessive and uncontrolled sweating. There are some potentially serious drawbacks to this procedure, and that’s why it’s reserved for only the most serious cases.

Dealing with Anxiety Sweating

Everybody experiences anxiety from time to time. But when anxiety takes control of your life and leads to excessive sweating (which in turn causes more anxiety), there are steps you can take to minimize your stress and calm your sweat glands.

The information in this article should better inform and educate about anxiety sweating and what can be done to curtail or eliminate it. Seek to understand the cause of your anxiety and try these tips for reducing sweating and staying calm. One of these solutions is bound to work for you. Think how much better life could be when anxiety sweating is no longer a problem. With the help of these remedies, you’ll be able to calm your mind–and your sweat glands.

Are you afraid to raise your arms? Do you often wear a coat or jacket to hide your sweaty armpits– even when it’s hot? Is your excessive armpit sweat always on your mind? If so, you’re among the millions of people who want to know why– and how– to stop sweaty underarms.

Why Do Armpits Sweat So Much?

Apocrine sweat glands are the real culprits when it comes to armpit sweat. Apocrine glands are found in high concentrations in the armpits, the groin, and areas around the nipples and breasts. Apocrine glands are a dual threat: Not only are they the cause for embarrassing and excessive underarm sweating, but the sweat from these glands also smells bad when it comes into contact with bacteria lying in wait on your skin. Soaked armpits and BO (body odor) are traveling companions. Fortunately, both can be controlled or eliminated.

sweaty armpits

Profuse armpit sweating can be caused by several factors:

Nervous Sweating

Whether it’s a job interview, first date, or an important business presentation, anxiety can cause nervous sweating, especially under the arms. If you are embarrassed by your sweating, that can make you even more nervous– which leads to more sweating. It’s a vicious cycle. When the stress or anxiety ends, so does the excessive armpit sweat.

Hot, Humid Environments

What happens to us on hot, sweltering days? Tidal waves of sweat wash over our us, making armpit sweat even worse. Like automatic sprinklers, your sweat glands turn on full blast until you cool down. Even though it’s healthy and normal, visible sweat is often embarrassing.

Physical Exercise

When you work out or engage in any strenuous exercise, eccrine sweat glands work overtime to stabilize body temperature. Your hypothalamus, which acts as your body’s thermometer, signals your sweat glands to secrete increased amounts of salty, smelly perspiration. Your heart rate increases, your blood pressure spikes, and you start breathing heavily. This elevated activity tells your sweat glands to pump harder.

Diet

Your diet matters– you really are what you eat, as the saying goes. Your eating habits can have a significant impact on your sweating.

Pregnancy

When you’re pregnant, hormone levels go bonkers, your metabolism can go wacky, and your blood pressure climbs. This causes your body to produce more sweat. But not to worry– in nine months, these bodily functions should normalize.

Menopause

Ladies, menopause plays havoc with your hormones, especially estrogen. The most common symptoms of hormonal changes are hot flashes and increased sweating. As far as hormones are concerned, menopause is a lot like pregnancy and will normalize in time.

Diabetes

Two things frequently happen to people with diabetes. First, diabetics tend to be overweight. Second, diabetic neuropathy caused by higher than normal levels of glucose can occur. Normal nerve function can be adversely affected if blood sugar levels stay high for too long. These two physiological factors dramatically increase the likelihood of increased sweating.

Hyperhidrosis

Hyperhidrosis is a medical situation known for excessive and uncontrolled sweating, usually with no discernible cause. Axillary hyperhidrosis, the medical term for excessive armpit sweat, is profuse and uncontrolled sweating of the underarms. While it’s a physiological condition, people who have it affirm that it also negatively affects their quality of life– physically, socially, emotionally and psychologically.

9 Ways to Stop Sweaty Armpits:

Knowing what causes armpit sweat is all well and good. But knowing how to stop sweating is even better. Most of these remedies can be accomplished at home without seeing a doctor or undergoing an invasive treatment. A few remedies will require a doctor’s care. Read on and see which remedies may be right for you.

1. Stay Hydrated to Reduce Underarm Sweating

Drinking lots of cool water throughout the day will help maintain your body’s internal temperature and control the sweating mechanism. Ample hydration can short circuit the body’s nervous system response to factors that trigger sweating by keeping body temperature lower, which in turn, reduces sweat production.

How much water should you drink? As much as it takes to prevent thirst, and enough so that your urine is more on the clear side than on the yellow. For some of us, this means drinking more than we’re used to. The rule of thumb, according to conventional wisdom, is to drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water every day. If you know you’ll be in a situation or environment that will create more sweating, drink even more.

2. Wear Breathable Clothing

Another natural and often effective way to combat excessive sweating is found in the clothes you wear. Your choice of clothing can either increase perspiration in the underarm areas, or help you feel more comfortable and confident.

Clothing made from natural materials will help you stay cooler and avoid sweaty armpits, reducing those nasty sweat stains. Fabrics such as cotton, wool, silk, and linen weave together more loosely, enabling them to breathe. These natural fibers also absorb moisture. By keeping moisture off the skin, you can prevent sweat from mixing with the bacteria that causes a strong smell and brings unwanted attention.

On the other hand, clothing made from man-made fibers like nylon, rayon, and polyester doesn’t breathe well. These artificial materials are woven together much more tightly and actually prevent moisture from evaporating. Do we need to go into detail about what trapped heat and moisture in and around your armpits will do to your social life? Global climate change is bad enough without creating a mini-greenhouse effect in your underarms.

To be fair, there are some man-made microfiber fabrics that are designed to wick away moisture from the skin so it can evaporate more quickly. If you’re going to wear clothing made from artificial fibers, make sure it’s not going to make life more difficult.

3. Use Antiperspirant

One of the questions we hear most often is “what’s the best deodorant for sweaty armpits?” You probably already use a deodorant every day to prevent embarrassing body odor. Deodorants are a one-trick-pony, however, and only cover up the odor. While stopping odor is good, stopping sweat is better.

For that, you need more than a deodorant: You need an antiperspirant. Deodorant and antiperspirant are not the same, learn more here.

An antiperspirant containing some form of aluminum salt compound (usually aluminum chloride) can reduce underarm sweat. Antiperspirants are available in many forms, including roll-ons, sprays, and solid rub-on sticks. There are formulations specifically designed for men and for women. They are readily available in every grocery store and drug store.

The aluminum chloride (or similar) ingredient works to block sweat glands in the armpits. When aluminum chloride comes into contact with water, it combines with moisture in perspiration to create a gel-like plug that temporarily blocks the sweat glands. Since sweat cannot reach the skin’s surface, you stay dry.

Everyday antiperspirants can be an effective armpit sweat treatment for those who don’t sweat excessively. The plugs dissipate over time, so everyday antiperspirants are just that– they must be applied every day. And, be careful: You’ll want to wait a day or so after shaving your armpits, as antiperspirants can cause mild skin irritation.

4. Try a Clinical or Prescription Strength Antiperspirant

For many of us, everyday antiperspirants are just not enough. If that’s true for you and your armpits feel like a wet sauna all the time, you may want to try a prescription strength antiperspirant. These antiperspirants contain higher concentrations of aluminum chloride.

These are the strongest antiperspirants you can get without having to visit your doctor. Because clinical strength antiperspirants are more powerful, they’re an ideal solution for people who suffer from excessive armpit sweating or axillary hyperhidrosis.

5. Learn to Manage Stress and Anxiety

Stress seems to be inescapable. Public speaking, meeting new people, a job interview, family concerns, or just trying to get through traffic can cause stress, anxiety, and nervous sweating. When you become anxious, the flight responses kick in– your breathing rate increases, your heart begins to race, your mouth suddenly feels like the Mojave Desert, and– you guessed it– your sweat glands switch into overdrive.

How can we sweat less when faced with stressful situations? Try to understand what triggers your anxiety, so you can stay relaxed. Letting go of the constant need to be in control can help quiet your body’s response to anxiety.

Other important elements of stress management include proper exercise, getting enough sleep, and replacing negative thoughts with optimistic ones. You may find meditation or yoga helpful in managing anxiety. Find what works for you and your armpits will stay drier.

6. Is Your Diet to Blame for Sweaty Armpits?

Are you one of those people who finds that certain foods and beverages cause more underarm sweat? Some of the things we take into our bodies not only cause us to sweat more profusely, but they cause us to smell bad too. Among the repeat offenders are caffeinated beverages, alcoholic drinks, onions, garlic, and peppers.

It might not be too much of an exaggeration to say that the world runs on caffeine. It’s in hot morning beverages, soft drinks, energy drinks, and countless other beverages and snacks. If your morning starts with a few cups of coffee, and your day is punctuated with a popular caffeinated soft drink or two, you have an important choice to make.

Coffee and tea not only raise your internal temperature, but the caffeine they contain sends your sweat glands into high gear. Additional sources of caffeine throughout the day certainly don’t help. Spicy foods can also cause your body to pump out more sweat. Peppers contain a compound called capsaicin, which can signal your sweat glands to work harder. Changing your diet can help reduce sweating.

7. Check Your Medications

If you’re sweating more than usual– not just in your armpits, but on your feet, palms, groin, neck, or thighs– you might want to reevaluate the medications you’re taking. Here’s a list of some most common medications known to cause excessive sweating.

  • Antidepressants
  • Migraine Medications
  • Pain Relievers
  • Diabetes Medication
  • Asthma Inhalers
  • Heartburn and Reflux Medicine
  • Sildenafil (Viagra)
  • Breast Cancer Medications

8. See Your Doctor

Unrelenting and excessive sweating may be caused by an underlying illness or condition. A visit to your doctor is the best way to determine if there’s something more than sweating occurring. Excessive sweating for men and women can be caused by heart disease, thyroid problems, hypoglycemia, leukemia, tuberculosis, and other disorders.

Hyperhidrosis is another condition responsible for excessive sweating. Primary focal hyperhidrosis affects a certain area (or areas) of the body. Excessive armpit sweating is called axillary hyperhidrosis, which is a form of primary focal hyperhidrosis.

The second form hyperhidrosis is called generalized hyperhidrosis, and it affects the entire body. This type of hyperhidrosis is often caused by an underlying illness or condition. Your doctor will be able to accurately diagnose any illnesses or condition that may be responsible for your excessive sweating.

9. Consider Other Medical Solutions

If none of the remedies we’ve discussed so far helps reduce your excessive armpit sweating, you may want to explore more expensive and invasive ways of reducing underarm sweat.

Botox Treatments
Botox (Botulinum Toxin) is best known as a treatment for reducing wrinkles. Botox can also reduce the effects of excessive sweating, especially in the armpits, by temporarily disrupting the chemical substance that signals armpit sweat glands. Botox treatments for excessive underarm sweat are temporary and must be repeated every 6 to 12 months.

Nerve-Blocking Medications for Hyperhidrosis
Some medications taken orally can block the chemicals that allow certain nerves to communicate with each other. These are called anticholinergics. The effects are similar to those achieved through Botox injections. The medication works by blocking the chemical acetylcholine in its travel to the receptors on the sweat glands. These drugs are not for everyone and they do come with unwanted side effects.

Topically applied anticholinergics, like Qbrexza (recently FDA approved), are also available for axillary hyperhidrosis.

Microwave Treatments for Excessive Sweating Symptoms
If the thought of having your armpit sweat glands microwaved (or nuked in today’s vernacular), doesn’t bother you, this approach might work. Treatments like miraDry use microwave energy to destroy the sweat glands responsible for underarm sweat. After local anesthesia is administered by your doctor, a vacuum-like hand-held device is used to pull sweat glands close to the surface of the skin. While the device cools the upper layers of your skin, the microwaves destroy the sweat glands in your underarms.

Sweat Gland Removal Surgery
Extremely severe underarm sweating may be treated by permanently removing sweat glands. The procedure requires the services of a plastic surgeon. Either a traditional surgical approach or a less invasive treatment called “suction curettage” can be used. Suction curettage is a modified form of liposuction. It’s an outpatient treatment so there’s no need to spend a night in the hospital.

Sweltering summer weather. Intense workouts. First dates. Test jitters.

Sweaty boobs.

It’s true – lots of situations can send your sweat glands into overdrive. When our sweat glands are really working, we can sweat just about anywhere on our bodies – and the very worst kind of sweat may be boob sweat.

Boob sweat is absolutely normal, and most women experience it at some point. If you’re curious about how to prevent boob sweat, here’s a few helpful tips.

boob sweat

10 Ways to Prevent Boob Sweat

  • 1. Find the Right Bra
  • 2. Wear a Lot of Black
  • 3. Go for Cotton
  • 4. Wear Looser Clothing
  • 5. Use Moroccan Argan Oil
  • 6. Try Sweat Pads or Liners
  • 7. Apply an Antiperspirant
  • 8. Carry Body Wipes
  • 9. Use an Anti-Chafing Powder
  • 10. Don’t Forget Anti-Chafing Gels and Creams

Boob sweat can be annoying and embarrassing – but the good news is that it’s also controllable. Keep reading to find out more about how to battle underboob sweat and keep those beads of sweat from pooling in your bra.

Why Do Boobs Sweat?

While boobs are generally great, one downside is that anytime skin touches skin, it creates the potential to block sweat evaporation. This makes the area under or between the breasts prone to sweat accumulation – especially for large breasts or those that droop (darn gravity!). The combination of hot, humid weather, friction, and poor air circulation under boobs can conspire to make stinky boob sweat a serious problem.

Sometimes, though, boob sweat is caused by hormonal issues instead of environmental ones. If you’re unexpectedly sweating more than usual or if you notice a new boob sweat smell, you may want to talk to your dermatologist.

In addition to feeling embarrassed and uncomfortable, boob sweat can also lead to more serious concerns like chafing or underboob rash. Symptoms of an underboob sweat rash include red skin that’s itchy and irritable, along with a burning sensation or broken skin.

Fortunately, you don’t have to suffer from any of these conditions. Let’s explore more in detail how to stop boob sweat and prevent these uncomfortable side effects.

10 Ways to Prevent Boob Sweat

1. Find the Right Bra

The fit and material of your bra are extremely important – and the best bra for boob sweat is ultimately a personal choice. Especially during the hottest summer months, a lightweight bra can keep your girls from overheating. A bra should be comfortable and offer good support – a tight, uncomfortable underwire bra can make you more susceptible to chafing. Your bra should lift your breasts away from your chest and also keep your breasts from rubbing against each other. This can make sure your skin is as aerated as possible. The good news is that bra manufacturers are getting wise to dealing with boob sweat, so they’re starting to make more sweat-wicking options available.

Try to find materials that are as breathable as possible. During the summer season, a good, supportive bra made of cotton is often best. Some women prefer mesh bras, which are thin and usually unpadded. The mesh material wicks away moisture, ensuring that sweat evaporates rather than pooling between your boobs or oozing down to your belly button. Spacer bras, or those made from specially formulated breathable materials, can also be effective options. And while they may feel sexy, silky underwear bras that are tight, lacy or padded can increase your chances for boob sweat by constricting your girls – so say goodbye to them if sweating becomes a problem.

Some women find sports bras an effective option, but be careful. Traditional sports bra materials are often too thick or bulky for excessive sweating. Something in a breathable, moisture-wicking fabric will work better.

Make sure to wear a clean, new bra every day (don’t act like you haven’t worn yours multiple days in a row– we’ve all done it). Especially during hot summer months, make sure to avoid wearing a bra without washing it first. Smelly boob sweat doesn’t get better with age.

2. Wear a Lot of Black

Black hides sweat and unseemly wet spots better than any other color you can wear, so it’s a great option when facing a sweaty day. It won’t stop the boob sweat, but it can cut down on the embarrassment if you sweat through your shirt. In fact, sweat is practically invisible on black clothing.

3. Go for Cotton

As a light and naturally breathable fabric, cotton can help keep heat and sweat from being trapped under cleavage. The only con is that once it’s wet, cotton takes a long time to completely dry out, so be warned.

4. Wear Looser Clothing

When it comes to boob sweat prevention, air is your best friend. The looser your blouse, the more air you allow to move through and help sweat evaporate. Conversely, tight tops only serve to trap both moisture and heat. The tighter your top, the more likely it is for sweaty spots to appear like twin smiley faces. Fabrics like linen and cotton in loosely-fit styles will both increase airflow and help hide boob sweat.

5. Use Moroccan Argan Oil

Moroccan argan oil has been a beauty secret for centuries. It’s especially effective for treating skin infections caused by bacteria and contains more antioxidant properties than coconut oil. Many women swear that argan works wonders for boob sweat, minimizing both the initial sweating and the resulting irritation.

Try applying a few drops of oil underneath your breasts. If you suffer from irritation or itchiness related to boob sweat, Moroccan argan can help calm down your skin. Some women report that sweating, odor, and discomfort completely disappear after a few days of applying Moroccan argan oil. It also has the added bonus of being a natural product.

6. Try Sweat Pads or Liners

Bra liners are just what they sound like – small pieces of fabric that you can wear under boobs to create a sweat-absorbing barrier. These liners are good options for those with sensitive skin or who otherwise don’t want to apply products like powders or creams to the breast area. Some women even report using panty liners to help soak up the sweat that pools in the bottom of their bras. The pads also absorb moisture and protect your clothing from sweat stains – just pop them at the base of your bra cups and enjoy their sweat-absorbing mojo. Just make sure you choose an option that’s 100 percent cotton.

If you’d like something a bit more sophisticated, you can also invest in a specially-designed bra liner, which can prevent irritation by pulling dampness away from your skin. Many popular versions are made with cotton or even bamboo. You can also use nursing pads as boob sweat pads– they’re designed to fit inside a bra cup, so they’re already the right size and absorbency.

7. Swipe on an Antiperspirant

It sounds weird, but you can use some antiperspirants under your boobs to prevent sweat. Many dermatologists recommend a cream or soft solid. Be careful to choose something that won’t leave white marks on your cleavage. Some women report success by swiping a little below their boobs when they apply it to their underarm areas – after all, antiperspirants are meant to stop sweat wherever it may be on your body. Check with a medical professional before applying stronger clinical or prescription strength antiperspirants the the chest/breast area.

8. Carry Body Wipes

Body wipes are fantastic for quick freshen-ups. Carry them in your bag, and then you have them available anytime your girls start sweating. You’ll head off odors, clean your skin and feel generally fresher. Body wipes are gentle on your skin and not overly perfumed – you can get mildly fragranced versions for a touch of boob deodorant or opt for completely fragrance-free.

9. Use an Anti-Chafing Powder

Friction is your enemy when it comes to boob sweat. When your breasts rub against your chest, it can result in chafing and even nipple pain. This boob-rub friction also creates heat, which kicks the sweat into overdrive. Baby powder is a popular choice for absorbing sweat, reducing odor and guarding against both rashes and chafing. One downside to baby powder is that it’s usually absorbed pretty quickly. While it may be effective for night time or when you’re hanging out at home, sometimes baby powder struggles to keep up with your boob sweat demands during the whole day. Powders with corn starch can be a highly effective option, so look for products that use corn starch as their main ingredient (as opposed to baby powder, which is talc-based).

In addition, some beauty companies have even started making powder – and even powder sprays – specifically formulated to reduce sweating. They can reduce chafing and leave your skin feeling smooth and dry. Before applying any powder, make sure the underboob area is fully dry. Use clean hands and make sure to pat on gently under the breast area.

10. Don’t Forget Anti-Chafing Gels and Creams

If you’re looking for a more natural solution, you can find many gels and creams that can prevent chafing and help reduce moisture and odor. An anti-chafing gel or cream is often less messy than powder and can be carried in your purse throughout the day for quick touch-ups as needed. Don’t apply too much– if you do, it can leave a residue.

Keep in mind that your cleavage isn’t the only area of the body that can suffer from chafing. For more helpful tips, be sure to read out our article on preventing thigh chafing.

Boob Sweat: The Struggle is Real

The struggle is real with boob sweat. When it happens, it can be uncomfortable, annoying and potentially super embarrassing. Not only does it soak your shirt with ugly sweat stains, but it can also cause a whole host of other problems, ranging from chafing to underboob rash and other skin irritations.

It goes without saying, but it’s important to practice good hygiene by showering every day and drying yourself completely with a clean towel. You can even use the cool setting on your blow dryer to completely dry any dampness under boobs after your shower.

But when you need additional help battling boob sweat, don’t lose heart! If you follow these recommendations for preventing boob sweat and chafing, you’ll be on your way to a dryer and worry-free experience– even in the summertime.

If you suffer from excessive and uncontrollable sweating, a condition known as hyperhidrosis, you’ve probably investigated various treatments. Stopping the embarrassing and life-altering effects of hyperhidrosis is a daily, never-ending quest. Iontophoresis hyperhidrosis treatments might be the solution for you. If you’ve never heard of iontophoresis therapy, this article will help answer your questions.

Iontophoresis.

Iontophoresis: Frequently Asked Questions

  • 1. What is iontophoresis? Who invented it and when?
  • 2. How does iontophoresis therapy work?
  • 3. Does iontophoresis work for hyperhidrosis?
  • 4. How often should I have treatments?
  • 5. When will iontophoresis start working?
  • 6. What areas of the body can be treated with iontophoresis?
  • 7. Can iontophoresis work on my underarms?
  • 8. What is an iontophoresis patch and how does it work?
  • 9. Does iontophoresis hurt?
  • 10. Can I be electrically shocked by iontophoresis?
  • 11. Is the iontophoresis treatment permanent?
  • 12. Are there side effects from iontophoresis?
  • 13. Who performs iontophoresis?
  • 14. Will my insurance pay for iontophoresis?
  • 15. How much do iontophoresis treatments cost?
  • 16. What is the best iontophoresis machine for me?
  • 17. How much will an iontophoresis machine cost and where can I buy one?
  • 18. What if I’m pregnant? (and other iontophoresis contraindications)
  • 19. What other hyperhidrosis treatments can I try?

1. What is iontophoresis? Who invented it and when?

Iontophoresis is a medical procedure which uses a mild electrical current to gently push medications through the skin while the treated body area is submerged in water. You might think of it as an injection without a needle. The procedure is most often used to treat hyperhidrosis or uncontrolled, profuse sweating. It can also be used to treat injuries related to sports by delivering anti-inflammatory medicines directly through the skin.

The idea of using weak electrical energy to deliver medicine dates back to the mid-18th century. Significant progress was made by several researchers in the 19th century and the concept gained serious traction soon after. In the early 1900’s, Dr. Stéphan Leducafter, a French physician, published a series of scientific papers on the subject. Other contributors to the science were Benjamin Ward Richardson, Hermann Munk, William James Morton, and Fritz Frankenhäuser.

Recently, researchers have given iontophoresis a fancy new name: “electrically-assisted transdermal drug delivery.” This is what too many years of education can do. 😉

2. How does iontophoresis therapy work?

Iontophoresis works on the principle of ions. In this instance, the ions are water-soluble substances that carry either a positive or negative charge. Like the poles of a magnet, the positive electrode repels and the negative electrode attracts. By running a mild galvanic (direct) current through a shallow container of water, an ion can be pushed into the skin if the active electrode has the same charge as the target ion. The principle is the same as when two positive ends of a magnet push away from each other when they are placed together. Because the skin is an excellent barrier and protects the body from outside intrusion, iontophoresis has limited value in delivering medications directly into the skin.

Generally speaking, a patient receiving iontophoresis treatment for hyperhidrosis sits with one or both hands or feet immersed in a shallow pan or tray filled with tap water. Normally anticholinergic medicines are placed in the water that block the transmission of nerve signals to the sweat glands. By stimulating the iontophoresis electrodes, the electrical current “pushes” the medication into the skin. Treatments can last from 15 to 40 minutes.

3. Does iontophoresis work for hyperhidrosis?

The short answer is yes. While iontophoresis has limited usefulness in treating other conditions, it can be effective in treating certain types of primary or focal hyperhidrosis. The procedure is routinely used for the treatment of palmar hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating of the hands) and plantar hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating of the feet).

4. How often should I have treatments?

Always consult with your doctor before beginning a regimen of iontophoresis treatments. Usually, the process is repeated 3 times a week in the beginning, and until sweating is reduced to the desired degree. Then patients are switched to a schedule of one treatment each week.

To maintain effectiveness, treatments must be consistent and performed regularly before your sweating begins to return.

5. When will iontophoresis start working?

Patience is a virtue. That may not be a comforting thought as you deal with excessive, unrelenting sweating, but it’s important to keep in mind. How long it takes to see results varies significantly from person to person. Some patients report positive results in the first day of treatment. For others, it may require three to four weeks of consistent treatment before the sweating is significantly reduced. Most patients see a discernable difference by the end of the first week. If it’s going to work for you, that’s the benchmark to keep in mind. Long-term improvement is usually achieved after a few weeks of regular treatments.

6. What areas of the body can be treated with iontophoresis?

Iontophoresis has been used to treat hyperhidrosis since the 1940’s. Most medical studies have focused on the procedure for hyperhidrosis of the feet (plantar) and the hands (palmar). Fewer studies have examined hyperhidrosis of the armpits (axillary).

In one year-long study of 27 patients with palmoplantar hyperhidrosis (affecting the hands and feet), there was a “good” response. Desired improvement took from 2 to 4 weeks. In every successful case, ongoing treatment was necessary to maintain dryness. When used correctly, iontophoresis can have a positive effect on 85% to 90% of hyperhidrosis patients.

7. Can iontophoresis work on my underarms?

The evidence collected so far shows that iontophoresis of the underarms might be an effective option for some people. The International Hyperhidrosis Society notes that iontophoresis is generally less effective than other methods for managing underarm sweating. A clinical strength antiperspirant may be more effective in treating excessive underarm sweating.

8. What is an iontophoresis patch and how does it work?

An iontophoresis patch is an electrodynamic patch made from fabric material mingled with photovoltaic cells. Micro-currents are created by the transdermal patch when it comes in contact with the skin. These currents use the iontophoresis principle to suppress the sweat glands from secreting sweat. Iontophoretic patches can be used on hands and feet, but are especially suited for underarm iontophoresis treatments.

A pouch containing a dosage of medication can be attached to an iontophoresis patch which delivers the medication directly through the skin. Iontophoresis dexamethasone is a cortisone-like medication that is often used in conjunction with this treatment. It can provide relief from inflammation and helps prevent unwanted side effects. Sometimes a Diclofenac gel is applied topically to reduce the inflammation.

The ActivaPatch is a self-contained single-use drug delivery patch that contains an electrical source (a battery), electrode and chamber into which desired medicines can be placed. Once adhered to the skin in the desired location, it can provide up to 2.5 hours of iontophoresis treatment.

9. Does iontophoresis hurt?

No, iontophoresis treatments are not known to cause pain. But at the same time, it’s not what you would call “pleasant” either. When performed correctly, the treatment is rarely painful, though many patients report feeling mildly uncomfortable.

You will likely experience a tingling sensation during the process. Be sure you don’t have any open sores or wounds in the area to be treated. The sensation will be much stronger if the current passes through open skin. You can cover any open skin with petroleum jelly to protect it.

10. Can I be electrically shocked by iontophoresis?

You can’t be seriously electrically shocked, but you may feel surprised by the tingling. The voltage of the electrical current used in iontophoresis is low and not strong enough to cause a harmful shock. But if it’s not done correctly, or if you remove your hands or feet from the water during treatment– or if equipment malfunctions– the sensation might be a trifle unexpected. You may temporarily experience minor heel pain during an improper foot treatment, for example. Be sure to remove any metal jewelry beforehand.

As the electrical current is increased, any unpleasant sensation will increase. But you’ll be in control and you’ll be able to decrease the current if the treatment becomes too uncomfortable. It’s a good idea to have another person present during treatments. If you’re using an iontophoresis machine at home, be sure to completely read the manufacturer’s user guide and follow all suggested instructions and precautions.

11. Is the iontophoresis treatment permanent?

No, iontophoresis for hyperhidrosis is not a permanent solution. After the initial treatment period when the desired level of sweat reduction is achieved, maintenance treatments must be continued indefinitely (usually once a week). It is important not to wait until the excessive sweating returns. Permanent hyperhidrosis treatments require more invasive treatments or surgical options.

12. Are there side effects from iontophoresis?

While iontophoresis is a safe and relatively pain-free treatment, some patients may experience some minor adverse effects. The good news is that any side effects are easily alleviated and generally not serious. The most common side effect is itching and drying of the skin. Apply a moisturizing cream or lotion after each treatment to hydrate and soothe dry skin. Other possible side effects include blistering, skin irritation and peeling.

13. Who performs iontophoresis?

Many primary care or family practice doctors can administer the iontophoresis treatments. Some neurologists, internists, and surgeons will also offer the treatment. Seeking out a dermatologist will probably be your best bet.

After initial treatments performed by a qualified physician, it is not uncommon for patients to continue treatments at home with equipment that can be purchased for personal use.

14. Will my insurance pay for iontophoresis?

That depends on your insurance carrier. Sadly, iontophoresis for hyperhidrosis is a treatment that some insurance carriers consider unproven or investigational. If that’s the case for you, you’ll have to pay out-of-pocket. Some physicians will allow you to negotiate the cost of treatment if your insurance will not cover it.

15. How much do iontophoresis treatments cost?

Iontophoresis treatments in a doctor’s office will set you back about $150 to $200 per session. Costs can vary significantly depending on the selected practitioner and location. It’s going to cost you more in Los Angeles than in Fargo, North Dakota.

If you decide to administer the treatments yourself after your initial doctor visits, you can purchase your own equipment. When you consider the cost of several treatments at the doctor’s office, this investment can be a cost-saving alternative.

16. What is the best iontophoresis machine for me?

The best machine for your specific condition depends on a lot of variables. Be aware that the manufacturer of any iontophoresis device is going to claim that their machine is the best. Here are important factors to consider when looking to purchase an iontophoresis machine for home use:

  • Affordability – Find a device that works within your budget. You’ll find many that will work.
  • Machine size – If the machine will be used at home, size may not be an issue. If you travel a lot, you’ll want something you can pack and take with you.
  • Safety – Find a machine that has safety features that eliminate the possibility of electrical shock.
  • Timers – The duration of treatments is critical to potential success. An onboard timer will be helpful in making sure treatments aren’t too short or too long.
  • Power source – Some machines are battery powered only. Replacing those batteries can be expensive.
  • Warranty and Service – Choose a machine that includes a warranty (at least 12 months) and be sure the manufacturer offers a user-friendly customer service program.

17. How much will an iontophoresis machine cost and where can I buy one?

A quality iontophoresis machine with basic features should cost somewhere between $500 – $700. If your budget won’t allow for an investment of several hundred dollars, there are low-cost machines available online starting at about $100. Be cautious of low-priced machines, as safety features and build quality may have not been high on the maker’s priority list. Do your research. There are many choices available online, and they can also be purchased from local medical supply brick-and-mortar stores. Also, if you’re handy, it’s fairly simple and easy to build one of your own.

18. What if I’m pregnant? (and other iontophoresis contraindications)

Always consult a doctor before commencing iontophoresis treatments. There are several conditions and situations for which either extra caution or total avoidance of the treatment are necessary.

  • If you wear a pacemaker – The electrical current used in iontophoresis, although mild, may interfere with a pacemaker.
  • Pregnancy – Iontophoresis has not been tested on pregnant women. If you’re pregnant, iontophoresis treatments are not recommended.
  • Metal orthopedic implants – Because electrical current will pass through the parts of the body being treated, any metal implants in those areas can cause problems. Talk to your physician about the treatment if you have any metal implants in your body.
  • Cardiac arrhythmia – Electrical impulses trigger your heart to beat. If you have an irregular heart condition, you should avoid iontophoresis unless your doctor specifically recommends it and supervises the treatment.
  • Skin rash or disease – Iontophoresis therapy should be avoided if a skin rash or skin disease is present in the affected areas.

19. What other hyperhidrosis treatments can I try?

Iontophoresis is considered a tier 3 treatment. That means there are other treatments for hyperhidrosis that are recommended before resorting to the use of an iontophoresis machine.

One of the most effective treatments for hyperhidrosis is a clinical strength antiperspirant like SweatBlock. It is highly effective for controlling underarm sweating, as well as hand, feet, and head sweating. Clinical strength antiperspirants are not expensive, and they’re easy to use, and they’re readily available online and in local drugstores.

There are other hyperhidrosis treatments that may be worth considering. Many are more expensive and more invasive than iontophoresis. These include Botox injections, and using electromagnetic or microwave energy for killing sweat glands. Irreversible surgery is also an option. Once again, talking with a doctor about your specific situation is the best course of action. He or she can prescribe the treatment that best suits you.

The Bottom Line

Iontophoresis is a widely accepted and proven treatment for sufferers of hyperhidrosis. Whether it’s a good treatment for you will depend on the seriousness of your sweating condition and other symptom relief treatments you may have already tried. Now that you have a better understanding of iontophoresis, you’ll be able to make an informed decision about how best to treat your hyperhidrosis. You do have options, and the good news is that there’s a treatment that will likely work well for you. Don’t give up… life can be good again!

Are you sweating profusely for no apparent reason? Is it the kind of sweating that can’t be explained by exercise or external temperature– or even unusual stress?

The cause of your excessive sweating may be diaphoresis.

In this article we’ll explore the following topics surrounding diaphoresis…

  • What is Diaphoresis?
  • What Causes Diaphoresis?
  • What Medications Can Cause Diaphoresis?
  • How is Diaphoresis Different than Hyperhidrosis?
  • When Should I Get Medical Help or Talk to My Doctor?
  • What are the Treatment Options for Diaphoresis?

Why do we sweat? Sweating is the natural way the body manages and regulates its temperature. When functioning normally, your body perspires when you’re engaged in exertion or physical exercise, exposed to external heat, and even when you’re feeling unusual mental or emotional stress.

When you perspire, your brain signals the millions of sweat glands located all over your body (except ear canals, lips, and genitals) to secret moisture composed mostly of water and electrolytes. Once this sweat reaches the surface of the skin, it evaporates. The evaporation of your sweat dissipates heat which in turn cools the body.

If unusual and excessive sweating occurs for no apparent reason, then something else is going on. It may be primary hyperhidrosis (more about that later) or diaphoresis. It’s important to understand the difference to know exactly what’s happening with your body.

Diaphoresis

What is Diaphoresis?

Diaphoresis is excessive sweating caused by one or more secondary (meaning separate and not related) medical conditions. It can also be a side effect of certain medications. Diaphoresis is not a problem of a malfunctioning nervous system or overactive sweat glands, and treating it successfully usually requires medical attention to discover the specific cause.

Diaphoresis is also known as secondary hyperhidrosis because it is a symptom of a secondary disorder. Once the cause is identified and properly treated, the excessive sweating stops.

What Causes Diaphoresis?

There are dozens of diseases and medical conditions that can cause diaphoresis. Some of the most common causes are:

Menopause

A majority of women (85% or more) experience periods of increased sweating, night sweats, and hot flashes during menopause. As a woman transitions from fertility to infertility, fluctuating hormones send false signals to the brain that the body is overheating. This results in excessive perspiration and night sweats. Once the menopausal change progresses, the bouts of profuse sweating and night sweats usually cease. Some women find relief through hormone therapy for a short time.

Obesity

Obesity can cause diaphoresis in both men and women. Defined as having a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher, obesity is very common in the United States and affects one-third of all adults. Losing sufficient weight almost always causes the excessive sweating to stop.

Diabetes

For people with diabetes, sweating profusely is an early symptom of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). Critically low blood sugar is a result of either too much insulin or too little sugar. This causes the body to lapse into a fight-or-flight state, releasing hormones that increase sweating. Proper management of diabetes significantly reduces the occurrence of diaphoresis.

Parkinson’s Disease

Coping with Parkinson’s disease is very difficult, but when you add excessive sweating to the equation it becomes even worse. Parkinson’s disease affects the autonomic nervous system, causing the body to lose its ability to properly regulate many body functions. Changes in the sweat glands often occur and can cause Parkinson’s sufferers to sweat uncontrollably.

Pregnancy

Increased hormone levels (some may say raging hormones) in a woman’s body during pregnancy can cause heavy perspiration. As a pregnant woman’s metabolism speeds up, her body temperature rises, which can cause abnormal sweating. The extra weight gained during pregnancy may also increase the likelihood of diaphoresis. Fortunately, it’s only a 9-month-long condition, then the sweat glands return to normal.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that affects the body’s joints, causing swelling, pain, and stiffness. A common symptom of this disorder is excessive sweating.

Hyperthyroidism

Hyperthyroidism is a medical condition in which the thyroid gland shifts into hyperactivity, producing too much of the hormone thyroxine. The overabundance of thyroxine speeds up the body’s metabolism and causes heavy sweating (among a number of other symptoms).

Heart Attack

A heart attack, aka myocardial infarction, happens when a portion of your heart muscle becomes damaged or dies. Symptoms include heavy sweating, faintness, chest pain, pain in one or both arms, shortness of breath, nausea or vomiting, and a pale or ashen colored face.

Cancer

Diaphoresis is linked to several types of cancer. Among them are lymphoma, leukemia, bone cancer, liver cancer, testicular cancer, as well as carcinoid tumors.

Anaphylaxis

Anaphylaxis is an intense and acute allergic reaction. One of the first signs of an anaphylaxis reaction is an instant onset of heavy and profuse sweating. Anaphylaxis is a life-threatening reaction that requires immediate attention and treatment.

Alcohol and Drug Withdrawal

Profuse sweating often occurs when those addicted to alcohol or drugs go through withdrawal. Going “cold turkey” not only leads to excessive sweating but also includes other reactions that can be temporarily life-threatening.

Gout

Diaphoresis (secondary hyperhidrosis) can also be caused by gout. Gout is a common form of arthritis that develops from high levels of uric acid in the blood. It can strike anyone. In addition to excessive sweating, other symptoms of gout include sudden swelling and joint pain, usually in the big toe.

What Medications Can Cause Diaphoresis?

There are hundreds of medicines that have been known to cause excessive sweating. The most common medicines that can cause diaphoresis include:

Antidepressants

All varieties and classes of antidepressants may cause diaphoresis. Antidepressants increase serotonin levels in the brain. Serotonin affects the hypothalamus, which is the part of the brain that regulates the body’s core temperature.

Migraine Medication

Medicine for migraines can cause excessive sweating if they contain triptan– such as sumatriptan, rizatriptan, frovatriptan and eletriptan. These substances also increase serotonin levels.

Pain Relievers

Aspirin or ibuprofen are known to cause excessive sweating. The over-the-counter pain medicines reduce a fever by dilating blood vessels, causing heat to be dissipated through the skin. Opioids may also cause heavy sweating.

Diabetes Medication

Insulin, glyburide, glipizide, pioglitazone, and other diabetes medication are known to cause diaphoresis. Heavy sweating can occur as the body adjusts to altered blood sugar levels.

Asthma Inhalers

Certain asthma inhalers which contain beta-agonist drugs may trigger excessive sweating. Albuterol and levalbuterol directly stimulate sweat glands to produce more sweat.

Heartburn Medication

Heartburn and reflux medicines like Prilosec and Prevacid are known to cause sweating as a side effect.

Sildenafil (Viagra)

Viagra, known as sildenafil in its generic form, may also cause diaphoresis. The drug dilates blood vessels to heighten blood flow, which can cause flushing and spontaneous sweating.

Ropinirole

Also known as Requip, this medication is commonly prescribed to treat restless leg syndrome and Parkinson’s disease. It activates dopamine receptors which can lead to profuse sweating.

Breast Cancer Medication

Excessive sweating can be a side effect of certain breast cancer medications, such as anastrozole, exemestane, letrozole, and tamoxifen. These drugs are anti-estrogen compounds designed to prevent breast cancer from recurring.

Leuprolide

Luprolide, known commercially as the brand name Lupron, is a drug prescribed to treat endometriosis and prostate cancer. It lowers hormone levels in both men and women and can lead to heavy sweating and night sweats.

How is Diaphoresis Different than Hyperhidrosis?

There are two types of hyperhidrosis– primary hyperhidrosis (also called focal hyperhidrosis) and secondary hyperhidrosis (sometimes called generalized hyperhidrosis).

Diaphoresis and secondary hyperhidrosis are synonymous they are different medical terms for the same condition. But diaphoresis is different from primary (focal) hyperhidrosis. Let’s explore how diaphoresis is like secondary hyperhidrosis but different from primary hyperhidrosis.

Primary or focal hyperhidrosis is a serious medical disorder that is characterized by excessive, uncontrollable sweating not related to heat or exercise. Recent research indicates that it affects about 5% or the world’s population. It can be focused on the underarms (axillary hyperhidrosis), the hands or palms (palmar hyperhidrosis), the feet (plantar hyperhidrosis) or the head and face (craniofacial hyperhidrosis).

What causes primary hyperhidrosis is unknown, but it is thought to be hereditary. The nervous system triggers localized sweat glands, known as eccrine glands, into hyperactivity for no apparent reason and without external stimuli such as elevated body temperature and exertion. This extreme perspiration can negatively affect the physical, emotional, mental and social aspects of life. There is no cure. However, there are numerous effective treatments that can reduce or eliminate the excessive sweating due to primary hyperhidrosis.

The cause of secondary hyperhidrosis, or diaphoresis, is something else entirely. While the symptoms of diaphoresis and primary hyperhidrosis are identical– profuse, uncontrollable sweating– diaphoresis is caused by a secondary or underlying cause not related to over-active sweat glands. The possible causes include the disorders and medications identified above as well as dozens of other less common ones. Unlike primary hyperhidrosis, once the underlying disorder is successfully treated, the excessive sweating usually stops.

When Should I Get Medical Help or Talk to My Doctor?

It’s normal to sweat when you work out, become hot, or find yourself in a nervous or anxious situation such as a job interview, important presentation, or on a first date. Nervous sweating is also normal, though darn inconvenient at times. But you should become concerned if you find yourself frequently soaking through your shirts or socks, or trying to hide your perpetually wet, clammy hands. Yes, it’s embarrassing, but thankfully your excessive sweating can be treated. Don’t suffer in silence out of shyness or shame. Start by seeing your primary care doctor. He or she can refer you to a specialist if necessary.

What are the Treatment Options for Diaphoresis?

The best and most effective treatment of diaphoresis is to treat the underlying disease or disorder that is triggering the profuse sweating.

In the meantime, here are some remedies that may help reduce your excessive sweating. When it comes to some of these natural and home remedies, your mileage may vary. The International Hyperhidrosis Society has concluded there is “little research to recommend such natural remedies, but this does not discount their potential.”

Natural Remedies for Treating Diaphoresis

Camphor

Camphor was once made by distilling wood from the camphor tree. Today it is synthesized chemically. It’s used in such products as Vicks VapoRub. Dissolve a small portion of camphor or some camphor oil in some fractionated coconut oil. Apply the mixture to affected areas and leave it on the skin for 40 to 60 minutes. Then wash the area gently with cool, clean water. Camphor can also be added to bath water to help reduce sweating.

Vinegar

When applied directly to your skin, vinegar acts as an astringent that eliminates many bacteria and will also close up pores. Use a cotton ball to dab a little apple cider vinegar on the desired areas overnight. Simply wash it off when you shower or bathe in the morning.

Tomato Juice

A glass of tomato juice or a tomato-rich diet can help control profuse sweating by regulating your internal body temperature.

Green and Black Tea

Green tea contains magnesium and vitamin B. These act as astringents and constrict sweat glands. A cup of green tea in the morning may help reduce sweating. Black tea is also an astringent. Brew one or two black tea bags, allowing the tea to steep for 10 minutes. Apply the tea directly to your underarms with a clean washcloth.

Essential Oils

Those who prefer natural remedies often recommend essential oils as a remedy for excessive sweating. If you want to try essential oils, you should thoroughly study the potential benefits and hazards of each beforehand.

Here are 3 of the most popular essential oils for controlling sweat:

  • Sage oil has long been used to ease the symptoms of menopause.
  • Cistus oil is an astringent that can shrink pores.
  • Clary Sage oil contains linalyl acetate which has calming properties.

Other Effective Remedies

There are several effective remedies for primary hyperhidrosis. However, because of their permanence, expense, or invasiveness, they likely wouldn’t be appropriate for treating diaphoresis. It’s important to remember that curing diaphoresis means identifying and successfully treating the underlying, unrelated disease or disorder that triggers the excessive sweating.

Short of overcoming the disorder that’s responsible for diaphoresis, here are two remedies that can treat the profuse sweating without permanently altering, removing or destroying sweat glands:

Clinical-Strength or Prescription-Strength Antiperspirants

These powerful antiperspirant products, like SweatBlock, are different than the antiperspirants you find on the shelves of your local grocery or drug store. They contain higher concentrations of the aluminum chloride, a compound that temporarily blocks the sweat glands from secreting sweat. When aluminum chloride comes in contact with water (your sweat), it forms a gel-like plug that blocks sweat from reaching the surface of the skin. A single application of a prescription strength antiperspirant may last up to a week before it must be reapplied.

Botox Injections

Botox is a natural, purified protein that can temporarily impede the chemical that “turns on” the body’s sweat glands. It blocks the nerves that cause sweating. Botox injections are shallow and the medicine is injected just below the surface of the skin. The desired effects will last 6 to 12 months before the treatment must be repeated. While effective, this treatment is very expensive and can be painful.

A Final Note

Diaphoresis, by definition, is always caused by another illness or medication. The best treatment is always to identify and appropriately treat the underlying condition. Once that happens, the excessive sweating almost always stops. If treatment for the secondary cause is not possible or requires a prolonged period to take effect, there are treatments and remedies that can help in the meantime. Talk to your doctor about your symptoms and available treatment options.