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

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. Here’s what you should know about heavy sweating caused by this condition:

  • 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.

A romantic walk along a sandy beach, a scenic afternoon hike, or a stroll through the mall. They’re all great until it starts. First the itching. Then the burn. Then… the waddle.

That’s when you know you’re in trouble. Your thighs are chafed.

If you’re lucky, you’re at home with rash cream and a soft chair at arms reach. If you’re NOT so lucky (like most of us), you’re at the office or traversing a gargantuan college campus. Even worse, you could be wrapping up the last few miles of your morning run… OUCH.

This infamous burning and itching has many names: Chub rub, thigh chafing, sweat rash, groin rash, etc…

Honestly, who cares what you call it. We’re just interested in how to avoid it.

9 Things Help You Avoid Inner Thigh Chafing:

  • 1. Stay Clean
  • 2. Anti-chafing powder for moisture absorbtion
  • 3. Body Powder Lotion
  • 4. Anti-Chafing Stick or Balm
  • 5. Anti-Chafing Creams
  • 6. Anti-Chafing Underwear, Boxers or Briefs
  • 7. Anti-Chafing Thigh Bands (For the ladies)
  • 8. Anti-Chafing Shorts
  • 9. Anti-Chafe Running Skirts

thigh chafing

What causes thigh chafing?

Thigh chafing is something that most of us are hesitant to talk about, like sweating too much. It is so common that there are many ways to prevent it, or treat and soothe it if chafing has already begun. But first things first. What is thigh chafing?

Inner thigh chafing is caused by friction and sweat, and the repetitive rubbing of the skin. It’s annoying and can be extremely painful. It can occur where skin rubs against clothing or from skin-to-skin contact. Chafing usually occurs in the inner thighs, upper thighs, groin area (especially for men), inner glutes, armpits, and even the nipples. You may also experience chafing where bra straps or backpack straps rub against your shoulders or back.

Chafing can also be caused by a build-up of salt residue when sweat evaporates. If sweat is allowed to dry while physical activity is continued, the salt left behind can accumulate and cause friction. It helps to drink water and stay hydrated in order to reduce the salt content in your sweat. Other factors that increase the likelihood of thigh chafing are hot weather, sensitive skin, gritty sand from the beach, dust from hiking or running, and a previous skin irritation.

People who are very active or overweight are especially prone to body chafing. But even if you’re not an exercise nut or a sports enthusiast– and even if you’re not overweight or have big thighs– you’ve probably experienced chafing on the inner thighs.

The unpleasant results of inner thigh chafing include redness, itching, burning, blistering, and a painful rash. Left untreated, thigh chafing can also lead to fungal skin and even yeast infections. Serious thigh chafing can leave the skin raw and bleeding.

How to prevent thigh chafing

If you want to avoid painful thigh chafing, focus on these 3 areas:
– Stay Clean
– Stay Dry
– Reduce Friction.

1. Stay Clean

This is an easy one. Shower daily and wear clean undies (yes, you should wear underwear if you want to avoid chafing ;). Daily activity will lead to a build up of dirt, salt and sweat in your thigh area. This “thigh grime” causes that sticky feeling which leads to friction and chafing. Keeping your body clean is an easy first step to avoiding chafing between the thighs. If you can’t shower after a run or an afternoon hike, use a body wipe to clean sticky sweat and dirt from between your thighs and groin area.

Wet clothing and sweaty thighs will get you chafed faster than you can say “whoah nelly!”. Fight chub rub and thigh burn by staying dry. Here’s a few secrets to staying dry down below…

2. Anti-Chafing Powder for Moisture Absorbtion

Moisture absorbing powders are perfect for keeping your inner thighs cool and dry. If you have a talc-free baby powder hanging around, it will do the trick. If you want something a little more… adult, check out some of our favorite body powder products below:

Anti-Monkey Butt Powder

For the gals – Get it on Amazon
For the guys – Get it on Amazon

Chassis Premium Body Powder

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0167J6UVK/

Fromonda Body Powder

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00NRCQW4Q/

Gold Bond Chafing Powder

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00E7VRNDK/

With any body powder, you’ll need to apply multiple times a day to get the best results. If you want to go “au naturel”, you could toss some corn starch between your legs to get a similar outcome.

If you’re looking for something a little less messy and a bit more sophisticated than baby powder or body powder, you’ll like this next anti-chafing solution…

3. Body Powder Lotion (No mess application)

If baby powders are too messy for you, try a body powder lotion like Fresh Balls (Or Fresh Breasts for the ladies). What is a body powder lotion? It’s a lotion that goes on your skin like any other lotion, but then magically dries into a moisture absorbing powder. You get all the benefits of traditional chafing powder, but avoid the messy application.

4. Anti-Chafing Stick or Balm

Anti-chafing sticks are lubricants specifically designed to reduce friction. Anti-Chafing lubricants work by creating frictionless barrier on the skin that keeps your thighs and other areas from rubbing. Thigh-chafing lubricants are easy to use and often come in the form of a deodorant-like stick or roll-on. We’ve listed the best anti-chafing sticks below…

Gold Bond Friction Defense – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00HA775SQ/

Body Glide Anti-Chafe Balm – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00288L2N6/

5. Anti-Chafing Cream

Anti chafing creams are another kind of chafing lubricant designed to eliminate friction. Bikers and avid athletes will use chafing creams to prevent thigh chafing, and saddle sore. Some of the most recommended anti-chafe creams include…

Chamois Butt’r Anti-Chafe Cream:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000HZGTUS/
This cream was designed with avid cyclists in mind, but can be used by anyone. It lubricates areas prone to chafing and also soothes already chafed skin.

Blue Steel Sports Anti-Chafe Cream:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B001JK6N3I/
This is another popular chafe cream for active individuals. It can be applied before, during and after activies to reduce friction, skin irritation, blisters and chafing.

Good ol’ Petroleum Jelly
Swabbing on a bit of petroleum jelly to your inner thighs is another inexpensive solution. You may find that petroleum jelly is too greasy and messy for regular use. But in a pinch, and with no other solution available, it might just do the job. It will repel sweat and it certainly has proven lubricating properties. If you’re already a bit chafed, petroleum jelly can protect chapped areas if you need to keep moving.

Your choice of clothing can lead down a path of cool comfort -or- one of burning discomfort. To avoid the burn, avoid baggy clothing and clothing with seems that rub in areas prone to chafing. Avoid wearing underwear with big seems or holes. You want to choose clothing that promotes dryness and reduces friction. Here are some anti-chafing clothing options…

6. Anti-chafing Underwear, boxers or briefs

Run-of-the-mill underwear isn’t designed for moisture wicking or friction fighting. If you want to protect your thighs from painful chafing, you’ll want to grab some anti-chafing underwear. This special underwear is designed to reduce moisture and friction (two of the leading causes of thigh chafing). Perfect for active individuals and athletes.

7. Anti-Chafing Thigh Bands (For the ladies)

Thigh bands are garter-like apparel expressly designed to prevent thigh chafing by covering chafe-prone areas. They come in two basic varieties– fancy and plain. The fancy variety is lacy and looks like the top of a thigh-high stocking. They are decorative and even resemble lingerie.

To use a thigh band, you measure your thighs where they touch to choose the right size. Sizing down a little will ensure a tight (but not too tight) fit. Most thigh bands are elastic and backed with silicone so they’re comfortable to wear.

The plain variety is made from lace-free microfiber. Whether you choose the fancy or the plain variety, thigh bands will prevent thigh chafing by placing a layer of slippery fabric protection between your thighs. Many women wear them under every dress. Thigh bands are lightweight and comfortable, and people often forget they’re even wearing them. Women who have worn anti-chafing thigh bands say they work as advertised.

8. Anti-Chafing Shorts

Wearing shorts underneath outer clothing is an easy and effective way to prevent thigh chafing.
There are several options:

Bike Shorts:
Lots of guys and even some women depend on bike cotton or spandex shorts as a thigh chafing remedy. Men often wear them under gym shorts when exercising. Many women wear bike shorts under their dresses and skirts. There are basic, constriction-free and inexpensive options. They may not be high fashion (I was tempted to say “thigh fashion”) but they do the job.

High Rise Shorts:
High-rise or high-waisted shorts for women are designed to sit high on or above your hips– about 3 inches (remember mom jeans?). You don’t want them too tight and they should be made of a fabric that will breathe and not get hot. These high rise shorts also can’t be too long if they’re to be worn underneath a dress or skirt. Some look like a shapewear short, but they don’t fit as snugly as shapewear.

Compression Shorts:
These are undergarments intended to help women look thinner. They’re mid-thigh shorts that will prevent thigh chafing. You’ll find that they are quite snug and extend further down the leg. You won’t have to keep pulling them down and they’re great for wearing under jeans.

Ultralight Seamless Shaping Shorts:
You may be looking for a happy compromise between compression and non-compression shaping shorts. There are ultralight shorts that offer just such a solution. They will gently hug your thighs without making you feel like you’ve been squished into a giant pair of long, elastic bands.

9. Anti-Chafing Running Skirts (For the ladies)

Female runners can also purchase running skirts. Running skirts often have shorts that are built-in and will protect against inner-thigh chafing. Make sure they’re made of sweat-wicking fabric like nylon or spandex. Avoid cotton because cotton will absorb the sweat and hold it in place.

How to Treat Chafing

Another way to tackle the problem of thigh chafing is with medicated creams or lotions. There are myriad varieties and brands, some with all-natural ingredients. Most contain shea butter, various waxes and other ingredients like tea tree oil that offer some protection from infection and fungus. Anti-chafing creams may require reapplication during prolonged activity unless you find a special kind of cream that dries to powder.

How to Relieve Thigh Chafing

Knowing how to prevent thigh chafing is all well and good. Stocking up on thigh bands and a skin lubricant can help, but chub rub can sneak up on the best of us. Sometimes our thighs can get a little too cozy without us realizing it, and then we have chafed skin. When this happens and we haven’t prepared, we need relief– and fast.

How do you get rid of thigh chafing?

Let’s look at the answer in a few easy steps.

Cleanse

Once you’ve arrived home from the horse-back ride from hell, and your thighs look like a pair of boiled lobsters, the first step is to rinse them off in cool or lukewarm water and some very gentle soap. Avoid any soaps that will sting or send you into deeper agony. Find a mild, moisturizing pH-balanced variety. Don’t scrub.

Disinfect

You’ll want to kill any stubborn bacteria hiding out in your red, raw skin. Use a gentle antibacterial ointment like Neosporin or any of its generic or private label cousins.

Soothe

Now that you’ve cleaned and disinfected, how do you make the inner thigh pain and the rash on your legs go away? Lying spread eagle in front of a blowing fan will bring relief and soothe your irritated skin. But if you don’t have the luxury of spending the day reclined with a fan between your legs, try some Aloe vera gel. Avoid any Aloe product that contains artificial fragrance. You may also find success with coconut oil.

Keep ‘em Dry

You’ll need to keep your thighs dry for a couple of days while they heal. Wear breathable cotton undies, pajamas and other clothing for optimal chafing relief. You may want to delay that daily workout until the area has completely healed. Adding an additional sweat rash ain’t gonna help.

Apply Diaper Rash Cream

Okay, this doesn’t sound real grown-up, but your typical diaper rash cream containing zinc oxide which will provide welcomed soothing and antibacterial protection, too. You’ll want to avoid wearing any clothing that could show any tell-tale white smudges.

Wear Soft, Breathable Clothing

Now that you’re on the mend, wear comfortable, breathable clothing made of cotton.

When to See a Doctor

You should see your doctor if you have signs of skin infection (especially if you’re diabetic), if your skin is not healing, or if you have a thigh chafing rash and skin irritation that refuses to go away. Signs of infection include swelling, skin that’s hot to the touch, blood or pus coming from the chafed area, and redness radiating out from the chafing.

The Bottom Line

Now you know all there is to know (well, maybe not all, but a lot) about inner thigh chafing. Use anti-chafing products to prevent chafing and use these tips to get rid of thigh chafing once it’s happened. Whether it’s a constant concern, or only troubling when you’re exercising, you know what to do. Now, go ahead and do it, and don’t let skin chafing stop you. Happy trails!

When sweating reaches epic proportions, you need something more than pedestrian store-shelf antiperspirants. You need a heavy weight contender – a prescription, or prescription “strength” antiperspirant. Here’s your guide to prescription-only and clinical strength antiperspirants.

prescription antiperspirant

What is prescription antiperspirant?

As the name implies, prescription antiperspirants require a prescription and a doctor’s supervision. They cannot be purchased anywhere but a pharmacy. The concentration of active aluminum ingredient in these products is generally around 20%. Prescription options are not to be taken lightly. Misuse of prescription antiperspirants can lead to serious unwanted side effects. (we’ll talk about this later)

How does prescription antiperspirant work?

All antiperspirants, regardless of brand name or strength level, use aluminum salt as the active ingredient. The most common aluminum salt compounds found in today’s antiperspirants are aluminum chloride, aluminum chlorohydrate, aluminum chloride hexaydrate and aluminum zirconium tricholorhydrex glycine.

While the effectiveness of these varies, each of these aluminum compounds works to reduce sweating in the same basic way. When they get close to water, in this case perspiration, they soak up the moisture and thicken into a gel-like substance. By spreading aluminum chloride, or one of its cousins, on areas that sweat, the resulting reaction forms a gel-like plug that blocks the sweat glands and prevents sweat from reaching the skin’s surface. Once this happens the body’s feedback mechanism stops the flow of perspiration.

The plugs dissipate over time and the sweat glands begin to function as before. That’s when the antiperspirant must be reapplied. Depending on the strength of the antiperspirant, the reapplication time may range from several hours to several days.

Prescription Antiperspirant vs. Prescription “Strength” Antiperspirant. Is there a difference?

It’s not uncommon for people to confuse the two. But they are different.

Prescription strength simply means really strong. A prescription strength antiperspirant will have more Aluminum salts or use a more potent form of Aluminum. For example, Aluminum Chloride is a lot stronger than Aluminum Zirconium Tetrachlorohydrex (Used in antiperspirants like Dove, Old Spice and Degree.)

Most clinical and prescription strength products will use Aluminum Chloride (usually around 12%-15%)

Prescription Strength and Clinical Strength are often used interchangeably, but they’re pretty much the same thing.

Prescription-only antiperspirants are even stronger, require a prescription, and can only be purchased at a pharmacy. They usually contain a higher concentration of Aluminum Chloride (20% or more) and can be more effective in extreme sweating cases. Last of all, a prescription option will most likely carry with it additional health risks and side effects. (more on this below…)

Prescription Antiperspirant Options:

Some of the more common prescription antiperspirant brands include:

  • Drysol is a popular prescription antiperspirant designed to treat hyperhidrosis and excessive sweating. Can be used on the underarms, scalp, hands, and feet. Active Ingredient: Aluminum chloride hexahydrate (20%)
  • Xerac AC is a topical, prescription-only treatment designed for use on the underarms, palms and feet.
    Active Ingredient: Aluminum Chloride Hexahydrate (6.25%)
  • Formalaz is a sweating treatment specifically designed to combat foot odor and sweat. A prescription-only option for plantar hyperhidrosis or foot sweating. Active ingredient: Formaldehyde (10%)

Prescription antiperspirant is strong stuff and should only be considered after exhausting all other over-the-counter hyperhidrosis and excessive sweating treatments.

Best Prescription Strength Antiperspirant Products:

Try some of these popular prescription strength and clinical strength antiperspirants before resorting to prescription-only. Many of these products can be purchased online via Amazon or at your local drug store.

  • SweatBlock Clinical Antiperspirant
    “When nothing else works!” The original 7-day antiperspirant. Formulated to reduce excessive sweating and axillary hyperhidrosis. According to users, SweatBlock keeps you dry for an average of 6.4 days and seems to work when nothing else will.
    Effective for: Armpit sweating and hyperhidrosis
    Application: Towelette (wipe)
    Active Ingredient: Aluminum Chloride (14%)
  • Driclor
    This another over-the-counter prescription strength option. It’s made in Australia and can be used for treating excessive sweating of the hands, feet and armpits. If you’re worried about sweat stains in your shirt, you’ll want to avoid this one.
    Effective for: Hands, Feet, and Armpit Sweatin
    Application: Roll-on
    Active Ingredient: Aluminum hexahydrate (20%)
  • Certain Dri Prescription Strength
    The strongest antiperspirant in the Certain Dri family. Designed for underarm use and can last up to 72 hours per application.
    Effective for: Underarm Sweating / Axillary Hyperhidrosis
    Application: Roll-on
    Active Ingredient: Aluminum Chloride (12%)
  • Odaban Antiperspirant Spray
    Offers 24-hour protection and may be the strongest non prescription antiperspirant available. It contains high concentrations of aluminum chloride which can increase effectiveness. But with increased effectiveness comes increased chance for skin irritation and burning.
    Effective for: Armpits, Hands, Feet
    Application: Spray
    Active Ingredient: Aluminum chloride (20%)
  • Maxim Prescription Strength Antiperspirant
    Over the counter hyperhidrosis treatment designed for underarm use.
    Effective for: Underarm Sweating / Axillary Hyperhidrosis
    Application: Roll-on
    Active Ingredient: Aluminum Chloride (15%)
  • ZeroSweat Antiperspirant AKA “Z Sweat” or “0 Sweat”
    For excessive sweating. This Certain Dri knock-off claims to “Keep You Dry – Guaranteed”.
    Application: Roll-on
    Active Ingredient: Aluminum Chloride (15%)

If none of the above options work for you, it’s time to look at a prescription only product.

Should I Use a Prescription Strength Antiperspirant?

Choosing a prescription antiperspirant isn’t the same as picking out a pair of shoes or doing price comparisons on vacuum cleaners.

This is a personal question and you and your doctor are the only ones qualified to tackle it. But here’s a few things to consider as you venture down the path of prescription hyperhidrosis treatments.

How severe is your sweating? You wouldn’t be here reading this fascinating article if sweat wasn’t somewhat excessive. But how bad is it? If it’s an occasional inconvenience, you probably don’t need prescription strength. If profuse sweating has transformed you into a cave-dwelling hermit who avoids all social interaction, you’re barking up the right tree.

Which sweating treatments have you already tried? Again, if you’re reading this, you’ve probably tried A LOT. But if you’ve only experimented with Old Spice and Degree, you still have a lot of non prescription options on the table. It’s best to exhaust all over-the-counter antiperspirant options before reaching for a prescription solution.

Have you talked to your doctor? Your doctor will be able to help you more than any blog post or article. If you’ve tried everything and nothing seems relieve your excessive sweating, talk to your doctor about available prescription anti-perspirants.

Ultimately, your doctor will know which antiperspirant options are safe and can guide you through the process of finding one that works best for your body chemistry and severity of sweating.

Prescription Antiperspirant Risks & Side Effects:

The best part about prescription anti-perspirants is that they’re super strong. The worst part… they come with side effects and potential health risks like:

  • Allergic reactions like hives, rash, itching, chest tightness, swelling of the face, lips, tongue or throat.
  • Severe burning, itching, redness or swelling of treated areas.

These precautions should be observed when using Prescription antiperspirants:

  • Always consult a doctor before using any Prescription antiperspirant.
  • Tell your doctor if you are using Antabuse (disulfiram) before using.
  • Do not use any other deodorant or antiperspirant (unless your doctor says otherwise)
  • Avoid getting Prescription antiperspirant in your eyes, nose, mouth or on your lips.
  • Do not use any antiperspirant on irritated or broken skin.
  • Wait at least 24 to 48 hours when applying to shaved areas.
  • Prescription antiperspirants may stain clothing and metal surfaces.
  • It is not known if the use of Drysol and other Prescription antiperspirants may harm an unborn baby.

Alternative Treatments to Prescription Antiperspirant:

It might be worth exploring outside the realm of prescription antiperspirant. Hyperhidrosis has been around for a long time and many treatments have been developed over the years. Their effectiveness varies, but some have proven very efficient at stopping embarrassing sweat. Here’s a few of them…

  • Clinical Strength Antiperspirants. Over-the-counter clinical antiperspirants are stronger than your average Dove or Speedstick, but don’t require a doctor and don’t come with as many side effects or potential health risks. We like this one (wink… wink)
  • Qbrexza Cloth. A prescription-only treatment for axillary hyperhdirosis. This medicated cloth is designed for underarm topical use. It contains a nerve blocking solution that stops underarm sweat in its tracks. It can be extremely effective, but comes with a long list of unwanted side effects.
  • Iontophoresis is a treatment that uses electric currents in water to drive medications into the skin. Can be very effective, yet very expensive.
  • Botox injections in affected areas can curtail sweating for months before they must be repeated. Effective, but painful and not permanent.
  • Miradry is a procedure that uses microwaves to nuke your sweat glands. No more sweat glands leads to no more sweat.

So, your favorite shoes stink. You don’t dare take them off even though your feet are screaming to be let out. Embarrassing, but true. Don’t worry, help is on the way.

Here’s 16 Home Remedies for Stinky Shoes:

  • 1. Wash + exfoliate feet (especially in between toes)
  • 2. Stop sweaty feet to stop stinky shoes
  • 3. Foot and shoe deodorant spray
  • 4. Wear shoes that breathe (reduce sweat + bacteria)
  • 5. Alternate your shoes – give them time to air out
  • 6. Use shoe insoles to fight foot odor
  • 7. Sprinkle baking sode in those stinky shoes
  • 8. Keep shoes fresh smelling with dryer sheets
  • 9. Deodorize shoes with cat litter or wood chips ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
  • 10. Clean shoes with rubbing alcohol
  • 11. Steam clean shoes
  • 12. Denture tablet shoe soak
  • 13. Freeze the stink out of your shoes
  • 14. Spray essential oils into your shoes
  • 15. Use tea bags to keep shoes smelling fresh
  • 16. If all else fails: Spring for new shoes

Where do stinky shoes come from anyway? The answer is… well… obvious. First comes foot sweat, then comes bacteria, then comes stinky feet, socks and shoes.

Why do my feet stink?

Foot odor is a universal problem unless you happen to live someplace where shoes are not worn. Most of us spend many hours a day in our shoes, so let’s talk about what causes foot odor.

Our feet smell because they sweat inside our shoes. When the sweat reaches the skin’s surface the foot sweat encounters bacteria that break it down. The decomposing sweat releases an offensive odor. The medical term for smelly feet is Bromodosis. The common term is stinky feet.

Here’s a fun physiological fact: There are more sweat glands in human feet than anywhere else on the human body.

You’re more likely to have smelly feet if you’re in your shoes most of the day. Stress can cause sweaty, stinky feet, as can a medical disorder called hyperhidrosis. Athlete’s foot and other fungal infections can also lead to bad foot odor. Hormonal changes that are prevalent in teenagers and pregnant women can cause abnormal sweating which leads to heightened foot odor.

Stinky feet = stinky shoes.

Let’s first talk about how to prevent stinky feet and then we’ll talk about how to get the smell out of shoes and other helpful odor-fighting remedies.

1. Wash + exfoliate feet to prevent stinky shoes

Since stinky shoes start with stinky feet, seems like that’s a good place to begin. Practicing good foot hygiene can help keep the foot odor down.

Wash your feet every day. Even if you don’t shower or bathe every day, take the time to wash your feet with warm soapy water. Rinse thoroughly and then dry with a clean, dry towel. Make sure you clean between your toes where bacteria love to grow.

Exfoliate. Removing dead skin can reduce foot odor. Scrub your feet with an exfoliating pad or pumice stone.

Keep your feet dry. The bacteria that reacts with sweat thrives in moist areas. If your socks or shoes are wet, you’ve set up a feast for odor-causing bacteria. Wear breathable socks made of fabric that will wick away foot perspiration. Wearing shoes without socks may be fashionably cool, but it’s never a good idea. If you like stinky tennis shoes, don’t wear socks.

2. Stop sweaty feet to stop stinky shoes

If you’re often plagued by sweaty feet, you’ll want to focus on stopping some of that sweat. An antiperspirant lotion like SweatBlock is perfect for reducing excessive sweat on the feet. Your feet contain more sweat glands than any other part of your body. Bacteria love sweaty feet and and stink loves bacteria.

If you can reduce some of that foot sweating, you can reduce a lot of the stink that comes along with it.

3. Use a foot and shoe deodorant spray

A deodorizing foot spray is a great way to freshen both your shoes and your feet at the same time. Just shake the can a few times and you’re ready to spray. This quick and effective remedy is perfect for active walkers, sports enthusiasts, and students after gym class. The small spray bottle fits easily in your backpack or gym bag, and the fresh smelling spray will make your feet and shoes smell great right away. The deodorant spray provides natural anti-fungal protection and works on all types of shoes, sandals, and slippers.

4. Wear shoes that breathe

One of the most effective remedies is simple: Wear the right shoes. The best shoes for stinky feet are made from leather or breathable fabric. These materials allow moisture to vent to the outside world. Avoid shoes made of vinyl or other man-made materials. Non-breathable shoes act to prevent moisture dissipation and evaporation. And once you unlace those babies, you and anybody in the area will be reaching for a gas mask.

5. Alternate your shoes – give them time to air out

The smell of your shoes can be greatly reduced by not wearing the same pair on consecutive days. Of course, this means you’ll need more than one pair of shoes. Assuming that you have at least two pairs, alternate the days you wear them. Give ‘em a well-deserved rest. On their days off, pull out the tongue, loosen the laces and put them in a ventilated spot where they can air out.

6. Use shoe insoles to fight foot odor

Another way to minimize shoe odor is with specially treated insoles. Several varieties are available at your favorite grocery or drug store. They’re treated with activated charcoal or baking soda (or both) and neutralize unpleasant odors. They not only provide long-lasting odor protection (a few weeks or months), but they can also absorb foot moisture and add extra footbed cushioning.

Most brands come in a standard size that can be easily cut to fit any size shoe. These odor-neutralizing insoles are especially useful in taming those smelly gym shoes.

7. Sprinkle baking soda in those stinky shoes

Baking soda is another good home remedy for stinky shoes. Sprinkle generous amounts of baking soda in the offending shoe(s). Let the power of baking soda do its thing overnight. Dump it out in the morning and, boom, your shoes are as fresh as new. Well, maybe not quite that fresh, but they’re ready for the upcoming day.

One caution: Be careful about using baking soda too often with leather shoes, as it can extract the moisture from the leather and cause it to dry out and crack.

8. Keep shoes fresh smelling with dryer sheets

If we’re going to talk about how to deodorize shoes, we should mention using dryer sheets. It’s another unusual idea to freshen stinky shoes.

Take a standard dryer sheet, tear it in half and place one half in each shoe. Let the shoes sit overnight. Really stinky tennis shoes may require more time. Just remember to pull the dryer sheets out before putting on the newly freshened shoes.

Bonus tip: If you keep your gym shoes in a gym bag, throw a dryer sheet into the bottom of the gym bag. It will act as a shoe and gym clothes deodorizer.

9. Deodorize shoes with cat litter or wood chips

If your shoes are attracting attention (the wrong kind) because of shoe odor, here’s a hack you may want to try. You’ll need some cedar wood chips or kitty litter. You’ll also need some clean old socks or paper towels.

This cure is easy: Fill up a pair of old, but clean, socks with either cedar wood chips or cat litter. Place one of the socks in each shoe, and let them stand overnight. The wood chips or kitty litter will absorb the foot odor hiding in the shoes. Citrus peels can also do a passable job of refreshing your shoes.

10. Clean shoes with rubbing alcohol

Rubbing alcohol can be used to kill odor and clean your shoes. There are two methods.

The first utilizes a mixture of water and alcohol. Take a cup of water and a cup of rubbing alcohol. Mix them together in a spray bottle. Spray the solution on the inside and outside of each shoe. Place the treated shoes in a well-ventilated area where they can dry.

The alcohol acts to kill the bacteria that causes stinky shoes. The alcohol will also help dry out areas where moisture collects.

The second method uses alcohol and cotton balls. Saturate several cotton balls with rubbing alcohol. Place the saturated cotton balls in each shoe, filling up all the space. Be sure to get them way down in the toe area, and let the shoes stand overnight. Things should be looking up and smelling much fresher in the morning.

Tip: How to wash tennis shoes and sneakers to get rid of foot odor

Today’s tennis shoes (athletic shoes) and sneakers often cost north of $100. To keep them looking and smelling like new, you can use your washing machine. To protect your investment, there are a few steps to follow. This method works well for fabric and leather athletic shoes.

  • 1. Remove the laces (if any) and any removable insoles or inserts.
  • 2. Wipe away any loose dirt and debris.
  • 3. Place shoes, minus laces and inserts, in a mesh bag or pillowcase. Secure the opening so the shoes can’t come out.
  • 4. If you have a washing machine with an agitator, include some towels along with the shoes to balance the load. If you have a newer machine without an agitator, you probably don’t need the towels.
  • 5. Wash in warm water with a heavy-duty detergent.
  • 6. Air dry your newly cleaned shoes. NEVER put them in the dryer.
  • 7. Use a solution of water and baking soda to hand clean the insoles/inserts.

11. Steam clean shoes to kill bacteria and odor

Steam can help eradicate bacteria and foot odor in your shoes. If you have a dryer with a steam feature, give that a try. Be sure that you try this method on shoes that can tolerate moisture.

Another method using steam requires a steam cleaning appliance. These are used for cleaning and disinfecting things around the house. Just stick the steam machine’s nozzle into each shoe for about 30 seconds. Let them completely dry before wearing again.

12. Denture tablet shoe soak

You’ll only want to use this method on shoes that can be submerged completely in water without damage.

Take a bucket or medium size bin. Fill it with hot water. Drop in 3 to 4 denture tablets and allow them to dissolve. Toss in your sneakers and let them soak for 2 to 3 hours. Not only will they smell better but they’ll be germ-free, at least for a while.

13. Freeze the stink out of your shoes

Disgusting foot odor is caused by bacteria lurking in the dark recesses of your footwear. Putting them in the freezer overnight kills this bacteria. These foul-intentioned germs can’t stand the cold environment. But first, you’ll want to protect whatever else is in the freezer by following these simple steps:

  • Make sure your shoes are completely dry.
  • Put them in a sealable plastic bag or wrap them tightly in plastic wrap.
  • Leave them in the freezer for the night.
  • Remove them in the morning

In the morning, don’t be afraid to stick your nose where it normally doesn’t belong. You’ll be pleased to find that the shoe stench is gone.

14. Spray essential oils into your shoes

Essential oils are a big thing for millions around the world. If you’re a fan of essential oils and their natural “super powers,” this essential-oils-for-stinky-shoes treatment will surely appeal to you. Be sure you’re using high-quality essential oils.

  • 1. Grab a small spray bottle. The 2.7-ounce size is ideal.
  • 2. Fill halfway with unscented witch hazel.
  • 3. Add distilled water leaving just a little space at the top of the bottle for these essential oils:

    6 drops peppermint essential oil
    4 drops tea tree oil (aka melaleuca oil)
    2 drops eucalyptus essential oil
    1 drop thyme essential oil

  • 4. Screw the spray top onto the bottle.
  • 5. Shake well.
  • 6. Spray lightly the entire interior of the shoe. Don’t forget the toe box.
  • 7. Place the treated shoes in a sealable plastic bag to heighten effectiveness.
  • 8. Let dry.

Each time you detect offending shoe odor, spray again. Not only will this essential concoction deodorize your shoes, but it also has the power to kill odor-causing bacteria. It might just be the best deodorizing spray you’ve ever tried.

15. Freshen your shoes with tea bags

This home remedy for shoe odor works the same way as the cat litter and wood chips methods. All you need are some stinky shoes and unused tea bags.

Place two or three tea bags inside each shoe. Let stand for several hours or overnight. The dried tea in the bags will absorb that bad odor emanating from your shoes. Simple. Easy. Effective.

16. If all else fails: Spring for new shoes

All the above remedies for smelly shoes have been tested, tried and proven. But if your favorite shoes just don’t respond well to one or more of these methods, it may be time to hang ‘em up for good and buy a new pair. New shoes smell great– for a few days. But then, the creeping bad shoe smell will return. So, keep experimenting with these cures for stinky shoes. The inevitable occasion will arrive when your shoes must come off in public. And this time? You’ll be ready.

So, you think you sweat more than normal? A lot of people worry about whether they perspire a “normal” amount. We get it.

Excessive sweat is embarrassing and can throw a wrench into any social situation. Sweating is good and certainly has its benefits (like preventing heat stroke). But it also comes with a host of humiliating side effects (sweaty pits, sweaty handshakes, sweaty feet, sweaty face, etc…)

Wondering why you might be sweating more than normal? You’re in luck, we’ve compiled a list of the most common sweat triggers and how to avoid them.

8 Things That Can Trigger Unwanted Sweat:

  • 1. Stress
  • 2. Crazy Hormones
  • 3. Your Choice of Food
  • 4. Not Eating Enough Food
  • 5. Your Mood (Excited, Happy, Scared)
  • 6. Social Anxiety
  • 7. Being Physically Fit or Overweight
  • 8. Medications

A lot of different things can cause excessive sweating. But there’s always a reason. Sure, you might have a medical condition, such as primary hyperhidrosis, a sweating disorder that makes you perspire more than the average person. But that’s not as likely as you might think. Hyperhidrosis affects less than 5% of the population. There’s a good chance you just have a random sweat trigger you didn’t know about.

1. You’re Really Stressed Out

What do you do if you randomly start sweating for no apparent reason? Freak out? Yeah, a lot of people do. Well, did you know that freaking out about sweating is probably just making you sweat more?

That’s right. Stress is a HUGE sweat trigger.

If you notice that you’re sweating at a random time, quickly do a mental stress check.

  • Is something upsetting you?
  • Have you been brooding about something for most of the day?
  • Are you worried about something?

If you answered, “yes” to any of these questions, your stress may be to blame for your random bout of nervous sweating.

2. Your Hormones Are In Overdrive

Pregnancy and menopause can really mess with a woman’s hormones. In fact, this hormonal rioting can cause mood swings, odd cravings and … overactive sweat glands.

Have you ever heard a pregnant woman complain about night sweats or hot flashes? Yeah, those mini sweat sessions happen because your hormones are out of whack.

Unfortunately, there’s not a lot you can do to prevent this kind of hormonal sweating (aside from delivering your baby or magically skipping menopause).

Fortunately, both pregnancy and menopause are temporary life phases. When they leave, your hormones will chill out and sweating can return to normal.

Pregnancy and menopause aren’t the only things that screw with your hormones. Puberty and overactive thyroid issues can also lead to belligerent hormones and excessive sweating — especially underarm sweating.

3. You’re Eating Foods That Promote Sweating

The food you eat — and what you drink — could be causing you to sweat excessively. This usually happens when you eat food that’s hard to digest because your body has to work a bit harder, which increases your heart rate and sends signals to your sweat glands telling them to get to work.

Which Foods Cause Severe Sweating?

Red meat can be really hard for your body to digest, so if you’re worried about perspiring a lot during (or right after) a meal, you might want to stay away from burgers and steaks. Instead, choose chicken or fish. And of course, vegetables are always a great option. You should also avoid eating fatty fast foods, white bread, and chocolate. These foods lack the enzymes needed for smooth digestion, which means your body works harder to process them.

This probably doesn’t come as a big shock, but if you’re concerned about profuse sweating you should also avoid spicy, hot food. Yeah, those chili fries you love that are topped with jalapeno peppers are a MAJOR sweat trigger. Spicy foods contain capsaicin — a chemical that tricks your body into thinking your core temperature is rising, causing your sweat glands to kick into action, which causes you to perspire.

If you’ve been cursed with body odor that smells a bit fishy, you might have a condition called trimethylaminuria. It’s a genetic condition that makes it difficult for your body to break down trimethylamine — a chemical compound produced when you digest certain foods such as legumes, eggs, and fish. If this is the case, you should eliminate those foods from your diet and talk to your doctor.

4. You Need to Eat More

Are you hangry? If so, your blood sugar is probably a bit low. And one of the symptoms of low blood sugar is excessive sweat or cold sweats. In particular, the sweat glands along your hairline are affected by low blood sugar. So if you’re feeling a bit moody and sweaty, you really might need to grab a Snickers bar like the commercial says. Other symptoms of low blood sugar include:

  • Dizziness
  • Shakiness
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Blurred vision
  • Slight nausea

5. Your Mood (Extremely happy or scared out of your mind)

Did you know that when you’re happy or scared you sweat? This also happens when you’re doing something that you’re really passionate about (and no we aren’t just talking about sex).

You might have noticed that when you engage in activity that you’re passionate about, your body is all of the sudden covered in a thin layer of glistening sweat. That’s because all of these emotions — happiness, fear, and love — are associated with a slight increase in your body temperature. And of course, when your body temperature rises, your sweat glands go to work.

6. You Have Social Anxiety

If you get nervous before events that require you to socialize with others, you’ve probably noticed that your sweaty spurts also happen about the same time. That’s totally normal if you have social anxiety.

It’s common for people with social anxiety to constantly battle excessive hand sweating. But you can use relaxing techniques to help get you through overly stressful situations or talk to your doctor. There’s a good chance your doctor may be able to prescribe an anti-anxiety medication to help you control nervous bouts of sweating. Another great way to combat nervous sweat is by using a clinical strength antiperspirant like SweatBlock. If you’ve got excessive hand sweating or super sweaty feet, you can try a hand or foot antiperspirant to reduce unwanted sweating. We recommend this one.

7. You’re Really Fit or Overweight

Your physical fitness levels can determine the amount of sweat your body produces. For example, if you’re slightly plump around the middle, your body works harder carrying the excess weight. This causes your heart rate to increase and you to perspire. But people who are really, really fit often sweat a lot too. This is typically caused by sweating a lot when exercising. See, if you exercise regularly, your body gets really good at sweating so it does it more often. Of course, that doesn’t mean you should stop working out. Instead, use a clinical-strength antiperspirant, such as SweatBlock, to control the amount of sweat your body produces.

8. Your Medications Are Causing You to Sweat (Diaphoresis)

Diaphoresis is the medical term used to describe excessive sweating caused by certain medications. Some of the more common culprits include SSRIs, heart medications, and painkillers. But they aren’t the only medications that can make you sweat. So if you’re taking a new prescription and it’s causing heavy sweating randomly, you might want to have a chat with your doctor.

What to Do If Sweat Becomes Excessive

It’s important to remember that perspiration is a normal process. In fact, it’s even good for you to sweat. But if you sweat excessively, you should consider using a clinical-strength antiperspirant or talk to your doctor about treatment options.

How Does Sweating Help the Body?

You have approximately 2.5 million sweat glands on your body (some people have up to 4 million). So what you probably don’t realize is that you’re actually sweating all the time. You just don’t normally notice the sweat because it evaporates quickly. If your body produces sweat faster than it evaporates, it’s noticeable. That’s when excessive sweating can become embarrassing.

But sweating is actually good for you — at least in normal amounts. We sweat to regulate our body temperature. So if you didn’t sweat at all, your body would overheat — and no one wants to have heat stroke. If you think you sweat more than “normal,” you might be right. In this case, you might want to consult your doctor to determine whether you have hyperhidrosis or you have sweat triggers that you don’t know about. Even if you don’t have hyperhidrosis, your doctor will be able to help you determine the best way to keep your sweating in check.

How to Stop Sweating

Remember, you don’t want to stop sweating completely. But you may want to stop sweating in specific areas of your body. For example, if you sweat when you’re nervous, you probably have clammy hands. That can be embarrassing when you meet someone new or you’re on a date and you want to hold hands. If that’s the case, you should be looking for ways to stop sweating on your hands.

Who Treats Excessive Sweating?

If clinical-strength antiperspirants and other home remedies don’t keep you from sweating profusely, you should consult your doctor to see if you have hyperhidrosis. Your primary care doctor can discuss treatment options that can reduce sweating, such as prescription creams and medication, with you, but if the problem is severe, you might be referred to a dermatologist. A dermatologist is a doctor who treats skin conditions specifically. So he or she may discuss more elaborate treatment options, such as Botox, with you.

Ultimately, it’s important to remember that everyone sweats. Because everyone is different, there really isn’t a “normal” amount of sweat your body should produce. But if excessive sweating becomes a problem, makes you feel self-conscious, or keeps you from attending normal social events, you should talk to your doctor or see a dermatologist.

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