Tips to beat sweating and hyperhidrosis.

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.

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 shower 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 Absorption

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
Anti-Monkey Butt Powder for the Guys
Chassis Premium Body Powder
Fromonda Body Powder
Gold Bond Chafing Powder

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

Body Glide Anti-Chafe Balm

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:
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:
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.