12 Ways to Stop Embarrassing Armpit Sweat
Have you ever hesitated to hug someone, raise your hand, or cheer on your favorite team solely because you didn't want anyone to see your sweaty armpits?
A little sweat is normal, but excessive armpit sweating that controls your life, is downright unfair.
If you're tired of "pitting out" and want to sweat less, you've come to the right place.
Why are my armpits so sweaty?
Normal sweating (not excessive) is how the body releases extra heat and keeps you cool. But when armpit sweat gets excessive and embarrassing, it could be something more. Here are some of the most common causes for excessive armpit sweat:
- Axillary hyperhidrosis (medical condition characterized by profuse sweating in the underarm area)
- Climate and weather
- Lifestyle (diet, stress levels, weight)
- Hormone Imbalances
- Medication Side Effects
- Underlying Medical Conditions (i.e. diabetes)
The solution to treating your sweaty armpits has a lot to do with what's causing them to sweat in the first place.
However, if you have axillary hyperhidrosis, there usually isn't a known cause, so it's more about finding a treatment that works for you.
More often than not, a fix for sweaty armpits can be achieved with a combination of lifestyle changes, remedies and treatments. The list below will give you a good place to start...
12 Ways to Stop Armpit Sweat
1. Regular Hygiene & Grooming
This is just generally good advice. However, if your armpits sweat more than the average person, this advice is crucial.
Armpit sweat usually brings odor, so it's important to shower regularly, so those odors don't build up and make you extra odoriferous. (That's a real word. We looked it up to make sure).
Besides showering regularly, consider shaving or trimming your armpit hair. Contrary to popular belief, more hair doesn't make you sweat more. However, underarm hair can keep moisture there longer, making it feel like you're sweating more than you are.
Armpit hair also traps odor-causing bacteria, so shaving can reduce unpleasant B.O. Exfoliation is also worth considering, because it keeps your pores from clogging, which can reduce overall B.O and help antiperspirants absorb better.
Good hygiene is a straightforward way to keep armpit odor at bay, but it doesn't do much to actually stop sweat production.
2. Dress Strategically to Stop Sweat & Hide Sweat
When dealing with excessive armpit sweat, simple things like getting dressed require a bit more "strategery" ;) An effective strategy should include two lines of attack; Reducing sweat and concealing sweat.
Light and Breathable Clothing - Reduce sweat by choosing light, breathable clothing that allows your armpits plenty of air to breathe and stay cool.
Underarm Sweat Pads - Conceal and absorb excess perspiration with underarm sweat pads. Sweat pads (also called sweat shields, guards or liners) are cotton pads that stick to your clothing or skin.
How do they work? They absorb sweat as you perspire, so the sweat can't reach your shirt. The result: even though you might be sweating like crazy, your shirt won't show it.
They can be difficult to apply, sizing isn't universal, and they can come loose while you're wearing them, but they're helpful in a pinch.
(Warning: if you sweat a lot, you might need to change them out more frequently.)
Sweat-Proof Undershirts - Sweat-proof undershirts work a lot like sweat pads, except that the pads are built into the shirt.
They can be a bit bulky and at $30-$50 a piece, a bit pricey, too. However, they're great options to wear during important events.
3. Sweat-Proof Your Diet
Alternatively, a nutrient-rich diet full of vegetables, calcium, and plenty of water can help curb and regulate sweat production.
So, changing up your diet could be the key to stop excessive armpit sweating.
Diet changes aren't as effective for people who have hyperhidrosis.
And, let's be honest, changing your diet can be hard, especially if the culprit is one of your favorite foods.
However, if trigger foods (or lack of certain nutrients) are causing your armpits to sweat, swapping out some of your food choices could be worth a try.
4. Reduce Stress, Reduce Sweat
Stress sweat only occurs in the Apocrine glands (a.k.a. the sweat glands in your armpits and groin).
When we're stressed out, our bodies release the hormone adrenaline, which shoots our bodies into fight-or-flight mode, causing our armpits to sweat.
Unlike other types of sweat, stress sweat includes extra proteins and fatty substances that react to bacteria. That's why stress sweat tends to be smellier than just regular, old sweat.
Some scientists believe that the extra body odor released during stress sweating is an evolutionary trait meant to send warning signs to other people.
It's our body's way of secretly saying to other people: "Hey! You smell me right now? Things are really, really NOT okay."
While that might be helpful in survival situations, in daily life, it seems a little unnecessary, right? Especially because we don't usually want others to know we're under duress.
Work on managing your stress levels by practicing some scientifically- proven stress reduction techniques, like meditation, seeking support, getting some sunlight, exercising, relaxing your muscles, and sleeping more.
5. Exercise Regularly to Reduce Stress and Sweat
Exercising has a few benefits for reducing armpit sweating. While you'll sweat more while you exercise, over time, being more active can decrease your sweat in a few different ways:
- 1. Exercise reduces stress, which we already know causes underarm sweating.
- 2. Developing healthy lifestyle habits can lead to weight loss, which in turn can reduce sweat rates, as there's a higher rate of excessive sweating in people who are overweight or obese.
- 3. One study found that people who were more physically fit, sweat more at the beginning of a workout, but less as the workout went on.
Meaning, that exercise, and physical fitness can help regulate your body's ability to control its temperature.
Exercise and weight loss aren't easy, and these kinds of lifestyle changes take a lot of time, so they don't do much to help you right now.
But, increasing your physical activity could be part of your long-term strategy for reducing your excess armpit sweat.
6. Clinical Strength Antiperspirant
Clinical strength antiperspirant is often the first line of defense when dealing with excessive underarm sweating. The main ingredient in most antiperspirants is aluminum chloride, which actually stops the sweat from flowing.
Physical chemist and dermatologist, Louis Kuchnir, MD, explains: "When aluminum chloride gets close to water, it soaks it up and thickens it... By spreading it over the areas that perspire, it thickens the water in the top of the duct where the sweat's coming out, and that thickening, like a gel, will block it."
It's really effective, too. In a clinical study, 87% of participants who suffered from excessive armpit sweat saw a reduction of sweat after using an antiperspirant.
Often, when antiperspirant doesn't work, the person needs a higher aluminum chloride concentration.
(Our SweatBlock Antiperspirant wipes have a 14% aluminum chloride concentration, which we formulated specifically for people who need a bit more sweat control).
7. Prescription Antiperspirants
Prescription antiperspirants (like Drysol or Xerac AC) work much like over the counter antiperspirants. The biggest difference is that they require a prescription from your doctor.
Like the clinical strength antiperspirants above, they use an active aluminum ingredient.
The concentration of those ingredients is just a bit higher (generally around 20%). Doctors usually only prescribe them after you've already tried over the counter options.
The price for prescription antiperspirants varies and depends on your insurance coverage, but they tend to be a bit more expensive.
Also, since they have a stronger aluminum concentration, they can be abrasive and irritating to the skin, so you'll want to follow your doctor's recommendations for application and start use slowly to see how your skin reacts.
8. Botox for Sweaty Armpits
Yeah, Botox, like the shots. Botox works by paralyzing the nerves in charge of sweating.
Shots in the armpit may sound wild (and terrifying), but several studies have shown the effectiveness of Botox as a treatment option for underarm sweating.
The average cost of treating both your arms is $1,000, and you'll need to redo it every four to fourteen months because the effects wear off over time.
So, it's one of the more expensive options available.
Like any invasive medical treatment, there are some potential side effects that you should know about before diving in.
These side effects range from mild (injection site pain) to severe (weakening muscles used for breathing).
9. Hyperhidrosis Medication
Many doctors prescribe anticholinergics (like glycopyrrolate, oxybutynin, benztropine, and propantheline bromide) for sweat reduction. These medications work by preventing the sweat glands from activating.
Anticholinergics haven't been researched in clinical trials for the treatment of hyperhidrosis. However, many drugs aren't prescribed for their original intended purpose, but that doesn't mean they don't work.
It's worth mentioning that these medications stop sweat production everywhere, not just your underarms.
There is also an array of potential side effects like blurry vision, dry mouth, urinary problems, and heart palpitations that you'll want to discuss with your doctor before starting treatment.
10. MiraDry Underarm Treatment
MiraDry is a non-surgical, electromagnetic treatment for eliminating underarm sweat. It's like a microwave for your armpits.
The machine works by shooting electromagnetic energy into your underarms, removing the sweat glands that live there.
It's 93.8% effective at permanently eliminating underarm sweating. (In patients with excessive underarm sweating, it's 90.3% effective at reducing sweat; however, it doesn't always eliminate it completely.)
The average price for a MiraDry treatment is $2,300, and you might have to get more than one treatment to experience lasting results.
While the procedure is generally painless (they apply topical anesthetic to the area), many patients report pain and swelling following treatment.
11. Iontophoresis for Underarms
Iontophoresis is a procedure that uses a device, some water, and an electrical current to transmit medication through the skin to stop the production of sweat.
Iontophoresis is generally effective, but it requires frequent, ongoing treatments. Treatments can last between twenty and forty-five minutes, and you usually have to do at least three a week for it to work.
FDA-approved iontophoresis machines usually cost an average of $500 or more. Doctor-administered treatments are also an option, but their costs vary based on location and your insurance coverage.
Iontophoresis could be a fantastic option if you want to avoid surgical or pharmaceutical intervention and have a bit of time to spare.
12. Qbrexza Medicated Wipes
Qbrexza is an FDA-approved prescription cloth, used to treat underarm sweating. The active ingredient is Glycopyrronium, an anticholinergic.
It works the same way other anticholinergic medications do, by blocking the activation of your sweat glands.
These wipes require a prescription, and they can be pretty costly (an average cost of $762.99 for a 30 day supply). You use them daily by wiping them on your armpits to reduce sweating.
The most common Qbrexza side effects include dry mouth, sore throat, headache, urination issues, blurred vision, and constipation.
(We love the idea of underarm wipes, but we don't think they should cost that much. Our over-the-counter, FDA-compliant sweat wipes are only $18.99 per box)
How to Stop Sweating Underarms Naturally
Is there a natural way to cure sweaty underarms? There isn't much scientific evidence to support natural cures and remedies. We've found that most are ineffective for excessive sweating.
However, some people have reported reduced sweat with some natural solutions, so we've made a huge list of natural treatments and home remedies for excessive sweating
What's the Best Deodorant for Sweaty Armpits?
First, there's some confusion about the difference between deodorants and antiperspirants.
To put it simply: Deodorants stop odor. Antiperspirants stop sweat.
If you want to block odors and stop sweating, choose a deodorant with a powerful antiperspirant. (Not sure which one to choose? We broke down all the best deodorants for sweat here).
Take Control of Your Sweaty Armpits Today
You aren't doomed to a life of sweaty isolation. There are too many treatment options out there to settle for less than the life you deserve.
Some of these treatments might not be right for you. Some may be too expensive, too risky, or too frightening. However, we believe that there is a treatment out there that will work for you.
If you want an accessible, affordable, and effective option, give SweatBlock a try. We offer a 100% money-back guarantee because we honestly believe you deserve to find something that truly works for you.
Take control of your sweaty armpits today. Try SweatBlock Clinical Strength Antiperspirant today.
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