Underarm excessive sweating, also called axillary hyperhidrosis, is an uncontrollable, annoying, embarrassing, and isolating problem (to say the least). From the discomfort of sweat running down your sides, to the embarrassment of obvious sweat stains, to the fear of being “discovered,” uncontrollable underarm sweating can feel like it’s ruining your life.
Excessive sweating almost never causes physical harm, but the social and emotional toll on a person can be very serious. The recommended treatment depends on your problem: soaked shirts, smell, or yellow armpit stains.
You can reduce all of these to an extent with over-the-counter treatments and changed habits.
Here are some ways to prevent underarm sweat:
1. Shower or bathe regularly.
Bacteria on your skin can turn old sweat into smelly armpits. Shower daily to wash away the sweat before this happens.
Try ending your shower with a minute or two of cool or cold water. This will lower your surface temperature, making you less likely to sweat right away.
Pat your armpits dry with a soft towel. Vigorous scrubbing can stress your skin and cause more sweating
2. Wear antiperspirant deodorant.
Ordinary deodorant only hides smell. To stop soaking your clothes, you’ll need a product with antiperspirant.
Apply this just before bed and right after you wake up, or after drying off from your shower.
Your skin is usually cool and dry during these times, so the antiperspirant can easily reach your sweat glands and block them.
3. Reduce sweat triggers.
Many people suffer from hyperhidrosis, or excessive sweating, for genetic or hormonal reasons. Whatever the cause, certain foods and substances can worsen the problem. Consider the following changes if they are part of your daily habits:
- Quit smoking or other nicotine sources.
- Reduce your alcohol intake.
- Stop consuming caffeine.
- Eat less spicy food. Eat less garlic and onion intake as well, since these add odor to your sweat.
4. Drink enough water.
Whenever you feel hot or thirsty, drink a glass of cool water. This will bring your internal temperature down, so your body won’t have to lower it more by sweating.
5. Dress Strategically
Our wardrobe changes with the weather and with varied life situations. We dress light when it’s hot, we dress heavy when it’s cold.
For most people who suffer from excessive sweating, the sweat comes no matter the weather, the outfit, or the occasion. So, we have to be strategic about how we dress in order to reduce the sweat and hide it too.
Dressing in light, breathable fabrics with ample ventilation can be helpful in reducing sweat, but it’s not always effective or appropriate.
6. Wear clothes that hide excessive sweat
If you can’t stop it, hide it. Let’s start with colors to avoid. Keep your light blues, grays, and solid brights in the closet.
They’ll always reveal your sweaty side. Dark blues, black, dark colors and distracting patterns will conceal sweat the best. Jackets and sweaters are also useful tools for keeping your sweaty secret.
7. Exercise regularly, to promote normal sweating
Regular exercise will trigger the release of endorphins, promoting a sense of relaxation and satisfaction.
The lowering of stress hormone levels through aerobic exercise, combined with endorphin release, puts your body at ease and lessens the chance of triggering an adrenal response to stressors (sweating is a result of an adrenal response).