Stop Excessive Armpit Sweating
Prevent and stop excessive armpit sweating. Learn about the causes, treatments and remedies for
excessive underarm sweating.
All humans exhibit sweaty armpits sometime or the other. However some individuals experience excessive armpit
sweating, medically termed as axillary hyperhidrosis.
For those who suffer from excessive armpit or underarm sweating, axillary hyperhidrosis can be a disturbing and
embarrassing condition. Left untreated, it can lead to huge psychological, physical and social complications such
as anxiety, social phobia, low self-esteem, depression and in some severe cases obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Axillary hyperhidrosis is usually diagnosed if you constantly experience heavy sweating in one or both armpits
for no apparent cause - irrespective of climate or environment conditions - for a period of more than six months.
Additionally, one of the most disturbing symptoms of axillary hyperhidrosis for those affected is severe sweating
followed by persistent underarm odor.
According to medical experts, the exact cause for excessive armpit sweating is unknown though there are numerous
research that show that axillary hyperhidrosis is mainly triggered by overactivity of the sympathetic nervous
system causing the apocrine sweat glands to overstimulate. Additionally, there can also be other reasons such as
hereditary, hygiene, diet habits, stress, medical and emotional stimuli, all of which can cause a person to sweat
excessively at the armpits.
Hyperhidrosis generally starts in adolescence; however in some cases, the condition have also been reported in
Note: Axillary sweating may also be present alone, or in conjunction with any or all other
types of hyperhidrosis.
How To Stop Excessive Underarm Sweating - Remedies and Treatment For
Antiperspirants constitute the first line of treatment for most sufferers of axillary hyperhidrosis. Most
antiperspirants contain aluminum based chemical formulations such as aluminum chloride hexahydrate to help control
and combat overactive underarm sweat glands.
There are a few variations of antiperspirants. Some can be bought over the counter while others, like Drysol
require medical prescription. The key difference is in their aluminum based content. Anything with aluminum
composition below 19% can be purchased over the counter. Antiperspirants with 19% to 25% and above aluminum
chloride are considered a drug and require a medical prescription.
For best results, apply antiperspirant on dry skin at night when underarm sweat glands are least active. Wash
treated area after six to eight hours. Use daily until favorable results are noticed. When used for a long period
of time, some irritation and itching may occur. The effectiveness of antiperspirants may also diminishes.
Deodorants are effective only for the control of odor. They do not actually prevent sweating. Deodorants conceal
sweat smell, but your shirts and blouses will still be soak and stained if you suffer from excessive sweating.
There are some oral medication such as antidepressants drugs to help control axillary hyperhidrosis by blocking
and preventing stimulation of the sweat glands in the sympathetic nervous system.
However such medications can cause many serious side effects including blurred vision, constipation,
palpitations and impaired speech.
Iontophoresis is another possible treatment to help stop excessive armpit sweating. Iontophoresis requires a
dermatologist to cover patients' underarms with wet pads and pass mild electrical current with maximum intensity.
Cost for iontophoresis is about $10 per treatment with each session about 20 to 30 minutes long and is performed
about three times a week, over several weeks.
While Iontophoresis is effective in treating patients with excessive armpit sweating, however it is not usually
recommended because the skin in the armpits is likely to be irritated by the process. This procedure is also deemed
unfit for pregnant women and people with pace-makers.
Botox ® Treatment
In cases where the treatment of topical medication fails, Botox ® may be the next possible choice of treatment
to stop excessive underarm sweat.
Botox ® (botulinum toxin Type A) is injected in several places around the armpit to block the transmission of
nerve signals to underarm sweat glands. During any given treatment, the doctor will inject Botox ® all over the
armpit area. A single treatment usually includes about 20 injections and can costs about $500 to $1000 dollars per
treatment. Botox ® is ideal for moderate to severe axillary hyperhidrosis and remains effective for up to eight
Surgery is recommended for individuals with extreme axillary hyperhidrosis when all other modes of controlling
excessive sweating fail. Through endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy (ETS), the surgery for axillary hyperhidrosis,
doctors clamp or incise specific nerves to block sweat inducing signals.
While this procedure has a 95% success rate for stopping excessive armpit sweating, patients are advised to
experiment with other treatments before agreeing to ETS. The main side effect with ETS is that in most patients it
leads to compensatory sweating of other parts of the body mainly the back, lower legs and thighs.
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Additional Tips To Help Stop Underarm Sweating
There are also a number of things that one can try to help control excessive armpit sweating or prevent body
odor. Some of these suggestions are:
- Keep good personal hygiene by bathing daily. Regular showers wash away the bacteria and sweat that may be
accumulated on the armpits and is particularly effective for preventing body odor.
- Try relaxation techniques such as yoga, meditation or self hypnosis. These techniques can help you learn
how to control anxiety and the stress that can trigger sweating.
- Consider changing your current diet. Don’t smoke or drink caffinated drinks. Nicotine and caffeine can
raise body temperature and make the heart pump faster, thereby increasing perspiration. Avoid eating spicy
foods and try drinking more water and eating more fruits to help the body keep cool.
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