How To Stop Excessive Sweating

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.

Symptoms

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.

Causative Factors

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 young children.

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 Axillary Hyperhidrosis

Antiperspirants

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.

Oral Medication

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

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 months.

Surgery

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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