Excessive armpit sweating can ruin your clothes, make you feel uncomfortable, and increase your self-consciousness. Studies have shown that excessive sweating also has links to increased anxiety. There is no shortage of motivation to try and rein in your sweaty underarms, but there is a of treatment for sweaty armpits for you that are proven to be effective.
The problem is there are plenty of misconceptions about the best way to treat excessive armpit sweating (more on this later). Because of these misconceptions, you can waste a ton of time and money trying solutions that aren’t designed to stop it, like home remedies that don’t contain any of the active ingredients required to help keep your underarms dry.
Finding the Right Treatment for Your Situation
It’s both time-consuming and expensive to keep buying products that you end up throwing away because they don’t do anything to treat the heavy sweating you’re experiencing.
I know your frustration intimately. I started experiencing excessive sweating as a teenager, and over the years I tried several different treatments. Some didn’t work at all, and others were effective but came at too great a cost (physically and financially). I eventually realized I needed to work on my own solution, which is how I created Duradry’s 3-step system. So far, 97% of our customers experience complete dryness within one week.
In this post, we’re going to look at 5 ways to stop your excessive armpit sweat — discussing their respective pros and cons. But first, we’ll cover why excessive sweating happens and why traditional antiperspirants don’t cut it as a solution.
Why Traditional Antiperspirants Don’t Work for Excessive Sweating
The first thing to know is that uncontrollable excessive sweating is actually a medical condition called hyperhidrosis. If you’re experiencing difficulties to keep your armpits dry, regardless of body temperature or exercise levels, then you’re suffering from axillaryhyperhidrosis.
While traditional over-the-counter antiperspirants do work for plenty of people without this condition, they won’t be effective for those suffering from axillary hyperhidrosis.
Put simply, drugstore antiperspirants can’t keep up with your overactive sweat glands. The amount of sweat your glands produce will easily wash away the antiperspirant, leading to stained undershirts, body odor, and sustained periods of heavy sweating throughout the day.
What About Clinical Strength Antiperspirants?
Many of the big-brand antiperspirants (e.g. Dove, Degree, and Secret) label a section of their products as clinical strength, extra strength, or prescription strength.
These labels are mostly marketing terms, and they don’t reflect the effectiveness of the antiperspirant. Unfortunately, a lot of major store-bought antiperspirants just increase the percentages or tweak the ingredients they use in their regular products when it’s the baseline ingredients themselves that aren’t effective for hyperhidrosis.
Note: there are more robust “clinical strength” antiperspirants available, such as Certain Dri and SweatBlock. You can read more about these in our blog post, and compare them to Duradry.
Below we look at 5 different solutions that can help stop excessive sweating. Each of them is a proven hyperhidrosis treatment, yet they vary greatly in cost and ease of application.
6 Methods on How to Prevent Armpit Sweat
You may have despaired of ever finding a treatment that will stop underarm sweating. But there are a number of sweaty pit solutions that can provide relief for even the toughest cases of hyperhidrosis.
1) Duradry’s 3-Step System: Guaranteeing Dryness
2) Prescription Antiperspirant
4) Consume a Balanced Diet
5) Minor Lifestyle Adjustments
6) Under Extreme Circumstances, Always Seek Medical Advice
No matter how bad your sweating problem is, chances are at least one of the solutions on our list will work for you. Whether you simply need a new antiperspirant or require prescription medication, anti-sweating help is available.
1) Duradry’s 3-Step System: Guaranteeing Dryness
Duradry uses a simple 3-step system to keep your underarms dry (97% of our customers achieve full dryness within one week). Our products are safe, FDA-approved, and get delivered directly to your door.
But let’s take a look at how to use each of the three steps.
This unscented gel is applied to your underarms before going to bed. It contains 15% Aluminum Chloride. This is the active ingredient that is ideal for treating excessive sweating — this is what’s missing from other antiperspirants. By using Duradry PM at night, you’re letting the active ingredient work on your sweat glands while they’re mostly inactive. Most of our customers only need to use Duradry PM 2-3 times a week.
Duradry Wash clears your skin of any bacteria or residual antiperspirant, which helps your daily antiperspirant get full contact with your underarms when applied. Plus, it’s full of vitamins and moisturizers that help treat your skin, reducing irritation. You can use Duradry Wash daily or whenever you shower.
You apply Duradry AM in the morning. It contains Aluminum Zirconium Trichlorohydrex (20%), another aluminum compound that keeps your underarms dry and increases the effectiveness of Duradry PM. It can be used daily and comes in a light, neutral unisex scent.
The Effectiveness of Our Products
Duradry is effective where traditional antiperspirants are not, due to:
The active ingredients we use;
The quality and purity of our ingredients;
How our three products work together to maximize their benefits.
One Final Word About Our Ingredients
Aluminum Chloride is one of the most effective ways to treat excessively sweaty underarms. But most antiperspirants you’ll find at the drugstore don’t contain it. This is because Aluminum Chloride is more likely to cause skin irritation. The big brands don’t want to risk this.
To make sure Duradry doesn’t irritate your skin, we use Salicylic Acid in Duradry PM. Not only does this help keep your skin healthy and reduce the risk of irritation, but it also increases the overall effectiveness of our antiperspirant.
Plus, we only use the very best European-sourced active ingredients in our products. Our pure ingredients have low pH (which makes them more potent). And we also designed our ingredients to get into your pores easier by using micronized particles.
2) Prescription Antiperspirant
Sometimes antiperspirants are so strong that they require a prescription. But does that mean they’re that much more effective?
The answer is surprising. First, let’s explain that when antiperspirants need a prescription, it’s because they contain a high amount of Aluminum Chloride.
We talked about Aluminum Chloride above because it’s the most critical active ingredient when it comes to treating excessive armpit sweat. In Duradry PM, we use 15% Aluminum Chloride, along with other ingredients that help reduce skin irritation.
But in prescription-only antiperspirants — with brands like Drysol — the manufacturers use 20% Aluminum Chloride.
But according to the data, that’s overkill, and in fact, comes with two significant drawbacks.
Higher Chance of Skin Irritation
By using 20% Aluminum Chloride, you increase the risk of irritating your skin. While dryness is the goal, exchanging sweaty underarms for blistered and itchy underarms isn't ideal.
Only Found in Some Types of Antiperspirant
By using 20% Aluminum Chloride, the antiperspirant is only available with a prescription. By using 20% Aluminum Chloride — which isn’t any more effective than 15% — brands make it more difficult for you to get your hands on their product because now you need to make an appointment with your dermatologist or general care physician.
The Bottom Line
This also adds to the cost of the product, whether you’re talking about taking the time out of your day to go to the doctor or literally paying your co-pay just to get a prescription.
If you want to learn more about how prescription-only products like Drysol compare to other leading hyperhidrosis antiperspirants, check out our comparison article: Drysol vs Certain Dri vs Duradry.
Iontophoresis is often listed as a solution for excessive sweating. Iontophoresis is when you get low-voltage electrical currents pulsed through your body in the affected area.
This involves multiple sessions per week for the first few weeks, with each session lasting up to 40 minutes. Like Botox and surgery, it can be expensive. In addition to the cost, it didn't make the cut for this list because, while it’s been shown to be effective to treat hyperhidrosis with hands and feet, the data is less clear about treating excessive underarm sweat.
Perspiration by itself is almost odorless. But sweat provides food and a home for odor-causing bacteria that live on your skin, causing them to multiply rapidly. A shower washes away the sweat and gets rid of stinky bacteria.
While washing does not prevent armpit sweat, regular washing reduces the concentration of bacteria in sweaty areas. This lowers the chances of an unpleasant odor that makes you self-conscious and causes you to sweat even more.
If you have hyperhidrosis, you should take at least a daily shower and use antibacterial soap to minimize problems with body odor.
4) Consume a Balanced Diet
A more balanced diet can go a long way toward preventing sweating.
Acidic foods, hot foods, and spicy foods all can make you sweat. Sometimes a high-sugar meal causes your body to make too much insulin, the hormone that processes sugar and changes it into energy. Heavy sweating after eating is a common problem among diabetics.
Too much salt can also lead to sweating. A high sodium diet means your body will be detoxing all that salt in the form of excess urine and sweat. A more moderate sodium intake can reduce sweating and has other proven health benefits.
5) Minor Lifestyle Adjustments
If you’re dealing with constant armpit sweat, you may feel like throwing your hands up in despair - or you would if it weren’t for the pit stains! Luckily, there are many minor lifestyle adjustments you can make that can help improve your quality of life.
Here are a few small lifestyle tweaks that can provide a lot of dryness without a lot of effort. These adjustments may not be enough to completely eliminate serious hyperhidrosis, but they will definitely make matters better for anyone who is dealing with excessive sweating.
Wear Lighter Clothes
If your body has some space and airflow to self-regulate its temperature, it will produce less sweat. Natural fabrics like cotton and linen wick away sweat from your body, allowing for more cooling and evaporation. Avoid polyester, rayon, or other synthetic fabrics that trap sweat and cause it to pool in awkward areas.
If you are sensitive to temperature changes, it can be helpful to dress in light layers. This gives you better control over your thermoregulation and helps you deal with those awkward moments when you go from hot and sweaty to cold and sweaty.
Be one the Lookout for Stress and Anxiety
Your body temperature rises when you are under stress, and this prompts your sweat glands to kick in. Sweating more under stress is normal. But excessive sweating that affects your confidence or interferes with your life may be due to a medical condition called hyperhidrosis.
Mindfulness, meditation, and soothing music may keep you grounded and centered during difficult moments. Cutting back on your caffeine levels may help you feel less jittery and nervous, and if you have ongoing issues with tension and anxiety you may want to talk to a counselor.
Keep Yourself Hydrated
When you're dealing with constant armpit sweat, the idea of adding more water to your body may seem counterintuitive. But drinking plenty of water causes your body temperature to stay in the lower range, causing less sweat overall.
Keeping a bottle of water handy throughout the day and staying constantly hydrated helps your body regulate its temperature internally, without having to call on your sweat glands to help cool things down.
Hydration also helps your kidneys filter out toxins that can lead to body odor when they are excreted through your sweat glands.
Keep Your Room Ventilated
A well-ventilated room allows air to circulate and promotes sweat evaporation. This keeps your body temperature cool, which results in less sweat being produced. Opening a window can make the difference between a restless, sweaty slumber and a good night’s sleep.
Keeping your room ventilated can also lower humidity. The more humid the air, the less your sweat evaporates. An hot, stuffy, humid room is going to leave everyone with sweaty armpits for no reason. Air circulation gets rid of that muggy air and replaces it with cooler, dryer air that makes you more comfortable and helps reduce your sweating.
6) Under Extreme Circumstances, Always Seek Medical Advice
Some excessive sweat issues can only be treated with the help of medical professionals. If your sweating problems persist, talk to your doctor about the available hyperhidrosis treatments. Your physician can prescribe prescription anti-sweat pills and topical treatments that are not available over the counter, and can also discuss other hyperhidrosis options.
Some medical anti-sweating solutions involve injections, surgery, or other intrusive treatments. Before you commit to any of these treatments be sure to check your caregiver’s credentials thoroughly. Do your research on the treatment and any possible side effects before signing up for a painful and expensive procedure.
How to Stop Armpit Sweat for Good
You can find lots of general tips about keeping your underarms dry online, such as avoiding spicy foods or keeping your anxiety in check. But if you’re suffering from hyperhidrosis, this means you experience uncontrollable excessive sweating, and neither of these things will help much. Your body is going to actively produce sweat, no matter what you eat or what you wear.
So, you need a proven solution that actually stops sweat from forming in your armpits.
To help you keep your underarms dry, we recommend the Duradry 3-step system.
* Unlike prescription-strength antiperspirant, Duradry can be ordered directly through our online store and sent discreetly to your home;
* It is cost-effective and guaranteed to work (or your money back);
* It is pain-free and designed with only the best-sourced ingredients.
How to Treat Excessive Underarm Sweat with Surgery
Below, we’re going to cover more serious, invasive, and expensive treatment options. These aren’t solutions that you’d take up casually.
If you haven’t tried pain-free and cost-effective methods like Duradry, then we don’t recommend considering the options below, which are meant only for the most extreme cases of excessive sweating, and after you’ve exhausted all other options.
Invasive and Extreme Options for Sweaty Armpits
Here are four of the most common medical treatment methods used for excessive sweating. When nothing else will stop your underarm sweat, these treatments may bring you anti-sweating relief.
All of these treatments require medical supervision, and each can have unpleasant side effects. But if all other OTC and prescription antiperspirants have failed, the improvements they can bring to your quality of life may outweigh the associated costs and expenses.
1) Botox Injections
4) Oral Medication
1) Botox Injections
Maybe you’ve heard of getting botox injections to stop sweating, maybe you haven’t. Either way, there are some misconceptions about this specific treatment that is worth clarifying.
Botox injections work to stop sweating because botox is a toxin (the botulinum toxin, to be exact) that disrupts the nerves wherever it’s injected. To stop your underarms from sweating, Botox is injected with a fine needle into your underarm (dozens of times in one session) to stop the production of a chemical in your body that triggers your sweat glands.
Pros and Cons Of Injecting Botox for Excessive Sweating
Botox has become an increasingly popular weapon in the war to stop armpit sweat. A few minutes in a dermatologist’s office and the most sweaty pit will soon be dry. Botox is a fast, effective hyperhidrosis solution that can handle even the toughest sweating problems.
But while Botox is fast and effective, it is not cheap. Neither is it permanent, with most patients requiring treatment every 3-12 months. At around $1,000 a treatment, that can quickly add up.
Pro: Quick Process
Dermatologists, or doctors certified to use Botox, perform the injections in their office. They inject very small amounts of Botox beneath the skin in a 1-2 cm grid pattern. An experienced Botox professional can inject both underarms and give you underarm sweat control in under 10 minutes.
Before they inject the skin, the doctor typically numbs the area with ice or a local anesthetic. This will help to ease any pain or discomfort you might feel during the procedure.
Pros: Quick Results
Botox can stop a sweaty pit dead in its tracks. Within 2–4 days after underarm Botox injections most people begin seeing noticeable anti-sweating results The full effects are usually noticeable within 2 weeks, with most underarm Botox patients reporting an 82-87% decrease in sweating after their injections.
Con: Potential Side Effects
While Botox can be an effective underarm sweat treatment, it can also have unpleasant side effects. Some patients report injection site redness, bruising, and pain. Others report flulike symptoms like nausea, headaches, fever, and fatigue after Botox injections.
And some report their feet, hands, or other areas start producing more sweat as their armpits become drier. Patients with an overactive thyroid (a common cause of excessive sweating) should avoid Botox injections as complications can arise.
Con: Pricing Issue
Unfortunately, botox injections are neither affordable, pain-free, or long-term. Each session requires around 25-50 different botox injections, and as you imagine, they’re quite painful. Plus, botox’s effects wear off over time. Most of the time you’re back to your normal sweating output after 4-6 months.
Finally, botox injections are expensive (around $800-$1,000) a session. If you combine trips to the dermatologist, plus the shots themselves, you’re looking at spending well over $3,000 a year on treating your hyperhidrosis.
Another effective — if not practical — way to stop armpit sweat is to book a miraDry session. miraDry is microwave therapy technology that burns off the sweat glands in your armpits. It has an advantage over Botox — in that it’s a permanent solution and doesn’t require repeated sessions — but also comes with some significant drawbacks.
Similar to Botox treatments, miraDry does work but it’s an option that shouldn't be considered until all other options — such as trying Duradry’s 3-step system that’s been shown to provide dryness for 97% of our customers — have been exhausted.
Pro: Proven Results
If you want to stop sweaty armpits, miraDry typically provides a permanent 80%-90% sweat reduction in the treated area. miraDry is FDA-approved for the treatment of hyperhidrosis and has a long history of great results.
Along with armpit sweating, miraDry also affects hair follicles and reduces hair growth in the armpit area. Who doesn't love a treatment that leaves you sweating and shaving less?
Pro: Overall Quick Process
miraDry may be the fastest underarm sweat treatment on the market. A typical miraDry visit lasts about an hour, including an application of local anesthesia before the procedure. Most patients achieve their desired permanent result with one miraDry session, with only a few requiring a second treatment. And as soon as miraDry microwaves a sweat gland, it’s gone for good. That means no waiting, just immediate and permanent sweating relief.
In the long run, miraDry may save you money on deodorant. In the short term, a miraDry session typically costs between $2500 and $3500. While miraDry is generally not covered by insurance, you may be able to use your HSA or HFA funds to pay for miraDry. Many miraDry clinics also offer patient financing. If you want to treat your underarm sweat problem with miraDry but short on funds, talk to your local miraDry doctors.
Con: Unpleasant Side Effects
Some patients of miraDry have reported numbness in areas where they had the treatment applied, in this case, the underarms. For some patients, the numbness lasted up to a year.
Con: Painful Treatment Preparation
miraDry is relatively pain-free only because you are given a local anesthetic prior to treatment. The local anesthetic is delivered with a needle and requires up to 50 injections per underarm.
We’re covering surgery, not necessarily because it’s an effective treatment for stopping sweating armpit sweating, but because we want to explain why surgery is ever considered and why it’s almost always something that should be avoided if possible.
We’re personally invested in helping people who suffer from excessive uncontrolled sweating in their underarms. Based on our research, somewhere between 80-90% of people who received surgery to stop excessive sweating said they were not happy with the results.
Here’s How the Surgery Works.
1. You’re put completely under with a general anesthetic.
2. The surgeon cuts into each underarm, severing the nerves that trigger your sweat glands into producing sweat.
In addition to plenty of post-operative patients reporting long and painful recoveries, there’s also a list of side effects, such as compensatory sweating.
In short, surgery is painful, risky, and expensive. Plus, the majority of people who get it regret the operation, and even after all of that, there’s a high chance that your body will just push the sweat out somewhere else, such as your hands, feet, or lower back.
4) Oral Medication
While there are some anti-sweating pills available, you will not be able to cure your wet armpits with OTC oral medication. Anticholinergics, the oral medication used most frequently in treating hyperhidrosis, can have serious side effects and require a doctor’s prescription.
Used appropriately and under medical supervision, anticholinergics can be a very effective armpit sweat treatment. Glycopyrrolate (Robinul), one of the most popular anti-sweating medications, can reduce sweating by up to 75%
Over-the-Counter vs Prescription Based Medications
If you’re tired of dealing with sweaty armpits for no reason, you may want to talk to a doctor. It’s never a bad idea to get checked by a physician. While most cases are harmless, excessive sweating can be a sign of several underlying medical conditions.
But while you may need prescription medications for stopping underarm sweat, make sure you first try the various nonprescription solutions available. Before giving you a prescription, your doctor will likely want to hear what other methods you have tried to deal with your sweating problem. If you can find relief using OTC products, you can save yourself a lot of time, money, and unnecessary medical procedures.
Ready to experience complete dryness? Try Duradry’s 3-step solution that actually works to stop excessive sweating. Get started for just $20.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why do My Armpits Sweat While Standing Still?
Hyperhidrosis, or excessive sweating, is a common disorder that produces a lot of unhappiness. People with hyperhidrosis can find themselves sweating like they are working out even at rest. Hyperhidrosis can cause excessive armpit sweating regardless of any physical activity being performed at the moment.
If you are suffering from hyperhidrosis, don’t despair. There are many solutions to your sweating problem, including safe and effective OTC products formulated for people living with hyperhidrosis.
Botox vs. MiraDry: Which Should You Choose?
Both miraDry and Botox are fast, safe, and effective treatments that can reduce sweating by over 80%. miraDry is a permanent sweaty armpits solution that takes care of wet armpit issues for good, but it costs more upfront. Botox is less expensive but only lasts 3-12 months before you need another treatment.
If you have glaucoma or thyroid issues, you will not be able to use Botox but should have no special problems with miraDry.
How to Hide Armpit Sweat?
If you’re wondering how to stop armpit sweat, try using talcum powder on your armpits after applying deodorant. The talcum absorbs the extra sweat and helps keep you dry longer.
You can also purchase dress shields or garment pads to use in your business clothing. These can be sewn into the seam to prevent stains, or come with a strap that keeps them in place under your armpit during a tense meeting.
How to Prevent Sweat Stains?
Here are some suggestions for avoiding sweat-stained clothes:
- Carry deodorant and antiperspirant with you. The best treatment for sweaty armpits is always being prepared for a stressful situation.
- Let your body cool and dry after showering. The longer you stay in a warm bathroom and the more vigorously you dry yourself, the more likely you are to sweat.
- Use topical antiperspirants to prevent sweat. Topical antiperspirant creams can also help keep your hands, feet, and forehead more dry.
- Wash your clothes with extra care. Pretreat clothing with laundry detergent or color-safe bleach, and use stain-releasing spot removers on armpits to prevent yellow stains.