Excessive sweating can leave you dripping wet and it can be extremely embarrassing. If you are living with hyperhidrosis, you’re not alone. In fact, more people suffer from excessive sweating than from psoriasis or peanut allergies. So it’s common, but that doesn’t make it any less uncomfortable or humiliating.
Preventing underarm sweating can be a rather arduous task, especially if you're not using the right treatment. Read on to learn how you can effectively address your condition so you will never have to deal with sweat stains ever again.
Why Are You Sweating Through Clothes?
There are several reasons why you may be sweating excessively, ranging from diet to an increase in activity, to an underlying condition.
But if you’re constantly sweating uncontrollably through your clothes — and even sweating a lot when you’re simply sitting down — then you may have hyperhidrosis.*
There are two types of hyperhidrosis — primary focal and secondary hyperhidrosis.
1) Primary Focal Hyperhidrosis
This means there is no apparent reason for your excessive sweating. It doesn’t have to do with body temperature or mood or age. It’s just that your sweat glands produce more sweat than others.
2) Secondary Hyperhidrosis
Secondary hyperhidrosis means your sweating problem is caused by something else, such as a side effect of a medication.
But Here’s the Kicker
When you have hyperhidrosis, common sweaty armpit hacks (or life hacks) to keep you dry simply won’t work. These might include:
• Trimming your armpits
• Always staying hydrated
• Cutting down on caffeine
• Steering away from sweat-inducing food
• Avoiding alcohol
• Showering more often
• Wearing wicking undershirts
• Wearing baggy clothes (something several of those surveyed reported doing)
While some of these solutions, such as cutting back on caffeine and alcohol or meditating, are positive lifestyle changes you can make, they won’t stop your excessive sweating. Others are simply designed to avoid sweat stains. None of them get to the root of the problem.
How to Prevent Sweat Stains on Your Shirt
Whether you're perspiring from exertion or sweating while sitting, you can wind up with ugly and embarrassing sweat stains on your shirt. Luckily, there's hope. While a little sweat is inevitable, there are ways to keep you from sweating through clothes. Here are some tips to prevent sweating through shirts.
1) Trim Your Armpits
Hair holds onto moisture, so shaving your armpits may result in less sweating and sweat stains. Hair can also become a breeding ground for the bacteria that cause body odor.
Less body hair makes it easier for sweat to evaporate, keeping you cooler and resulting in fewer stains. You can’t always wear shirts that don’t show sweat, but you can minimize the sweating.
If you shave your armpits, make sure you use clippers and a sharp razor blade as well as plenty of shaving cream. Trimming your underarms with a dull razor can lead to folliculitis (razor bumps), nicks, and ingrown hairs.
2) Always Stay Hydrated
Here’s one of our easiest sweaty armpit hacks: drink more water!
You might think that putting more water into your body would make you sweat more. On the contrary, drinking water reduces your body temperature and so your body doesn’t perspire as much. It also keeps your kidneys busy flushing toxins that can cause body odor.
If you are sweating profusely while you exercise, you need to replace that sweat with water. Your body sweats to keep your core body temperature stable. If that thermoregulation fails, your body can overheat and you can wind up with heat exhaustion and dehydration.
3) Avoid Smoking
From among our list of sweaty armpit hacks, this one could be the healthiest. We all know that smoking is linked to serious health conditions, such as emphysema, cancer, and heart disease. But did you know that smoking can also make you sweat?
Yes, and preventing underarm sweating is one of the many benefits of quitting smoking. Nicotine causes your body to release acetylcholine, a neurochemical that raises your body temperature and heart rate. This snaps your sweat glands into high gear.
Sweating, in addition to cancer risks and other health issues, is just one more reason to quit. While excessive sweating is a common symptom of nicotine withdrawal, you’ll feel fresher – and healthier – than ever once you detox!
4) Under Extreme Circumstances, Consider More Invasive Methods
If you are sweating through clothes no matter what antiperspirants you use, you may want to consider more invasive anti-sweat methods that can alleviate even the worst sweating problems.
Botox for excessive sweating: The neurotoxin used to remove laugh lines can also stop your sweating. While they greatly reduce sweating in around 90% of patients, botox injections cost around $1,000 and are only good for 7 to16 months.
Miradry: Miradry uses microwaves to destroy sweat glands and reduce armpit sweat permanently. The process leaves your underarms tender for a few days and costs between $1,500 and $4,500 a treatment.
Surgery: An endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy (ETS) cuts sympathetic nerves that send signals to the sweat glands in your armpits and hands. This procedure takes around 40 minutes, requires general anesthesia, and can cost $10,000 or more out of pocket.
5) Steer Away from Sweat-Inducing Food
We love spicy food. But the fiery capsaicin that tickles and torments our taste buds also tricks our body into thinking its temperature has risen. This is why sweat runs down your forehead when you eat five-alarm chili or ghost pepper salsa. And that sweat response can leave you with damp clothes and sweat marks.
Physically hot foods can also make you sweat, as can a heavy, fatty meal. And while garlic and onions will not make you sweat more profusely, they can add an unpleasant whiff to your natural body odor.
6) Cut Down on Caffeine
Caffeine triggers the release of adrenaline and stimulates your nervous system. This makes you more alert and is the reason we enjoy a nice morning cup of coffee or tea. But that adrenaline stimulation also triggers your body’s “fight or flight” response.
When we sense danger, our body gears up for a challenge or an attempted escape. Both of these choices are energy-intensive, and so our blood pressure and heart rate rise. Our body also begins cooling itself pre-emptively in anticipation, and so we perspire. Cutting back on caffeine can reduce armpit sweat stains and embarrassment.
7) Avoid Alcohol
Another way you can avoid sweat stains is to curb your drinking. Although a cold beer on a hot day can make you feel cooler, alcohol can also make you sweat, even at levels well below intoxication.
In greater concentrations, alcohol affects the hypothalamus area that controls sweating, blood pressure, and other involuntary bodily functions. This can cause excessive sweating or hyperhidrosis.
As you drink, the alcohol that is not being processed by your kidneys accumulates in your bloodstream. Alcohol enlarges surface blood vessels, causing you to become flushed. Your body then tries to cool your warm skin by activating your sweat glands.
8) Try Meditation
A sweaty pit is often a sign of a troubled mind. When we worry about upcoming bills or stressful situations, we trigger our fight or flight response. Our body reacts to the future as if it were the present.
Anxiety is one of the biggest causes of excessive sweating. Through mindfulness, breathing, and other meditation techniques, you can learn to keep your worries and fears in check.
By grounding yourself in the here and now, you can limit your sweating over things that are gone and things that may never happen. Meditation can make you both happier and drier.
9) Shower More Often
Regular showers are one of the best ways to prevent sweat stains on shirts. A cool shower helps lower your body temperature, which directly causes your body to reduce its sweat production. Warm baths and hot showers are great for sweating out toxins, but if you need to stay dry, a cool shower is your best choice.
Sweat stains are caused by the interaction of skin oils, bacteria, and other environmental factors with your shirt fabric. Regular showering removes skin oils and bacteria, removing an important part of the sweat stain equation.
10) Wear Wicking Undershirts
Moisture-wicking undershirts serve two purposes. They move sweat away from your skin to the outer surface of the shirt like a wick drawing oil from a lamp. They also evaporate quickly so that the shirt and your skin both stay dry.
While cotton undershirts are great for many things, they hold moisture and can leave you feeling hot and sticky, then cold and clammy. You want a synthetic shirt with hydrophobic (moisture-fearing) fibers that draw the moisture up on its surface so it can evaporate away. This decreases the humidity within your shirt and cools your torso and armpits.
11) Wear Baggy Clothes
Baggy shirts that don't show sweat are not just for cosmetic purposes. These clothes provide much-needed breathing room for your armpits.
As air circulates through your shirt, it carries away evaporated perspiration. This circulation lowers the humidity that accumulates as you sweat, making your body’s natural cooling system run more efficiently and reducing the amount of sweat your body must produce.
12) Consider Exercising Indoors
There’s no way around it. If you are working out, you’re going to sweat. But for those with hyperhidrosis, there really is such a thing as sweating too much during a workout.
If your workout leaves you with chafing and skin infections, or if you notice sweat rings and spots on your shirts after a sweaty workout session, you may want to exercise indoors during the warm months.
A vigorous workout outdoors on a hot, humid summer day will certainly lead to a lot of sweat. Exercising indoors in a controlled temperature room might make your sweating more manageable.
13) Always Carry Underarm Pads
Under urgent situations, always be prepared to use a sweat pad for your underarms. Sweat pads are ultra-thin patches that stick to your clothing or your skin. These pads prevent sweat marks and can give you confidence in tough meetings or stressful situations.
While sweat pads help to keep you dry, they are not a perfect solution. The adhesive on pads can come loose, causing the pads to fall off and resulting in embarrassment. And while some sweat pads use straps instead of adhesive, those strap sweat pads can slip out of place.
Introducing Duradry’s 3-Step System for Excessive Sweating
I used to sweat through shirts every day, and I developed Duradry because I was disappointed in the different hyperhidrosis treatments that were available for people like me.
This started when I was a young teenager, and I have tried all kinds of treatments over the course of my life — from home remedies to prescription antiperspirants to painful Botox injections.
If you're looking to stop sweating through shirts, there is a solution that is affordable, effective, pain-free, and would work for the long term. (If you have hyperhidrosis, then you need a long-term solution, as this is a life-long condition.)
After much research and testing, I developed Duradry’s simple 3-step system.
Here’s how it works.
Step One: Apply Duradry PM Before You Go to Bed
Duradry PM is a gel antiperspirant that uses aluminum chloride as its active ingredient.
Aluminum chloride is one of the most effective aluminum compounds that prevent sweaty pits. This is because it's a smaller compound that is able to get deeper into your pores to better block sweat production. When your perspiration encounters aluminum chloride, it turns into an aluminum salt that temporarily plugs your sweat ducts, working like a dam to keep your skin dry.
You apply Duradry PM’s unscented gel right before you go to bed. Applying it before bed is strategic — now the active ingredient can start working while you’re less likely to sweat.
Most of our customers only need to apply Duradry PM only 2 to 3 times a week.
Step Two: Use Duradry Wash When You Shower
Plenty of hyperhidrosis topical treatments only use one product — a single antiperspirant. But this isn’t good enough. You want to make sure that your antiperspirant is coming into full contact with your affected skin area.
This is why we include Duradry Wash in our 3-step system.
Duradry Wash is packed with natural ingredients, helping you to clean your pores of any residue (from deodorants, antiperspirants, or soaps), oils, and bacteria. This process helps the active ingredients of both Duradry PM and AM work more effectively because they aren’t blocked from reaching your sweat ducts.
Step Three: Apply Duradry AM in the Morning
Apply Duradry AM every morning when you start your day. Duradry AM is an extra-strong antiperspirant-deodorant.
Duradry AM uses another effective, FDA-approved aluminum compound — aluminum zirconium trichlorohydrex gly (20%) — to give you another robust layer of daily sweat protection.
Final Thoughts: Keeping Your Shirts (and Your Body) Dry
Preventing underarm sweating is a widespread problem that many of us suffer from before we find a solution that works. But instead of focusing on short-term hacks or items that hide your sweat (like a sweat-proof undershirt), you can block the sweat at its source.
While excessive sweating can sometimes feel overwhelming, remember that you’re not alone. It’s a common condition, and it is treatable with the right products. You can try our simple 3-step system now, which has helped countless people — just like Josh — change their life.
Here Are Some of the Insights We Learned
To gain a better understanding of how people manage the discomfort and awkwardness of preventing sweat stains, we conducted a survey of over 250 people who suffer from excessive sweating. We asked them how their condition influences their clothing and personal hygiene choices, and here are their answers.
Limits Your Wardrobe Options
Over 93% of respondents reported that they cannot always wear the clothes they want as they were preventing sweat stains from showing up on their shirts.
Constantly Changing Clothes
More than 87% of respondents said that they change their clothes at least once a day due to their sweating problem. Over half of those said that they change their clothes at least twice a day.
Increase in the Number of Showers Per Day
Nearly 98% of excessive sweaters report showering at least twice a day due to sweaty pit.
Increase in Social Anxiety
96% of respondents said that they prefer to wear dark-colored clothing because it helps hide their armpit sweat stain.
The Conclusion Here is Clear:
Your excessive sweating problem can lead you to adapt the kinds of clothing you wear, and it can also dictate what you do and don’t do with your day.
(If you sweat so much that you need to always plan for multiple showers, you’re not going to be comfortable making last-minute plans or staying longer at a party or work event.)
Unfortunately, when people try to stop sweating through shirts, they’re often misguided by “life hacks” that don’t actually solve the sweating problem — but instead just try to hide it.
In this post, we look at how Duradry’s 3-step system is used by many to prevent sweat stains. But first, let’s quickly explain why you’re likely to be sweating so much, and what solutions won’t work to keep you dry.
Josh Used Duradry to Stop Sweating Through His Shirts
Restricted to Black Shirts...
Similar to those who answered our survey, Josh stuck to black shirts to help hide his sweat stains, and couldn't wear dress shirts to high school dances or other formal events. In fact, he avoided many of those events altogether.
Josh tried every over-the-counter solution he could find, before moving on to prescription antiperspirants like Drysol. Unfortunately, the prescription antiperspirants he used in order to prevent sweat stains — while being somewhat effective — led to painful rashes.
What It Was Like for Josh Before Duradry
Before he found Duradry, Josh was resigned to a life of heavy sweating. But after using Duradry for just three days, he noticed that he wasn’t sweating through his clothes.
“For the first time in my life, my sweating problem is under control,” Josh told us. “I can wear what I want in public. I’m more confident at work. I’m more excited to do things."
More From Josh
To read Josh’s full story, check out our blog post: How Josh Overcame Excessive Sweating and Changed His Life.
Here are some other comments from our customers about how Duradry has improved their life (and made it easier to wear the clothes they want to wear).
“Duradry has been amazing so far! By decreasing how much I sweat, it has made me feel more comfortable and more confident in my clothes. For the first time, I am able to wear colors other than black without having to wear a sweater over my shirts and dresses. As a busy mom, I have enough to worry about, so not having to worry about excessive sweating is awesome!”
Boost of Confidence
“Duradry has changed my life. I've never felt so confident!!! I’ve struggled with sweating since I was a child in middle school and never wore anything but a black t-shirt, so as not to show sweat. Thanks to Duradry I can wear whatever I want!”
Freedom to Choose
“I can wear whatever clothing I want without having to worry about getting sweat marks and being judged in public. I no longer have to apply deodorant four times a day in order to prevent sweat stains on shirts. It has helped with my anxiety tremendously.”
Body Odor Control
“Duradry has helped to control not only my hyperhidrosis but the body odor and stains that come from excessive sweating as well. Thanks to Duradry, I can expand my wardrobe and feel confident raising my arms.”
Frequently Asked Questions
How to Stop Sweat from Showing on Your Shirt?
One of the best ways to stop sweat from showing on your shirt is to wear a shirt that is a bit larger than the size you usually wear. This helps sweat to evaporate through air circulation rather than soaking the fabric.
You can also try sweat pads under your arms to soak up excess sweat, or wear an absorbent undershirt beneath your business clothes to wick perspiration away from the garment.
How to Prevent Sweat Stains During the Summer
To minimize sweating on hot summer days, drink lots of cool beverages and avoid spicy foods. Keeping hydrated helps your body maintain its temperature, while spicy foods are famous sweat triggers.
Make sure to change clothes frequently and wear breathable fabrics like cotton or linen. Pale colors absorb less sunlight and will be cooler on hot days. You may also need to apply antiperspirant more frequently or use a stronger formulation during the summer.
Do Undershirts Make You Sweat More?
Undershirts do not make you sweat more. In fact, they absorb the sweat before it can reach your outer clothing. The space between clothing layers allows for air circulation, allowing the sweat to evaporate before either shirt gets too wet.
Wearing a tight-fitting, thin undershirt made of a light, soft moisture-wicking fabric can help keep your dress shirts from becoming sweat-stained. And the wicking and evaporation help your body thermoregulate without requiring more perspiration.
How to Avoid Sweat Stains on Tight Shirts
Tight shirts can make you sweat more and leave you with underarm stains on your shirt. And looser, more breathable clothing isn’t always a wardrobe option either.
Use absorbent pads and powders to avoid sweat stains when wearing tight shirts. They soak up the moisture that causes stains. Both pads and powders work best when they have direct contact with the skin, so closely trim or shave your armpit hair for best results.
Why Does My Sweat Stain My Clothes?
If you are seeing dark sweat stains on your clothes and your sweat smells like vinegar, you may have trichomycosis. Trichomycosis can be treated by shaving your underarms and applying a topical ointment or cream containing benzoyl peroxide. If problems persist, see a doctor for topical or oral antibiotics.
Yellow sweat stains are based on a complex interaction between your skin lipids, sweat, water, and other factors. While it can help you stop sweating through clothes, aluminum from antiperspirants can contribute to yellow stains.
How to Stop Back Sweat from Showing?
The first thing to do with back sweat is to apply an antiperspirant on your back. (You may have to use a spray antiperspirant in some awkward positions if you don’t have a partner to help). Antiperspirant works on sweat glands anywhere on your body.
A light, absorbent undershirt will help wick away some of the back sweat. Keep a couple of spare undershirts with you so you can change into a dry one if necessary.