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Axillary Hyperhidrosis

Axillary hyperhidrosis, or excessive underarm sweating, is a condition that causes people to sweat up to five times more than necessary to regulate body temperature.

Learn more about this condition and how to manage severe armpit sweat.

What Causes Axillary Hyperhidrosis?

People with axillary hyperhidrosis have overactive nerves that trigger the major sweat glands, producing excessive and unnecessary armpit sweat. While sweating can be a side effect of medications or medical conditions, primary axillary hyperhidrosis is a medical condition itself.

Approximately 2-3% of the U.S. population has axillary hyperhidrosis, with men and women affected equally. Research shows that the condition can be genetic, so if a family member has hyperhidrosis, you’re more likely to inherit it.

This type of excessive underarm sweating tends to begin during puberty (around age 13 or 14), but symptoms can appear up to age 25. Strangely, those with primary axillary hyperhidrosis don’t experience the symptoms while sleeping.

How to Tell If You Have Axillary Hyperhidrosis

Axillary hyperhidrosis is relatively easy to self-diagnose. Here are a few key symptoms:

  • You bathe or change shirts multiple times a day due to sweat marks or stains
  • You sweat suddenly and excessively under your arms regardless of temperature or physical activity
  • You avoid social situations or feel anxiety due to your underarm sweating

Talk to your doctor if you think you have axillary hyperhidrosis. Your primary physician can refer you to a specialist or help you determine the best treatments or course of action, especially if you have severe axillary hyperhidrosis.

Read more: Should You See a Hyperhidrosis Doctor? »

Effects of Axillary Hyperhidrosis

Do you avoid going out in public or socializing with friends due to the embarrassment of excessive underarm sweating?

People who suffer from axillary hyperhidrosis can experience a range of physical and psychological side effects beyond severe sweat, including:

  • Reduced confidence or self-esteem
  • Loss of concentration at work
  • Fear of social situations
  • Anxiety about sweating
Shying away from the spotlight can also have repercussions on your career, preventing you from seeking out promotions or advancing in your career.

To outsiders, heavy armpit sweating might seem like a cosmetic condition that doesn’t pose any serious side effects. But constantly worrying over the appearance of underarm sweat marks can make you vulnerable to anxiety and depression and affect your overall quality of life.

Read more: Living With Anxiety and Hyperhidrosis »

Axillary hyperhidrosis can have adverse effects on your personal, professional and social life, but the condition is 100% manageable.

Treatments for Primary Axillary Hyperhidrosis

Right now, there is no cure for primary axillary hyperhidrosis. However, many products, medications and home remedies exist to help minimize underarm sweat and its effects.

When it comes to axillary hyperhidrosis treatment, you have several options. However, some treatments are costly, more invasive and riskier than other methods.

Non-Invasive Treatments

  • Antiperspirants: Clinical or prescription-strength antiperspirants are recommended for those who have axillary hyperhidrosis.
  • Anti-sweat wipes: Over-the-counter antiperspirant wipes such as SweatBlock can also help prevent excessive armpit sweat.
  • Iontophoresis: A mild electric current can relieve underarm sweating by blocking sweat glands.
  • Oral medications: These most commonly include anticholinergics, beta-blockers and benzodiazepines.
  • miraDry: A non-invasive device delivers electromagnetic energy that breaks down sweat glands.
  • Sweat proof shirts: This is the safest, chemical-free option. Thompson Tee’s patented undershirts contain a sweat proof underarm barrier that absorbs moisture, preventing armpit sweat from seeping through fabric and ruining clothing with yellow stains.

Invasive Treatments

  • Botox injections: Botulinum toxin injections interrupt nerves that cause underarm sweating.
  • Laser therapy: Lasers can target and destroy sweat glands with precision. However, minimal research has been conducted around laser surgery for axillary hyperhidrosis.
  • Endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy (ETS) surgery: Surgical removal of underarm sweat glands is highly invasive. The procedure should be considered a last resort option. ETS can cause severe, long-lasting side effects.

Read more: The Complete List of Treatments for Axillary Hyperhidrosis

*PLEASE NOTE: As with all medical-related issues, it's best to seek the advice from a qualified medical practitioner. The information provided is not to be used or relied on for any diagnostic purposes and should not be used as a substitute for professional diagnosis and treatment.

Best Undershirt Fabrics

The Most Effective Way to Manage Axillary Hyperhidrosis

Many people with axillary hyperhidrosis find that using a reliable antiperspirant and wearing a sweat proof undershirt like Thompson Tee is effective against heavy sweating.

Thompson Tee co-founders Billy and Randy spent over 10 years developing the shirt’s patented sweat proof technology, Hydro-Shield. Each undershirt has a durable underarm barrier that’s powerful enough to fight sweat all day long.

Thompson Tee’s Hydro-Shield technology traps heat and moisture and allows it to evaporate rather than seep through your outer layers of clothing. The result? Ultimate relief from wet marks and yellow stains!

Don't let axillary hyperhidrosis curb you from living your best life. Protect your clothing and your confidence with a sweat proof Thompson Tee.