How to Prevent Underarm Sweat (An Exhaustive List of Solutions)

Are you tired of hiding underarm sweat stains and managing your sweat day in and day out?

You’re not alone. 4.8 percent of Americans suffer from excessive underarm perspiration, and this number is even higher for other countries.

Embarrassing, visible sweat marks can lower your confidence and hold you back in your career and social life. Sometimes underarm sweat can be so bad that it leads to anxiety and depression.

The good news is, you’re not powerless in the battle against sweat. Let’s talk about how to prevent armpit sweat with eight tips to stop sweating so much.

How to Prevent Underarm Sweating

  1. Wear antiperspirant correctly
  2. Sweat proof your wardrobe
  3. Consider shaving your armpits 
  4. Don't sweat the small stuff (or the big stuff)
  5. Watch what you eat and drink
  6. Try natural sweat solutions
  7. Talk to your doctor about prescription drugs for hyperhidrosis
  8. Consider other procedures for underarm sweating

1. Wear Antiperspirant Correctly

Antiperspirant is the most common go-to sweat deterrent. Antiperspirants contain aluminum compounds which block your sweat ducts, making you perspire less. But are you using yours correctly? 

To get the most out of your antiperspirant, you need to:

  • Keep yourself clean: Combining an antiperspirant with sweat or dirt on your skin can cause irritation and stinging. Showering or bathing daily with antibacterial soap helps rid bacteria from your skin, which also helps keep odor at bay.
  • Apply it to dry armpits: Avoid swiping on antiperspirant right after you hop out of the shower. Make sure to dry your skin thoroughly first. Even a tiny amount of water can prevent antiperspirant from being absorbed completely.
  • Make it a part of your bedtime routine: Instead of applying antiperspirant only in the morning, try applying it at night. Doing so gives the active ingredients more time to seep into your skin, creating sweat plugs and reducing armpit sweat.
  • Dress after it’s dry: When you slide your shirt over wet antiperspirant, it rubs off and becomes less effective. Wait a few minutes after applying or use a hairdryer on the lowest setting to air out your armpits before dressing.

It’s important to wear an antiperspirant that’s strong enough to stop armpit sweat. Using a prescription or specialty antiperspirant containing aluminum chloride may give the best results. Look for antiperspirants with an aluminum chloride concentration of  10 to 15 percent to stop excessive armpit sweating.

2. Sweat Proof Your Wardrobe

The days of avoiding colorful and tight-fitting clothes because you’re afraid of sweat marks showing through are over. There are better ways to sweat proof your clothing.

Wear Clothing Made of Light, Breathable Material

The best materials for reducing sweat are natural, water-loving fibers like cotton, linen and rayon from bamboo. The worst materials for sweat prevention are synthetic, water-resistant fibers like polyester, rayon and lycra-cotton blends.

While it might seem counterintuitive, you want your clothes to soak up sweat, not repel it.

Water-resistant materials push moisture away from your skin straight onto your clothes. Absorbent materials soak up sweat to prevent it from reaching your clothing’s outer layer.

3. Consider Shaving Your Armpits

While this is a no-brainer for most women, it might be a challenging idea for men. Does shaving your armpits reduce sweat? No, but it makes applying antiperspirant easier and can help lessen sweat stains on your shirts.

4. Don't Sweat the Small Stuff (Or the Big Stuff)

Between a hectic work and home life, everyone deals with stress. And stress is a major catalyst of underarm sweat.

To make matters worse, worrying about visible sweat marks signals your body to sweat even more. It's a vicious cycle — but you can stop it.

Learning how to manage stress can help you prevent underarm sweat — and just feel happier.

Reducing stress does far more than improve your mood. To clear your mind and reduce the anxiety associated with sweating try:

  • Acknowledging feelings of stress
  • Creating actionable to-do lists
  • Getting into daily routines that help you feel calm and collected
  • Exercising

If you feel a bout of stress coming on, take deep breaths, and remind yourself that everything will be OK. You can also prepare for unexpected stress sweat by:

  • Keeping a fan near your desk to help you cool down when tensions get high
  • Bringing an emergency sweat pack to work complete with antiperspirant, a Thompson Tee and an extra shirt or blouse
  • Avoiding sweat-inducing foods before a presentation or meeting

5. Watch What You Eat and Drink

What you put in your body affects how much you sweat. If you struggle with how to stop excessive armpit sweating,  avoid these foods:

  • Stimulants like alcohol and caffeine : Alcoholic and caffeinated beverages release chemicals that raise your heart rate, body temperature and blood pressure, causing you to sweat.
  • Hot foods like soup and coffee : These foods increase your body temperature from the inside out and trigger a sweat response.
  • Spicy foods like hot sauce and jalapeños : Capsaicin, a chemical that naturally exists in spicy foods, stimulates nerve receptors in your mouth and tricks your body into thinking it’s hot, making you sweat.
  • Pungent foods and spices like curry, garlic and cabbage : Although these foods won’t necessarily make you sweat more, they release an unpleasant odor through your sweat when you digest them.

Now that you know what to avoid, you may be wondering, “Are there any foods that help reduce sweat?” Yes, some foods and beverages regulate your body temperature, promote digestion and help keep sweat at bay.

To reduce sweating, consume foods rich in:

  • Water
  • Calcium
  • Potassium
  • Fiber
  • Magnesium
  • Vitamin B

Water, calcium and potassium keep you hydrated. Water cools your body down while calcium and potassium regulate the flow of fluids through your body.

Fiber, vitamin B and magnesium promote digestion. The harder your body has to work to metabolize foods, the higher your body temperature becomes and the more you'll sweat. Eat foods that are easy to digest, and you’ll sweat less.

For more examples of foods that reduce sweat check out our blog,  10 Foods That Reduce Excessive Sweating.

6. Try Natural Sweat Solutions

Looking to take a different route to prevent armpit sweat? Try these natural solutions:

  • Apple cider vinegar: Apply ACV directly to your skin to close up your pores and reduce sweating. For best results, apply it to your underarms with a cotton pad before bed to give it enough time to seep in.
  • Tomato juice: Consume a glass every day or apply it to your skin to reduce sweat.
  • Green and black tea: Drink a glass of green tea every day to promote digestion and minimize perspiration. Apply black tea directly to your skin to shrink your pores.
  • Cornstarch and baking soda: Both of these ingredients absorb water naturally. Mix two parts cornstarch and three parts baking soda to create a natural antiperspirant deodorant powder.
  • Potatoes: Potatoes are high in potassium and very absorbent. Eating them can help regulate your body temperature. Rubbing a raw slice of potato on your armpits every day can help you feel drier.
  • Lemon: Lemons contain citric acid which constricts sweat glands and lessens perspiration.

7. Talk to Your Doctor About Prescription Drugs for Hyperhidrosis

If your underarms sweat excessively without warning, you may have a medical condition known as axillary hyperhidrosis. If you’ve tried everything to prevent armpit sweat with no success, talk to your doctor or dermatologist about prescription drugs to prevent sweating:

  • Anticholinergics: Drugs that block chemicals that allow certain nerves to communicate with one another, reducing body sweat
  • Beta Blockers: Medications that impair nerve impulses that cause sweating
  • Qbrexza: A new anticholinergic treatment from Dermira that comes in wipe form

It’s also critical to understand the side effects of hyperhidrosis medications and speak to a doctor before using them to help stop armpit sweat. 

8. Consider Other Procedures To Prevent Underarm Sweating

In hopes of a more permanent sweat solution, many people turn to cosmetic procedures and surgeries. Although some have success with these types of treatments, they’re not always effective. Make sure you do your research first.

Over the years, the surgeries and procedures doctors have recommended to stop excessive armpit sweating have changed. Here is an updated list of those deemed safe for most patients:

  • Botox: Chemical injections that block sweat gland activity
  • Iontophoresis: The application of mild electrical currents to your underarms to disrupt nerve transmissions that cause sweat
  • miraDry: Microwave technology that destroys your sweat glands
  • Laser treatment: A procedure that heats your sweat glands until they become inactive

For more information about how to stop armpit sweat, check out our Complete List of Axillary Hyperhidrosis Treatments.

Non-Recommended Surgeries and Procedures

Endoscopic Thoracic Sympathectomy (ETS)

Endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy (ETS) is the surgical destruction of nerve endings responsible for sweating. This procedure is reserved for the most severe cases of hyperhidrosis. ETS can’t be reversed and is rarely recommended by most doctors due to serious side effects including facial and “phantom” sweating, heart problems and neuralgia.

About 60 percent of patients experience compensatory sweating after ETS surgery.

Compensatory sweating is when the body compensates for lack of sweating in one area by sweating more somewhere else, such as the face or chest. Since sweat is the body’s way of regulating temperature, disrupting the normal process of sweating has obvious consequences.

For more information, check out Thompson Tee’s co-founder Randy Choi's firsthand account on the after-effects of ETS surgery.

Most doctors no longer recommend endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy (ETS) for sweat prevention. ETS is the destruction of nerve endings responsible for sweating and can result in serious side effects like heart problems and droopy eyelids.

About 70 percent of patients also experience compensatory sweating after ETS. Compensatory sweating is when you experience less sweat in one place but more in another. Want to know what ETS surgery is really like? Check out  this video to hear about Thompson Tee Co-Founder Randy Choi's experience.

If at first you don’t succeed...

When it comes to choosing a sweat prevention method, it’s important to remember that everyone is different. What works for one person might not work for you. Start with the simplest solutions first, and work your way through this list for best results.

Thompson Tees are sweat proof undershirts designed to completely block sweat from showing through your clothing.

 

Whether you sweat occasionally or 24/7, the Thompson Tee is an essential wardrobe staple you need in your closet. It’s perfect as an undershirt during the day, or as a standalone t-shirt. 

Thompson Tees:

Try a Thompson Tee risk-free for 30 days. If it doesn’t stop your armpit sweat from staining your clothes, we’ll give you your money back.

What other tricks do you have for preventing armpit sweat? Comment below with the tactics that work best for you.

Lawrence Hunt

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