Although sweating is a normal bodily function, some people suffer from excessive sweating, which is known medically as hyperhidrosis. Primary hyperhidrosis may be hereditary or a side effect of an overactive nervous system. Secondary hyperhidrosis is excessive sweating caused by another medical condition, such as diabetes. Sweating is most common under the armpits, where there are a number of sweat glands; this is known as axillary hyperhidrosis. Some cases are more extreme than others, and there are different ways of addressing the problem, depending on its severity.
Wash your armpits. Shower at least twice a day, more if possible, thoroughly washing your armpits with soap or shower gel.
Shave your armpits. Shaving regularly will stop excessive hair in that area from triggering sweating.
Apply an antiperspirant deodorant under your arms. Choose one with a high aluminium chloride content to reduce sweating.
Rub lemon juice or talcum powder under your armpits. After you wash, apply lemon juice or talcum powder under your armpits as an alternative to antiperspirant deodorant. Talcum powder absorbs sweat.
Wear loose-fitting clothes made of natural fibres, such as cotton. Avoid man-made, restrictive fibres such as spandex and nylon.
Exercise to reduce body weight. Carrying excessive weight can increase sweating.
Cut foods out of your diet that are known to trigger sweating. Chilli, garlic, caffeine, onions, peppers and other spicy foods can all contribute towards excessive sweating.
Wearing black or white tops are best for disguising underarm sweat.
If your sweaty armpits persist, make an appointment with your GP, who may suggest an oral medication if the problem is serious enough.
Axillary hyperhidrosis can also be treated by Botulinum Toxin A, commonly known as Botox. Ask your GP for advice; the procedure is only available in a small number of NHS hospitals but is widely available in many private hospitals and clinics.
Seek the advice of your GP before making any drastic changes to your diet or lifestyle, particularly if you have any existing health issues.
Things you need
- Soap or shower gel
- Shaving foam or gel
- Antiperspirant deodorant
- Lemon juice
- Talcum powder
- Loose clothing