Sweating is your body's natural way of cooling off to regulate its temperature. Some people sweat more than others, while some sweat more than needed. Sweaty armpits can be uncomfortable, and when the sweat stains clothes and an unpleasant odour emerges, the embarrassing condition can affect social and professional interactions. By making some adjustments to your lifestyle, or through various treatments, you can stop or control underarm sweating.
Practicing good hygiene can help stop underarm sweat. Shave or trim your armpit hairs, because hairy armpits get hot and sweaty quicker. Don't leave the house without taking a shower and washing your underarms with deodorant soap and water. Take a shower before work, after working out at the gym, and before going out to dinner. After showering, dry yourself off and apply a product that is both a deodorant and antiperspirant. The deodorant masks unpleasant odours, and the antiperspirant prevents sweating.
If over-the-counter, commercial antiperspirants don't combat your underarm sweat, look into prescription-strength antiperspirants. These antiperspirants, which use the active ingredient aluminium chloride hexahydrate to combat sweating, can be purchased from your local pharmacy. The product is applied on dry, clean skin before bedtime. Lie down so your armpits stop sweating, and apply the product. The sweat glands swell up and become blocked when the product enters them. Cover your armpits with plastic food wrap while sleeping, and wash them in the morning. Repeat the application every night to avoid sweating during your waking hours.
Iontophoresis is a treatment that temporarily stops underarm sweating, through the application of small electric currents provided by an iontophopresis machine. The electric currents disable the sweat glands. The treatment, which needs to be repeated several times, is done by a dermatologist. You can also purchase an iontophopresis machine so you can undergo the procedure at home. Your sweaty condition might be minimised or eliminated for day or weeks at a time.
Botulinum toxin, also known as Botox, is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to ward off underarm sweating. The treatment requires multiple injections of Botox in the underarm tissue. Botox disables the nerves that stimulate sweat-gland activity so that you won't sweat. The procedure takes up to 45 minutes, is effective for two to eight months, and can be repeated to maintain sweat-free.
Surgery should be a last-resort option to stop sweaty armpits. During surgery an incision is made in the chest wall. With the use of electric currents, the nerves that control sweating are cut or destroyed. Downtime from work after this irreversible surgery is approximately two weeks. Your armpits will stop sweating, but you might start perspiring elsewhere, most commonly at the feet or abdomen.