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How Can I Prevent Sweat Patches?

Updated February 21, 2017

Excessive sweating can be a difficult and embarrassing problem. Physical discomfort, social anxiety and obvious sweat patches on clothing can cause people to isolate themselves to avoid embarrassment. The medical term for excessive sweating is hyperhidrosis. It can be caused by stress, medications, symptoms of menopause, an overactive thyroid, infectious disease or from serious conditions such as heart disease, leukaemia or lymphoma, according to the Mayo Clinic. Visit your physician to determine whether there is a medical reason for the condition.

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  1. Use an antiperspirant. Antiperspirant is not the same as deodorant. Deodorants cover odour. Antiperspirants contain aluminium salts that help reduce the amount of perspiration that reaches the skin. Apply antiperspirant to your underarms daily to reduce sweating.

  2. Wear natural fabrics that breathe. Wool, cotton and silk allow air to circulate beneath your clothing. This will help reduce sweat patches under the arms and on the chest and back. When exercising, wear fabrics that wick perspiration away from the skin.

  3. Use underarm shields to absorb perspiration. These shields usually attach to clothing by adhesive tape. These attach to clothing to blot up excessive perspiration and will keep sweat patches from appearing on clothing. It will also help reduce staining.

  4. Avoid foods that induce sweating. These foods include caffeinated drinks, spicy foods and garlic and onions.

  5. Implement relaxation techniques. Learn self-hypnosis techniques to reduce stress and calm the sympathetic nervous system, which controls sweat signals. Think about a time when you felt relaxed. Think of this time whenever you start to worry about sweating or feel your body temperature rise.

  6. Carry a small container of baby powder to use any time you need to absorb excess perspiration and prevent sweat patches. Sprinkle some of the powder inside your clothes.

  7. Tip

    Your physician can prescribe antiperspirants that can help the excessive sweating that is causing sweat patches. Your physician may recommend an oral medication, such as glycopyrrolate, topiramate, amitriptyline or clonodine to reduce the excess perspiration that leads to sweat patches. Physicians sometimes use Botox, injected into the affected area, to control excessive sweating, according to the Merck website. The benefit can last from four to six months. Some people have experienced reduced sweating symptoms with the use of acupuncture, the use of fine needles to block nerve paths. Surgery is available for troublesome sweating that does not respond to other methods. The surgery involves removing sweat gland or nerves that initiate the sweating response.


    Do not use antiperspirants immediately after shaving the area. It can cause severe irritation of the skin.

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Things You'll Need

  • Antiperspirant
  • Natural fabric clothing
  • Underarm shields
  • Baby powder

About the Author

J. Lang Wood
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