Tweakment Finder TWEAKMENT



Sweaty Armpits

Written by: Becki Murray

Updated by: Alice Hart-Davis

Last Updated: 5 January 2024

While sweating is totally normal, when it goes into overdrive, it can become quite the body and self-confidence concern. Whether it’s the dreaded sweat stains on your favourite top or the fear of unwanted body odour, dealing with sweaty armpits can be a challenge, especially in the summer. There are solutions to be found though, for both moderate or more significant sweaters, including some interesting tweakments to try. Read on to discover the questions to all your FAQs below, including what causes sweaty armpits and how to stop armpits sweating too.

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What are sweaty armpits?

Sweating is a normal bodily function that helps regulate body temperature, but sweaty armpits can still be an annoying and embarrassing concern, especially if you frequently exercise or in the summertime. While we sweat all over our bodies, the reason our armpits tend to be especially sweaty is because this area is home to a higher density of sweat glands, including apocrine glands that can make sweat smell. Friction can stimulate sweat production too. There’s also a medical condition – axillary hyperhidrosis, which refers to excessive sweating in the underarm area. This often leads to further discomfort and self-consciousness if not treated.

sweaty armpits

What causes sweaty armpits?

  1. Heat and humidity: When you get hot, your body is specifically designed to sweat in order to cool you down. So, it follows that the higher the temperature and humidity, the more you’ll sweat.
  2. Genetics: Everybody sweats, but how much you do so can often be linked to your genes. In particular, how likely you are to have overactive sweat glands (which is what leads to excessive sweating) is often linked to your family history.
  3. Stress and anxiety: Emotional stress and anxiety can trigger the body’s sweat response, because the body’s ‘fight or flight’ response can stimulate sweat gland activity. Unfortunately, this can also become a vicious cycle as concerns about visible sweat stains or body odour can then make sweating worse.
  4. Clothing choices: Wearing tight, non-breathable clothing can trap heat and moisture, causing more pronounced sweating, especially in the armpits.
  5. Hormonal changes: Hormonal fluctuations during puberty, pregnancy and menopause can trigger increased sweating.
  6. Age: Sweating patterns can change with age, and some individuals may experience increased sweating as they get older.
  7. Diet: A high-salt diet, caffeine and spicy foods can also increase sweating, as can smoking and significant alcohol consumption, so it’s important to try and live by a balanced diet.
  8. Weight gain/loss: Overweight individuals are more prone to sweating because their bodies generate more heat, which then requires more cooling through sweating.
  9. Medications: Some antidepressants and blood pressure medications can unfortunately cause excessive sweating as a side effect.
  10. Medical conditions: Certain medical conditions, such as hyperthyroidism or diabetes, can have excessive sweating as a symptom.

What are signs of sweaty armpits?

  1.   Visible wetness: One of the most noticeable signs of sweaty armpits is visible wetness on your clothing in the underarm area. This can occur during the day or night.
  2.   Sweat stains: Dampness on your clothes can lead to yellow or discoloured stains in the armpit area overtime. Most apparent on light-coloured clothing, these are often difficult to remove and make mean your outfits doesn’t last as long.
  3.   Frequent showering: Sweaty armpits may mean you need to shower or wash your armpits more than once a day, to maintain good personal hygiene.
  4.   Odour: Excessive armpit sweating can lead to body odour, aka a not so nice smell from your skin. This happens when sweat mixes with the bacteria on your body.
  5.   Skin irritation: Excessive moisture could also trigger redness, itching and chafing around your armpits, which may cause rashes and discomfort.
  6.   Embarrassment: Being self-conscious about sweating may mean you find yourself anxious in social situations. Or you might feel the need to check your armpits more regularly for marks.
  7.   Clothing changes: A need to change your outfit during the day due to wetness or odour is a sign of excessive sweating.
  8.   Avoidance of certain activities: Avoiding activities such as exercise, stressful occasions, or social events due to concerns about sweaty armpits would also indicate you may want to seek assistance.
  9.   Frequent sweating: If you’re not sure whether you sweat a ‘normal’ amount, consider whether you tend to do so when not physically active or when exposed to heat. This may suggest excessive or uncontrolled sweating.

How to stop armpits sweating using tweakments?

  1. Botulinum toxin injections: Injecting toxin into your underarms might sound odd to anyone who thinks of the injections as only for wrinkles, but it’s a leading (and very successful) medical treatment for temporarily block sweat gland activity, especially in the armpit area. Dr Renée Hoenderkamp is an expert. 
  2. Iontophoresis: This non-invasive procedure involves using a device that delivers a mild electrical current to the skin, via passing it through water or a wet pad to block sweat glands. You can speak to your GP for more information.  

How to stop armpits sweating using lifestyle changes

A simple way to manage sweaty armpits, especially in the summer, is to choose loose, breathable clothing that minimises friction. Pure cotton is an especially good fabric for this. You should also try to manage your stress levels to avoid stress-related sweating – however hard that can feel – and prescription oral medications are available for excessive sweating should you need them.

How much, on average, would treating the concern cost?

The cost of treating sweaty armpits can vary depending on the chosen treatment, location, and healthcare provider. Non-invasive options like antiperspirants and iontophoresis are generally more affordable, while toxin injections start around £600.

Can skincare help with sweaty armpits?

If your day-to-day antiperspirant is not cutting it, a prescription-strength antiperspirant containing aluminium chloride can be particularly effective in reducing sweating. Using absorbent powders or antiperspirant wipes can also help keep your underarms dry, especially on-the-go. Good general personal hygiene will help too, so treat yourself to a body wash with a scent that you love, focusing specifically on using it to wash your underarms if that’s where you tend to sweat most.

Is there a surgical option for sweaty armpits?

For severe cases of excessive sweating that has not responded to other treatments, surgical procedures like sweat gland removal can be considered. Speak to your GP if you have any questions.

Which at-home use devices can help with sweating?

Some at-home electrical iontophoresis devices claim to address excessive sweating, but their effectiveness is not very supported, and professional treatments or advice are likely to yield much better results.

Could sweaty armpits indicate a medical issue?

Sweaty armpits are not usually indicative of a severe medical issue – its natural after all – but persistent sweating that significantly affects your daily life and wellbeing is definitely worthy of speaking to a healthcare professional about. As mentioned, some conditions, including diabetes, can cause excessive sweating as a symptom. 


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