With the exception of professional athletes and sauna lovers, most of us live by the motto:Don't ever let them see you sweat. (Fun Fact: That came from a1984 advertising campaignfor Dry Idea Antiperspirant, and yes, that's Carol Burnett!)
Sure, it's completely natural — "Sweat's primary function is to cool the body," he saysDee Anna Glaser, MD, Professor in the Department of Dermatology at St. Louis University – and nothing to be ashamed of. That said, pit stains will never be desirable and always have beenfearfulor jittery can stimulate the sweat glands to work harder, it makes sense that you wouldn't want to radiate your emotional state in that particular way.
And if you haveHyperhidrosis— the medical term for excessive sweating all over your body — the problem is far more than just aesthetic. "It can profoundly affect a person's life — it can affect an adult's career choices or limit opportunities," he saysMaral Skelsey, MD., a clinical associate professor of dermatology in Georgetown, as they may have to choose jobs that don't involve speaking in front of a group or shaking hands, or that don't involve changing clothes several times a day. “I've treated teenagers who don't raise their hands in class. One said, 'I know the answers, but the teacher doesn't know that I know,'" added Dr. added glazier.
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Why do our armpits sweat?
We have millions of sweat glands all over our bodies — the greatest concentration is in our hands and feet, says Dr. Glaser, but our armpits are another hotspot. Most of these areeccrine glands, which emit a clear, odorless liquid that cools us as it evaporates. But your armpits and other hairy parts have it tooapocrine drusen, which expel a thicker liquid, also odorless; If this liquid interacts with bacteria on your skin, don't smell too good.
A common myth is that productive sweaters have morebody odor, but that's actually not the case. "People who sweat a lot tend not to smell," says Dr. Glaser because the bacteria are washed away and there is no stench. "People who don't sweat as much might be more likely to notice an odor."
Another mistake? We sweat out toxins. "Sweat consists almost entirely of water," says Dr. skelsey The rest is loudInternational Hyperhidrosis Society, is salt, urea and a little carbohydrate and protein. Fortunately, our kidneys and liver do a good job of detoxification.
What Causes Excessive Sweating?
First of all, there are two types of hyperhidrosis: primary and secondary, and they have different causes.
The primary variant starts when you're young — even toddlers can have super sweaty hands and feet, but those whose armpits are the main spots usually show it soon after puberty or as young adults, says Dr. glazier. Experts aren't sure why some people get hyperhidrosis, but suspect it's genetic since it can run in families. Because sufferers have normal sweat glands, the theory goes that the hypothalamus, a part of the brain that, among other things, tells your glands to produce sweat, is sending those glands an erroneous message.
The secondary kind shows up when something changes in your body, such asMenopause(Hello, hot flashes and night sweats!), an underlying medical reason (like a thyroid or lung condition), or you're taking a medication that's messing with the same brain signals. Secondary hyperhidrosis "tends to result in more diffuse sweating," meaning not just in the armpits, and can show up as you get older, she says.
How do I know if I have hyperhidrosis?
The state that worksan estimated 15.3 million peopleworldwide, needs to be diagnosed by a doctor, usually a dermatologist, but if you've had excessive, bothersome, visible sweating at least once a week for six months or more, these are signs you might have it, says Dr. skelsey
The other big factor is how much your sweating affects your function and how much it bothers you. Some people objectively sweat buckets, but if it's not a big deal to them, there's no need to treat it, says Dr. Glaser, adding that excessive sweating may increase and decrease, but doesn't go away completely. Some excessive sweaters can do it on their own most of the time with antiperspirants, but for special occasions (let's say you're a bridesmaid at a wedding and planning to be photographed dancing the night away) they're looking for a next-level treatment. "If that's what they come to me for, it probably bothers them a lot," she says.
How do I stop armpit sweating?
There is afew treatments, each of which has its own advantages, disadvantages and side effects.
- Clinical strength antiperspirants.Whether you find your sweating severely excessive or not, this is the easiest first step. "I always start with clinical-strength antiperspirants," says Dr. skelsey "They're a lot more effective than regular ones -- especially when they're used properly." That means reapplying them at night and in the morning. (Because you sweat less at night, the drug can get into your glands better.)
- Botox injections.If antiperspirants don't work or irritate your skin, you can opt for themChrissy Tiegen did itand get this neurotoxin (perhaps best known for smooth foreheads) injected shallowly into your pits. It works by blocking the secretion of the chemical that activates your sweat glands.Botox shotsin this area usually last about six months, says Dr. Skelsky, sometimes longer.
- Qbrexza.Theprescription towel(You Wipe Your Pits) contains an ingredient that inhibits one of the neurotransmitters on the sweat glands, resulting in reduced performance. "It was very effective and has been studied in children," says Dr. Glaser, who was involved in the research leading to FDA approval.
- miraDry.This is the only non-surgical, FDA-approved procedure that permanently reduces sweating by zapping your armpits with thermal energy to destroy the sweat glands altogether. "Some patients are afraid of losing these glands," she saysKaryn Grossman, MD., a dermatologist in Santa Monica, CA who offersthe treatment. "However, it's important to note that the armpit contains only 2% of your body's sweat glands," and your other glands will continue to cool you down. While some people may completely ditch deodorants and antiperspirants after a treatment or two, says Dr. Glaser that some hyperhidrosis patients still need to use some. "They say they sweat normally after the treatment," she says.
bottom line:You don't have to suffer in sweaty silence because there are many safe and effective ways to stop the deluge.
Stephanie (she/she) is the Associate Director of the Hearst Health Newsroom, for which she writes, edits and otherwise creates health contentGood housekeeping,preventionand other Hearst titles. She's covered women's physical and emotional health, nutrition, sexuality and the myriad of topics she covers for national publications for decades, and she's also a best-selling author, mother of twins, dog mom and an intuitive eater along the way.
Should you apply antiperspirant at night? ›
Bedtime application "really is the best way to use an antiperspirant," says David Pariser, M.D., president of the American Academy of Dermatology. At night, when people perspire less, more of the antiperspirant's aluminum-based active ingredient is pulled into the sweat ducts.Is antiperspirant good for sweaty armpits? ›
Antiperspirants are considered the first line of treatment for excessive sweating of the underarms, hands, feet, and sometimes face. They are called the first line of treatment because they are the least invasive and experts recommend that they be tried first, before other more invasive treatments.Does antiperspirant stop night sweats? ›
Your sweat glands are less active at night, so applying antiperspirant to clean, dry skin before bed will allow it to work while you sleep and into the next day.How do you treat excessive armpit sweating? ›
- Prescription antiperspirant. Your health care provider may prescribe an antiperspirant with aluminum chloride (Drysol, Xerac AC). ...
- Prescription creams and wipes. ...
- Nerve-blocking medications. ...
- Antidepressants. ...
- Botulinum toxin injections.
The most effective time of day to apply deodorant is at night before going to bed, and it is especially important to apply your antiperspirant at night. Your body temperature is lower and your underarms dryer at this time, so the deodorant will have a better chance to work on your skin.When should I start using antiperspirant? ›
There's no specific age for a child to start wearing deodorant or antiperspirant. Many start in their teens. Some start as soon as puberty starts to cause body odor, which can be as early 8 or 9 years old for some children. Then again, some never use it, even as adults.What is the best antiperspirant for excessive sweating? ›
- Arm & Hammer UltraMax Antiperspirant Deodorant.
- Right Guard Xtreme Defense Antiperspirant Deodorant.
- Certain Dri Extra Strength Antiperspirant Deodorant.
- Gillette Clinical Strength Antiperspirant Deodorant.
- Perspirex Original Antiperspirant Roll-on.
Myth: Antiperspirants are for underarms only and, like caffeine, are best used in the morning. Truth: Think outside the pits! You can glide, stick, spray, and roll-on nearly anywhere that sweating is a problem (picture hands, feet, face, back, chest, and even groin.)How can I stop sweating so much at night? ›
- Keep your bedroom cool. Lower your thermostat and/or leverage a fan.
- Dress light. Don't overdress and choose moisture-wicking materials if you need to.
- Choose lightweight bedding. Avoid fleece, flannel, down and synthetic fibers.
- Consider your mattress.
- Crack a window. Sleep in a cooler room. ...
- Change your bedding. Replace plush or heavy blankets with breathable sheets, light quilts, or even moisture-wicking sheets. ...
- Adjust exercise timing. Physical activity just before sleeping could contribute to increased sweating in the night.
- Avoid sweat triggers.
Can I use antiperspirant at night and in the morning? ›
The short answer is yes. If you apply antiperspirant at night, it's proven to be more effective at keeping you dry than during the day.Why do my armpits sweat so much even with antiperspirant? ›
People with hyperhidrosis appear to have overactive sweat glands. The uncontrollable sweating can lead to significant discomfort, both physical and emotional. When excessive sweating affects the hands, feet, and armpits, it is called focal hyperhidrosis.What causes sudden excessive underarm sweating? ›
Primary hyperhidrosis is caused by faulty nerve signals that trigger eccrine sweat glands to become overactive. It usually affects the palms, soles, underarms and sometimes the face. There is no medical cause for this type of hyperhidrosis. It can run in families.Why am I sweating so much all of a sudden under my armpit? ›
The apocrine glands — the sweat glands located in the armpits and groin — respond more to emotional stimuli, like anxiety and fear, than to temperature (7). So, your armpits naturally sweat more when you're anxious, afraid, or stressed.How often should you apply antiperspirant? ›
Do you put antiperspirant on every day? Er, you shouldn't - because if you get one that's good enough, there should be no need to. "Apply 2 strokes up and 2 strokes down to each armpit. You should only need to do this once or twice a week," the doctor advises.Can you sleep with antiperspirant on? ›
Antiperspirants work best when you apply them at night because it gives your hands more time to absorb them. These products work by signaling your body to stop sweating. Examples include: Certain Dri.Should you apply antiperspirant in the morning? ›
In the morning, your sweat glands are more active, and it can be harder for the active ingredients to penetrate your skin and get down where they need to be. The other important piece of the equation is your shower schedule. Applying deodorant right after showering is a big no-no.What happens if you use antiperspirant everyday? ›
Recent research published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information suggests that frequent use of antiperspirants can cause aluminum to accumulate in breast tissue, but this doesn't prove that aluminum salts can cause breast cancer.Is it better to sweat or use antiperspirant? ›
Deodorant controls the odor associated with sweating, but antiperspirant blocks your sweat glands. You should use deodorant if you want to smell fresh and limit odor. You should use an antiperspirant if you want to reduce underarm wetness and excessive sweat.Why does antiperspirant not work? ›
Antiperspirant is most effective when applied to clean, dry skin. If you use it in the morning right after your shower, your skin might be too wet to absorb the formula properly. If you apply it when you're rushing out the door, your antiperspirant may not have enough time to block your sweat glands.
What is the safest antiperspirant? ›
- Schmidt's Natural Deodorant Stick.
- Soapwalla Original Deodorant Cream.
- Meow Meow Tweet Deodorant Cream.
- Follain Charcoal Deodorant.
- From Molly With Love Probiotic Deodorant.
- Ursa Major No B.S. Deodorant.
- Lovefresh Super Strength Deodorant.
- Type: A The Minimalist Deodorant.
Night sweats are repeated episodes of very heavy sweating during sleep, heavy enough to soak your nightclothes or bedding. They're often caused by an underlying condition or illness. Sometimes you may wake up after sweating heavily, particularly if you're sleeping under too many blankets or your bedroom is too warm.What causes excessive sweating at night? ›
That said, common causes identified in research about night sweats include menopause, medications, infections, and hormone problems.What cancers cause night sweats? ›
Leukemia and lymphoma are among the cancers associated with night sweats. Those associated with leukemia usually occur in conjunction with symptoms such as fatigue, weight loss, or excessive bruising. Leukemia-related sweats may also result from daytime fevers.Is it better to put deodorant on before bed or in the morning? ›
Deodorant is most effective when applied to clean, dry skin. It is better to apply deodorant at night, before bed, when your body is less likely to sweat. You can use most deodorants anywhere you tend to sweat, not just the underarms.Can I use antiperspirant at night and deodorant in the morning Reddit? ›
If you choose to include an anti perspirant in your routine, it's most effective when used at night. You also probably don't need to use it as often as you think. Usually only every other night or a couple nights a week. Continue to apply normal deodorant in mornings as usual.How do you stop armpit sweat when deodorant doesn't work? ›
Ask a Doctor about Oral & Topical Medications
There are various anticholinergic medications, both topical and oral, that stop the activation of sweat glands. For example, QBrexza is a topical anticholinergic wipe that has shown some powerful results with axillary hyperhidrosis.
Apocrine glands are larger and produce the majority of stress-related sweat. They're found in parts of your body with higher numbers of hair follicles, such as your genital area and armpits. Your underarms secrete approximately 30 times more sweat when you're under stress than when at rest.Why does my body odor smell like onions? ›
Foods such as garlic, onions, cumin, and curry can also cause changes in body odor. The sulfur-like compounds that the body releases as it breaks down these foods can react with the sweat on the skin, producing body odor that may be different than a person's natural scent.What causes heavy sweating? ›
Certain problems such as diabetes, heart failure, anxiety, and overactive thyroid can cause heavy sweating. And some drugs may cause heavy sweating as a side effect.
Does high blood pressure causes underarm sweating? ›
If you are looking for a list of symptoms and signs of high blood pressure (HBP or hypertension), you won't find them here. This is because most of the time, there are none. Myth: People with high blood pressure will experience symptoms, like nervousness, sweating, difficulty sleeping or facial flushing.What supplements can I take to stop sweating? ›
Taking magnesium supplements could help keep your magnesium levels balances, in turn curbing sweat production. Calcium: As we already mentioned, calcium helps regulate body temperature. Additionally, if you're taking magnesium, you'll need calcium to improve your body's ability to absorb the magnesium.Should you wash off antiperspirant in the morning? ›
But apparently applying your antiperspirant should actually be part of your evening regime - not your morning one - to make sure it's fully absorbed. "Apply at night before going to bed to allow to dry fully. Leave on overnight and wash off any residue in the morning with soap and water," advises the doctor.Is it OK to use antiperspirant everyday? ›
Antiperspirant temporarily blocks your sweat glands to prevent sweat and is safe to use as a daily solution to sweat and stink.What happens if you sleep with deodorant on? ›
Wearing deodorant at night reinforces the efficacy of the antiperspirant products. It also solves your night sweats. The antiperspirant compounds are effectively absorbed by the clean skin and stay and stick even after you shower the following morning.What happens when you sleep with deodorant on? ›
At night, your body temperature drops, which means you sweat less. When your sweat glands are less active, your sweat ducts may be able to better absorb the aluminum-based active ingredient in antiperspirant. Overnight, the product has time to sink in and effectively block those sweat ducts.Can you mix antiperspirant and deodorant? ›
Can I Use Both? You don't have to choose between having stinky armpits or soggy armpits. As long as you use antiperspirant and deodorant correctly, you can certainly use them together to control sweat and eliminate foul body odor.Why are my armpits wet after putting on antiperspirant? ›
Why? Contrary to popular belief, deodorant doesn't stop sweat. Deodorant will only mask body odor and prevent sweat-loving bacteria from stinking up your pits. So, if you're sweating with deodorant, it's because deodorant isn't designed to stop the sweat.Will showering wash off antiperspirant? ›
Because the aluminum has already entered your pores and isn't sitting on the surface of your skin, water won't wash it off. However, showering after putting on antiperspirant at night reduces its effectiveness, so make sure you allow some time for the antiperspirant or deodorant to work its magic.Which is better for you antiperspirant or deodorant? ›
If you want to control sweating and avoid underarm wetness, you should use an antiperspirant. But if you don't sweat excessively, and just want to limit body odor and smell fresh, deodorant is all you'll need.
What happens to your body when you stop using antiperspirant? ›
“If you stop wearing deodorant or antiperspirant, you can develop a stronger odor over time,” Doyle said. “When you stop using (such products) and sweat more, this creates a breeding ground for bacterial and fungal overgrowth, which can cause odor to become stronger.”