Having sweaty armpits can be pretty embarrassing. Not only does the sight and feel of the wet patches under your arm make you feel uneasy, it might also be accompanied by an unpleasant odor.
Sweating is a normal thing. People sweat when the temperature around them is high. They sweat after exercising or any strenuous activity. However, other factors can cause sweating, too. Women in their menopausal age sweat when they have hot flashes. Those with some disorders like hypertension or diabetes sweat too as a side effect of the drugs they take, or when they have fluctuating blood pressure or blood sugar level. The sweating in this case becomes a warning signal that something is wrong with their body.
Excessive sweating can be very uncomfortable in the presence of other people. It is a medical disorder called hyperhidrosis. One type of hyperhidrosis is sweaty armpits or axillary hyperhidrosis. Excessive sweating in the armpits has been observed to commonly occur among teenagers or those in the puberty stage. Heredity is one factor why teenage boys and girls have this disorder. Also, hormones are actively developing during this stage. Secondary characteristics specifically growth of hair in the armpits causes bad odor. Sweaty armpits also become uncontrollable when the person is anxious or suffering from emotional stress.
Many adults with low self-esteem and poor interpersonal relationship could trace their personality issue with sweaty armpits. When they were growing up as teenagers, they were afraid to mingle with others because of their sweaty armpits. Making friends was difficult for fear of being rejected just because they sweated excessively and had unpleasant smell too.
How to Stop Sweaty Armpits
Teenagers may be suffering in silence when they could have been enjoying an exciting stage in their lives, and just because they have sweaty armpits! Here are a few tips that can help most teenagers and adults alike with hyperhidrosis.
- Natural deodorants are always the best solution. After bath, try dabbing tea, baking soda, cornstarch and other natural ingredients to your sweaty armpits to absorb and stop the sweating. But for severe hyperhidrosis this may not work.
- Using over-the-counter deodorants can only hide the odor caused by the bacteria in the armpits. But if you have mild case of hyperhidrosis, deodorants can make you smell fragrant and boost your self-confidence.
- Others can use a clinical strength antiperspirant with 15-20% aluminum chloride content. If you do some exercises or sports that keep you sweating all the time, antiperspirants can inhibit the sweat glands from sweating.
- Botulinum Toxin (Botox) is an injection of a poison (toxin) into the armpits to stop the sweat glands from producing sweat. The treatment can last for about 30-45 minutes. Under an anesthesia, tiny injections of Botox can relieve sweaty armpits for at least 6-10 months; of course this stops the smell too. It is proven to be 90% effective but repeat sessions are necessary to maintain dry armpits .
- Endoscopic Thoracic Sympathectomy (ETS) is a permanent solution for severe axillary hyperhidrosis. Using a small device called endoscopy, the surgery makes 2-3 small incisions in the chest specifically under the second, third and fourth ribs on each side. The thoracic surgeon cuts or clamps the sympathetic nerves that cause the over-activity of the sweat glands. Success rate for most patients who had ETS is 80-90%. This is a irreversible solution and compensatory sweating is the most common side effect in 1 to 100 people who had the surgery.
- Axillary Suction Curettage or Laser Armpit Sweat Treatment is an improved laser method to stop sweaty armpits. Added to the old method is a mechanical suction attached to the laser ablation. It makes an extremely small incision where laser beams pass to destroy the sweat glands and stop perspiration.
- Iontophoresis is most effective to sweaty palms and hands but armpit pads are also used to get the same benefit from the device. Using armpit pads moistened with the solution of glycopromium bromide, the pads are connected to the device to enable small electric shocks to inhibit the sweat glands.Sweating is not totally stopped but only minimized and treatment needs to be repeated for weeks to achieve best results.
While trying on the right solution to your sweaty armpits, personal hygiene is important. Bathing or showering at least twice a day can be a good habit. Rubbing lemon juice can be a natural deodorant and armpit whitening too. Eating spicy foods and drinking caffeine can trigger your sweat glands to over-secrete. Maintain normal weight; overweight usually have hyperhidrosis because it takes more effort for the body to cool down because of the body fats. Because bacteria thrive in warm areas, avoid smelling by shaving armpits hairs. If you smell good then you wouldn’t feel anxious and won’t sweat. Lastly, use loose and cotton clothes. When you feel relaxed and comfortable in your clothes, you feel confident and you sweat less.