Axillary Hyperhidrosis: Causes, Symptoms, Treatments

Axillary Hyperhidrosis

Axillary (underarm) hyperhidrosis is considered one of the most common types of excessive sweating. Unlike hyperhidrosis of the face or palms, this disease has negative consequences, increasing the risk of infections.

Axillary hyperhidrosis is accompanied by a strong unpleasant odor, which can cause psychological problems and difficulties in communication. As a rule, hyperhidrosis has several local manifestations, affecting also the feet, palms and face area.

Causes of underarm sweating

Why are we sweating? It is known that sweating is a normal physiological process that serves to thermoregulate and regulate metabolism. With sweat, salts and organic matter are also released. Sweating occurs as a normal reaction to such irritants as high air temperature, stressful situations, fluid intake and physical activity. If this phenomenon is regular and does not depend on the above factors, you need to think about the cause of the problem. The presence of an unpleasant odor during normal perspiration also requires attention since the source of the smell is not perspiration from the body, but bacteria that multiply in a warm, humid environment.

Underarm hyperhidrosis may be the result of hormonal changes, for example, during puberty or after the birth of a child. If you are more worried about an unpleasant odor, rather than the amount of perspiration, it makes sense to reconsider the diet, abandoning unnecessarily spicy and salty foods. As a rule, axillary hyperhidrosis is not an independent disease but a symptom indicating possible health problems, such as vegetative-vascular dystonia, endocrine, and infectious diseases. Increased sweating and/or unpleasant odor may be associated with certain medications.

If the doctor detected the presence of serious diseases of the internal organs, excessive sweating can be a reaction of the body to stressful situations. In this case, the doctor may prescribe sedative herbal preparations. Simple preventive measures can also improve the situation, which we will talk about a little later.

How to get rid of underarm sweating?

So what to do if it seems to you that your sweating exceeds normal, causing serious discomfort and imposing certain restrictions on the choice of clothes? By the way, there is a method for quantifying sweating, which helps to assess the validity of patient complaints. Remember that you need to treat the cause, not the effect, so do not hesitate to consult a doctor. If the examination did not reveal the disease, which is the primary cause of the problem, the following remedies can help get rid of axillary sweating:

  • Antiperspirants are drugs that clog sweat glands and, accordingly, reduce the amount of sweat removed. Antiperspirants are produced in excess by the perfume industry, but there are medical antiperspirants, which have a higher content of aluminum chloride hexahydrate, up to 15 percent. Recently, much has been said about the possible harm to their composition of zinc and aluminum compounds for health, so if it is necessary to use them daily, it is advisable to discuss this with your doctor. In addition, remember that antiperspirants are applied only to washed and dried skin, and the effect of their use in the evening is even higher than with morning application. In this case, you need to wash off the antiperspirant in the morning. When the desired effect is achieved, the frequency of use should be reduced. These products can irritate delicate skin, as well as leave permanent stains on clothing. In addition, you should refrain from applying antiperspirants and deodorants before prolonged exposure to the sun due to the risk of pigmentation. Similar restrictions apply to deodorants that do not inhibit sweat but suppress unpleasant odors. Those who are concerned about the possible harm from the use of industrial deodorants and antiperspirants can also use common natural remedies for sweating armpits, which we will talk about a little further;
  • External preparations (for example, ointments, paste and gels) inhibit perspiration, disinfect, act as an antiseptic; they are applied to non-irritated washed and dried skin for 20 minutes once every 7-12 days). Before using these remedies a doctor’s consultation is required. If necessary, they can be applied to other parts of the body;
  • Iontophoresis is the introduction of special substances into the body using galvanic current. In this case, the substance is water, to which various drugs can be added. This simple method is traditionally used to treat armpit sweating, although the efficiency of iontophoresis in this area is lower than in the treatment of palm or foot hyperhidrosis. Usually, 5-10 sessions are enough for the patient, if necessary, supportive procedures are carried out in the future. Iontophoresis can be combined with other treatments. Despite the simplicity and safety of the procedure, iontophoresis also has contraindications, for example, pregnancy, epilepsy, neoplasms, the presence of any implants and others, therefore it should be carried out in a medical institution under the supervision of a doctor;
  • Botox injections. This remedy for sweating armpits is used relatively recently – a little more than ten years. With the help of particularly thin needles, botox is introduced into the armpits and inhibits the activity of sweat glands. The effect of the procedure lasts more than six months, then the injections can be repeated. After the course of treatment, it is advisable for the patient to avoid saunas, intense exercise and drinking alcohol for some time;
  • Surgical methods. They can only be used after all the above methods have been used. Surgical treatment consists in excising the sweat glands, however, like any surgery, there are contraindications and possible negative consequences, including a possible increase in sweating through other areas of the body. The effectiveness of the operation is quite high but not absolute.

Natural remedies for axillary hyperhidrosis

We should also mention safe alternative methods of treatment, which are worth trying before using drugs. How can I deal with armpit sweating on my own? These remedies will help you:

  • Herb decoctions. To prepare them, take one tablespoon of dry matter (usually sage), steam in a glass of boiling water and let stand for about an hour. The amount obtained is divided into three doses during the day, after a meal. The duration of use is two to three weeks. To dry sage, you can add a little bark of oak or mint. Outdoor baths with these herbal decoctions are also helpful. Do not forget that many oral herb decoctions cannot be taken during pregnancy, epilepsy, and some other conditions;
  • Oats are brewed for bathing or used as a washcloth for which oats or oatmeal are wrapped in several layers of gauze;
  • Lemon. If necessary, immediately refresh yourself, wipe the armpits with a damp cloth, and then with a slice of lemon;
  • Propolis alcohol tincture mixed with sage broth – applied externally.


And finally, let’s talk about what should precede any treatment – about prevention. Follow the rules of personal hygiene and use fluids properly. So, to prevent excessive sweating and concomitant odor, you should:

  • Take a shower twice a day. Try taking a contrast shower, that is, alternating water of different temperatures, which not only maintains a clean body but also strengthens blood vessels. After the shower, you need to let the body “breathe” for several minutes, and only then dress;
  • Remove excess hair in armpits. This will reduce the growth of bacteria in this area, and accordingly prevent the unpleasant odor;
  • Limit the use of hot tea, honey and raspberries with a diaphoretic effect;
  • Give preference to clothes made from natural materials — cotton;
  • In hot weather, you should not drink too much liquid, because later it is actively excreted through the sweat glands;
  • Take multivitamin and mineral complexes (consult your doctor);
  • Regularly visit a bathhouse or sauna, which helps to remove accumulated toxins from the body;
  • Review the diet and provide yourself with sufficient physical activity: overweight can also cause increased sweating.

Be attentive to yourself and your health and do not hesitate to seek help from specialists who will certainly help you.