The most common cause of increased underarm sweating is a genetic factor, as well as stress and increased nervous tension. Hyperhidrosis can also be a symptom of diseases such as hyperthyroidism, diabetes, or cancer. Excessive underarm sweating requires hygiene, the use of deodorant and antiperspirant. Herbs and antiperspirant pills can also be an effective way of underarm sweating.
What are the causes of excessive underarm sweating?
The body produces about 0.5-1 liters of sweat every day, and even more on hot days. The apocrine glands produce underarm sweat. They are also found around the genitals, eyelids, and nipples. They secrete sweat under the influence of emotional and hormonal stimuli.
In addition to water, electrolytes, urea, and lactic acid, sweat contains fatty substances, carbohydrates, and proteins. For this reason, it is a good breeding ground for bacteria and thus promotes armpit odor.
The amount of sweat generated throughout the body, including the armpits, is an individual characteristic. The most common cause of hyperhidrosis is genetic. Relatives sweat with the same intensity. Sweating is largely associated with stress, constant nervous tension and abnormal situations. Sometimes excessive underarm sweating is one of the symptoms of the disease.
Conditions associated with excessive underarm sweating include:
- diseases of the thyroid gland - especially the hyperfunction of this gland; accompanying symptoms - weight loss, rapid heartbeat, irritability, trembling hands;
- cancers of the lymphatic system (leukemia, lymphoma) - a specific symptom is weeping sweats that appear at night; patients complain of weakness, frequent infections, a feeling of shortness of breath, bleeding; the skin turns pale, and the lymph nodes increase in size;
- diabetes mellitus - sweating is often accompanied by a decrease in blood sugar; accompanied by pallor, tremors, impaired consciousness, increased heart rate, moist spots appear in the armpits;
- tuberculosis - sweating often occurs mainly at night, accompanied by incessant coughing, weakness, fever;
- infections with fever - with the help of armpit sweating, the body fights high fever;
- obesity, overweight - in obese people, excessive armpit sweating occurs even with little effort.
Home remedies for excessive underarm sweating
The most important way to get sweaty under the armpits is to strictly follow the rules of hygiene. Frequent washing and the use of a good antiperspirant deodorant will reduce the localized secretion of sweat in the armpits.
Unpleasant sweat odors can be neutralized with a suitable chlorhexidine soap. Regular underarm epilation with proper care also helps.
What to do to avoid underarm sweating? Among the home remedies for sweating are antiperspirants. Unlike the best deodorant that kills bacteria due to its alcohol content, these products additionally block the openings of the sweat glands. They suppress perspiration and work against underarm perspiration even for several days.
Sweat pills are also becoming more popular. They contain herbal ingredients that reduce sweating throughout the body. There are also tinctures and infusions of sage, nettle or Icelandic lichen. Herbal baths are also recommended (for example, with sage), in which - to enhance the effect - you can also add mint, chamomile and oak bark.
A proper diet is important. If you have problems with sweating, hot spices that increase sweating will certainly not help. A balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables is recommended. This should be accompanied by regular exercise and adequate hydration (about 2 liters per day). You should avoid alcohol, coffee and smoking, which increase sweating.
Appropriate clothing is also suitable for underarm perspiration, especially with silver ions. When playing sports and making a lot of effort, it is worth trying on special breathable materials. Some are made of polyurethane and nylon. Even though they are man-made materials, they work well for heavy armpit sweating. They dry quickly and do not retain unpleasant odors.
The remedy for underarm sweat is a steam bath in the sauna. They help remove harmful toxins from the body that contribute to increase sweating.
Severe underarm sweating - when to see a doctor?
When the problem of increased armpit sweating worsens and interferes with daily activities, and the spots under the armpits cause discomfort and limit social contacts, it is worth contacting a doctor who treats the problem of increased sweating, that is, a dermatologist.
Sometimes it may be necessary to visit other specialists (for example, an endocrinologist) if hormones are the cause of hyperhidrosis.
Seeking professional help is also sometimes necessary when excessive underarm sweating is accompanied by inflammatory skin changes. It may become red, swollen, and itchy. Heat rash in adults is also a common condition in these areas. Depending on the severity of the symptoms, the doctor can choose the appropriate treatment. One way is to use topical creams with antibiotics (e.g. clindamycin, erythromycin).
Also, a dermatologist may advise to lubricate the skin of the armpits at night with a solution of aluminum chloride (in pharmacies there is a large selection of cosmetics containing it in their composition) - sweating usually decreases after a week.
These advanced antiperspirants will only help combat this problem when used correctly. They should be applied on clean and perfectly dry skin; you can cover with a plastic bandage.
Hyperhidrosis treatment - Botox and iontophoresis
In very severe cases, the increasingly popular botulinum toxin and iontophoresis treatments can provide relief. The action of botulinum toxin is based on reversible paralysis of the nerve endings that reach the sweat glands. Unfortunately, this treatment is quite expensive; moreover, it fights the problem for about 6 months, so it must be repeated twice a year.
On the other hand, iontophoresis involves passing a low-intensity electrical current through an area of excessive sweating. It is more often used for excessive sweating of the hands or feet.