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How to Stop Excessive Underarm Sweat

author image M.H. Dyer
M.H. Dyer began her writing career as a staff writer at a community newspaper and is now a full-time commercial writer. She writes about a variety of topics, with a focus on sustainable, pesticide- and herbicide-free gardening. She is an Oregon State University Master Gardener and Master Naturalist and holds a Master of Fine Arts in creative nonfiction writing.
How to Stop Excessive Underarm Sweat
You expect to see underarm sweat at the gym, but you'll want to keep it to a minimum otherwise. Photo Credit: Pixland/Pixland/Getty Images

Sweating keeps your body cool when air evaporates moisture on your skin. Most people perspire a lot after exercising, during hot weather, or during periods of stress or anxiety. However, excessive sweating, especially in the underarm area, can be embarrassing and uncomfortable. When perspiration mixes with bacteria, it can create a noticeably unpleasant odor. A few simple changes in your daily hygiene routine may help control excessive sweating. See your physician if you continue to sweat excessively.

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Step 1

Shower every day, using an antibacterial cleanser or body wash to slow the growth of bacteria. Dry your underarms thoroughly before applying antiperspirant, or let the skin air dry. Take cool showers after exercising.

Step 2

Apply an extra-strength antiperspirant, which contains more active ingredients to control sweat than regular antiperspirants. Look for a product containing aluminum chloride or aluminum salts, which prevent the sweat from leaving the sweat glands. Clinical strength products are available without a prescription. Use an antiperspirant-deodorant combo if you have body odor.

Step 3

Apply a thin layer of antiperspirant at night when your skin is cool and dry; antiperspirant is more effective if it has time to penetrate the sweat glands. Apply an additional coat after showering in the morning. Don't overdo it. A light coat is sufficient.

Step 4

Wear loose, breathable garments made of natural fibers such as cotton, wool, silk or linen; avoid man-made fabrics such as polyester or nylon. If you wear man-made fibers, wear a 100 percent cotton undershirt underneath to absorb sweat and help the skin breathe. Natural fibers do a better job of wicking moisture away from your underarms.

Step 5

Avoid spicy foods such as hot sauce and chili peppers, which may overstimulate your sweat glands. Heavily caffeinated beverages can also kick perspiration into overdrive. If you have underarm odor, avoid smelly foods such as onions and garlic.

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