Normal sweating from the armpits is easy to control using an antiperspirant. If you have hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating), you probably need to consider stronger interventions such as medication. Read on to learn more about how to reduce armpit sweat for men.
As you look for a way to reduce armpit sweat, it is important to find out why you are sweating in the first place.
For most people, the answer is simple. Sweating is a way for the body to control body temperature, and armpits contain many sweat glands.
However, if you think you are sweating more than usual or you sweat in unusual circumstances (e.g. when it’s cold), there’s definitely another reason.
Possible reasons include medication, an underlying health condition, anxiety, hormonal imbalance and gout.
If you suspect you have hyperhidrosis, it’s a good idea to see a doctor for a full diagnosis. Treating or managing the underlying cause will be more effective at reducing armpit sweat.
4 Ways To Reduce Armpit Sweat
Here are some ways to reduce armpit sweat, both for normal sweaters and men with hyperhidrosis.
An antiperspirant is the easiest way to control the amount of sweat your armpits produce. Antiperspirants contain aluminium that blocks sweat glands, preventing sweat from rising to the surface of the skin.
Note that an antiperspirant is different from a deodorant. A deodorant only reduces smell by controlling odour-causing bacteria. It will not stop you from sweating.
If you sweat excessively, look for an over the counter prescription-strength antiperspirant. Some antiperspirants can prevent sweating for up to five days.
Remember to follow the application instructions on the label. The best time to use antiperspirant is in the evening after you shower. Apply it on dry skin. You do not need to reapply in the morning, even after showering.
If a prescription-strength antiperspirant doesn’t help you, ask your doctor about taking anticholinergics. These medications stop acetylcholine (a chemical messenger) from reaching sweat glands and triggering sweating.
Anticholinergics are typically reserved for people with hyperhidrosis, since they come with several side effects and risks.
The biggest risk is dementia. Some studies have linked prolonged use of anticholinergics with an increased risk of dementia. That’s one reason why most medical experts don’t prescribe anticholinergics to seniors.
Anticholinergics for sweating usually come in form of a topical cream or oral tablets.
Another option for men with hyperhidrosis is surgery. Though expensive, surgery is the most effective way to reduce armpit sweat permanently.
One type of surgery involves removing sweat glands from the underarms, a quick outpatient procedure that takes 1-2 hours.
Another type of surgery is Endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy or ETS. This one targets nerves rather than sweat glands. The surgeon destroys part of the sympathetic nerve, preventing nerve impulses from reaching sweat glands.
Botox treatment is another good option for men who have found other solution such as antiperspirants ineffective.
Botox blocks nerve impulses to sweat glands, which reduces the amount of sweat they produce. Treatments must be repeated after a few months.
- Watch what you eat. Some foods and beverages can increase sweating. These include alcohol, onion and garlic-heavy foods, spicy dishes and processed foods. Caffeinated beverages can also increase armpit sweat.
- Keep cool. If you sweat easily when it’s hot, try to keep your body cool by wearing breathable clothes, drinking lots of water, and staying sheltered in a cool place.
- If you sweat easily when stressed or nervous, practice calming techniques that reduce anxiety. Breathing exercises, meditation and yoga can reduce stress-related sweating.
- Stop smoking. Nicotine can increase sweating by raising body temperature.