Guide to Excessive Armpit Sweating

Authored by R. Elizabeth C. Kitchen in Health
Published on 07-27-2009

Excessive armpit sweating is a medical condition called hyperhidrosis. Those with this condition will often also experience excessive palm sweating and excessive feet sole sweating. It is estimated that approximately two to three percent of Americans suffer from excessive armpit sweating. Those with excessive armpit sweating not only face embarrassment, but it can also interfere with daily activities such as gripping a steering wheel, shaking hands with others, holding hands with significant others and trying to hold a pen or pencil. Those with this condition typically sweat all of the time regardless of the temperature or their mood.

Many things can cause excessive armpit sweating. A person’s emotions can increase the amount of sweating they experience. For example, if a person is scared, nervous or anxious they tend to sweat more. The temperature can also increase a person’s amount of underarm sweat. Those with excessive armpit sweating will experience even more sweating when the weather is warm or humid. Other causes of excessive armpit sweating may include certain metabolic or neurologic conditions and certain systemic diseases. Underlying medical conditions that may cause excessive armpit sweating include acromegaly, menopause, anxiety, lung disease, cancer, hyperthyroidism, carcinoid syndrome, heart disease, certain medications, substance abuse, tuberculosis, glucose control disorders, stroke, Parkinson’s disease, spinal cord injury and pheochromocytoma.

Excessive armpit sweating can be treated in a number of ways. If the cause is an underlying medical condition, then treating that condition may help to decrease, or in some cases even eliminate, this condition. Over-the-counter antiperspirants that contain aluminum chloride may help to decrease excessive armpit sweating. If those are not effective, the there are some prescription strength antiperspirants that contain the ingredient aluminum chloride hexahydrate that may be beneficial. A type of medication called anticholinergics are prescription oral medications that are intended to reduce sweating. A procedure, called lontophoresis, may be effective in reducing excessive armpit sweating. This procedure passes electricity directly through the skin in order to reduce sweating by using basic tap water.

A surgical procedure, called cervical sympathectomy, is a procedure in which some sweat glands can be removed to reduce excessive armpit sweating, but this procedure is a last resort. Botox has been becoming increasingly popular as a treatment for excessive armpit sweating. When this is used a doctor will inject about twenty injections into different areas of the armpit to relieve excess sweating for approximately six months.

There are some natural remedies that may be effective in treating excessive armpit sweating. Like all treatments, these natural remedies may not work for everyone. Apple cider vinegar is said to be a beneficial natural treatment for excessive armpit sweating. To use this remedy, users will need to mix two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar with two teaspoons of honey and consume it three times a day. This natural remedy should be consumed on an empty stomach. Taking a magnesium supplement daily is said to be beneficial in treating excessive armpit sweating. This natural remedy is said to take at least three to four days before results become noticeable.


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