At least 3% of the world's population experiences excessive sweating in their armpits. There are many ways to stop underarm perspiration or extreme underarm perspiration which is also known as axillary hyperhidrosis; the best way to do so varies by person. An antiperspirant with aluminum chloride as one of the main ingredients can be purchased at many different retail outlets without visiting a doctor and can help to stop underarm perspiration. If this does not work, a prescription for a stronger antiperspirant, electrical treatments, or botox injections in the armpits can be helpful. In very severe cases, the best way to stop underarm perspiration may be to undergo surgery.
Using an over-the-counter antiperspirant containing aluminum chloride can be an option for those with only minimal underarm sweating. Unlike deodorants, which only mask underarm odors, the aluminum chloride found in antiperspirants stops underarm sweating at the source. The aluminum sinks into the epidermis. After coming in contact with water, the sweat ducts that have absorbed the aluminum chloride swell, thus making it difficult for sweat to be expelled.
Prescription strength antiperspirants generally work the same way. The main difference is the amount of aluminum chloride in the product; prescription versions usually contain at least a 10% higher concentration of the main ingredient. Unlike over-the-counter products, those prescribed by a doctor are typically applied before bed in limited quantities and not washed off the next morning. This allows time for the product to sink into all of the sweat ducts under the arm, thus providing more even and lasting protection.
When antiperspirants fail to work, an at-home electrical treatment prescribed by a doctor may help to stop underarm perspiration. This treatment, known as lontophoresis, uses water as a conductor, sending small electrical currents into the sweat glands, causing them to swell and limiting perspiration. A doctor prescribes the equipment, and typically recommends 10- to 20-minute home applications two to three times a week for two to three weeks; weekly maintenance treatments follow. The treatments are typically not painful.
For many people, botox has been shown to be the best way to stop underarm perspiration. The standard treatment includes 20 injections in each side in various parts of the armpit, i.e., 40 injections in all. The treatment lasts up to six months, essentially paralyzing the sweat glands, and putting a stop to underarm perspiration.
As a last resort, surgery can be done to eliminate underarm perspiration. Known as thoracic sympathectomy, the nerves connected to the sweat glands are basically rerouted, thus significantly reducing underarm sweat. Depending on the severity of the sweating, each of these treatments can help those suffering from axillary hyperhidrosis. The best way depends on the severity of the perspiration as well as a person's body chemistry. Consulting a knowledgeable medical professional is a good first step.