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How to Treat Sweaty Armpits

How to treat sweaty armpits – especially coming into summer? Underarm sweating or excessive underarm sweating is also known as axillary hyperhidrosis.  This is a very common condition affecting up to 5% of Brisbane’s population.  The cause is due to genes but also modified by the environment, stress, psychological factors, medications, diet, as well as the intake of caffeine and energy drinks.  Underarm sweating can play an important part in someone’s activities of daily living or happiness in life.  Excessive underarm sweating can cause social stigma and certainly has been implicated in causing social withdrawal and depression.  When someone suffers from excessive underarm sweating their confidence levels are rocked and there is a significant psychological impact which may flow on to other family members and interpersonal relationships.

The good news is that effective treatments are available.  Here are my hints for how to treat sweaty armpits. For those of you who want the most effective treatment, watch this short YOUTUBE video.




1. How to treat sweaty armpits with clothing selection

The selection of clothing is extremely important.  Wearing cotton clothing is essential.  Lyra clothing is not advisable.  There are new synthetic clothes from Nike, Addidas and Lulu Lemon which dissipate sweat a lot quicker compared to normal cotton.  Additionally, the choice of colours in which you wear, plays an important role in determining what you wear if you suffer from excessive underarm sweating.  Most patients with axillary hyperhidrosis will wear black or white.  They rarely buy coloured clothes as this shows up more often.  In a recent survey, 76% of patients wear black as the preferred colour choice.  This certainly decreases the plethora in selection of clothing in your wardrobe.

2. How to treat sweaty armpits with diet

Diet and supplement can also help with the excessive underarm sweating.  The use of various herbs such as St John’s wort and sage can also help decrease underarm sweating.  In reality, herbal remedies only work in 5% of excessive underarm sweating and only mild cases.  The most important aspect of diet is to cut out on the foods which may increase your metabolic rate.  The most common sweat-induced foods include energy drinks including Red Bull and Coca Cola. Additionally, coffee with a caffeine intake will increase your heart rate, stimulate the sympathetic system and cause an increase in the activity of eccrine sweat glands.  This results in more profuse sweating.

3. How to treat sweaty armpits with Antiperspirants

Antiperspirants can help with mild cases.  The antiperspirant of choice is Driclor; however, this has to be used in a specific manner.  Driclor consists of aluminium particles which block the eccrine or sweat duct unit itself.  The most important aspect of Driclor application is that it is to be used on dry skin which is often a paradox if one has excessive underarm sweating.  The best time to use Driclor is at night after a shower.  Pat the area dry with a cloth, certainly use a blow dryer on the cool setting to help dissipate any excessive sweat in the area.  Driclor application should then be applied and this should be washed off in the morning.  If you do suffers excessive irritation, use this every second night.  Additionally, the use of over-the-counter steroid creams can help decrease irritation.

Other excellent antiperspirants including the Nivea range, Adidas provides an excellent range of antiperspirants as do Rexona Sport.  In fact, Rexona Sport is my preferred antiperspirant of choice; however, under Medicare ruling, Driclor has to be trialled before antisweating injections or Botox injections. See solution number 5- this is the most reliable method for how to treat sweaty armpits.

4. How to treat sweaty armpits by reducing stress

Stress often plays an important but often overlooked role in the cause, symptoms as well as the severity of excessive underarm sweating.  There is something known as the sweat-stress cycle whereby an individual thinks about sweating, this evokes and emotional response which increases the eccrine gland to produce more sweat, this in return creates more stress which creates more sweating.  The cycle continues.  One of the tricks to decrease the sweat-stress cycle is a therapy known as cognitive behavioural therapy.  This is called CBT and is performed by a psychologist.  Dr Tammy White is a well known psychologist in Brisbane who provides an excellent service to my patients for the past eight years.  She is extremely passionate about CBP and works with me together with antisweat reduction injections to help many patients over the years.  CBP is an invaluable treatment modality for patients who suffer from stress-related sweating.


5. How to teat sweaty armpits with Botox - the most reliable method

In 2013 Medicare as well as PBS Australia recognised that injections can help for excessive underarm sweating.  The injections are the same injections they use to treat wrinkles.  These injections work by blocking the signal to stimulate sweat glands.  These injections are performed only by specialists in the field of hyperhidrosis.  They are heavily subsided by Medicare.  In the past, the patient used to pay in excess of $1500 per treatment.  However, with this subsidy, patient are out of pocket $420.

Antisweat injections take 90 seconds to perform and on average last 6.2 months.  Medicare has been extremely generous to subsidise three of these treatments per calender year.  The flip side is that treatments must be spaced four months apart.  To qualify for Medicare subsidised antisweating injections, one has to follow a specific criteria as dictated by the government.  Patients must trial Driclor and fail Driclor treatment.  Additionally, the sweating must be of significance.  I define significance only by asking two questions, namely does it limit your activities of daily living, namely limit the clothes you wear and also does it limit your confidence?  If the answer is yes then you qualify for the rebate.  In order to qualify for injections you do need a referral as Dr Davin Lim is a specialist dermatologist.  The referral is for a condition known as primary axillary hyperhidrosis or excessive underarm sweating.

If you have done some research you will know that there are other treatment on how to treat sweaty armpits, including miraDry and ETS. Dr Davin Lim authored the www.miradry.com.au website and was the very first Australian doctor trained in this procedure. So, where does miraDry fit in? Firstly this device is now 8 years old, and can be considered a gen one device. miraDry 2 was also launched in 2018/19. Gen 2 miraDry will be more effective, safer and less painful than gen one miraDry, additionally this device can treat not only sweaty underarms, but also excessive sweating on the hands and feet. My suggestion- Generation two miraDry. Botox is much more cost effective - only $440 out of pocket at most, compared to $3800 for miraDry generation one. Botox also gives more predicable outcomes, and reduces underarm sweating to a greater degree than miraDry. If you fail Botox, -less than 4% of patients, then miraDry maybe an option for you.

With summer just around the corner, why wait for excessive sweating to limit your lifestyle?  A simple consultation together with a 90 second procedure can yield a 96% improvement in sweating for up to six months.  For more information on this treatment, watch the YouTube video or search this site as it details the exact treatment protocols we use to help patients who suffer from excessive underarm sweating. How to treat sweaty armpits is discussed in great detail in this website.


What other important facts are there you should know in regards to this treatment-

  • Treatment time takes 90-120 seconds

  • Treatment consists of tiny injections with a very fine needle that is directed to the area of sweating

  • Pain is mild, much like ant bites

  • In some cases patients stop sweating within 24 hours, in others it can take up to 12 days for maximum effect

  • Medicare only subsidies this treatment for excessive underarm sweating.

  • How to treat excessive underarm treatments FAST are limited to 3 treatments per year, spaced 4 months apart

  • Only certain Specialist can perform this procedure, Cosmetic Clinics and Spas are not specialist, and are not recognised by Medicare

  • Patients who are breast feeding or pregnant are not allowed to have this treatment.

  • The average person who suffers from sweaty armpits will have 6.2 month relief after each treatment

  • 3 out of 100 patients perceive this treatment as ‘not effective’. In this case Dr Lim will step up treatments – to date no one has failed to respond to the ‘How to treat excessive underarm sweating –Fast program.

  • To date this treatment is the most successful for treating excessive underarm sweating- sweaty armpits

  • This treatment has no side effects and no downtime

  • miraDry is another option that Dr Lim uses to treat excessive sweating, however miraDry 2 will be out in 2018. miraDry 2 will be better than miraDry with less side effects

  • For more information type on this treatment, there are many more article on this website pertaining to the treatment of excessive underarm sweating

  • In most cases, by decreasing sweat, it decreases the food for bacteria to breed- this means less BO


Dr. Davin Lim

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