How do I not sweat the small stuff...literally?
July 9, 2008 10:56 AM   Subscribe

sweatfilter: How do I curb my excessive armpit sweat?

It doesn't matter if it's 90 degrees or 60 degrees. It doesn't matter if I wear heavy clothes or light. And it doesn't matter what combination of deodorant, deodorant/antiperspirant, antiperspirant, for women, for men, for unisex that I use...ain't no matter! My armpits continue to sweat...every day, all day, and A LOT. And I cannot for the life of me figure out why. The rest of my body doesn't sweat excessively.

I'm a thin, somewhat fit woman, 5'6" 115 lbs. I get some exercise. I used to eat meat and now I'm a vegetarian; neither has had any effect on my sexy sexy problem. It's not affected by nervousness, fear, lust, anything. Even as I type this my armpits are dripping. Ew.

Any thoughts? Solutions?
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (18 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Have you seen a doctor? There are certain prescription-only anti-antiperspirants available. Also, some people swear by Certain-Dri.
posted by proj at 10:59 AM on July 9, 2008

I have the same problem and while Certain-Dri doesn't work for me, a friend who has this problem even WORSE than me (and as bad as you) tried it and it completely stopped her sweating. 43 years old and it's like she was just born!
posted by tristeza at 11:02 AM on July 9, 2008

A friend of mine uses a prescription anti-perspirant for hyperhidrosis.

Also, I've heard of people getting botox in their armpits for this. Presumably it paralyzes the sweat glands. I can't comment on whether that's a good idea or not.
posted by amro at 11:04 AM on July 9, 2008

I have some extended family members with this problem (it seems to be genetic) and Certain-Dri has worked very well for them.
posted by zsazsa at 11:05 AM on July 9, 2008

certain-dri changed my life, no kidding. i was like you once, so it's still amazing to me that i can put it on and not ever have to worry about sweating through anything ever again—my armpits are totally dry even on the hottest, most humid days!
posted by lia at 11:19 AM on July 9, 2008

I've started using the new Gillette Clinical Strength and it works just grand. The trick is you apply it before bed and let it work overnight, then you have to train yourself to not wash it off when you shower in the morning. Once you work it into your routine it's pretty foolproof.
posted by Brian James at 11:23 AM on July 9, 2008

Botox is used to reduce armpit sweat.
posted by iguanapolitico at 11:30 AM on July 9, 2008

Certain-Dri works for me, but it didn't work when I didn't follow the directions on the bottle.
posted by PFL at 11:30 AM on July 9, 2008

N-thing Certain-Dri. And where did I first hear about it? Well right here on Ask MeFi of course.

Use as directed and it works like a charm (I think the only place we found it was in Target), although I do see there are name brand roll-on antiperspirants that are now being advertised as being "prescription strength" (whatever the hell that means).
posted by 543DoublePlay at 12:21 PM on July 9, 2008

Another satisfied Certain-Dri user here, and I recently tried Secret Clinical and it works just as well. Interestingly, both work way better than the much stronger prescription Dri-Sol.

I've always wondered if hypnosis would help. I never ever sweat if I'm at home or wearing an old T-shirt or something, but put me in anything expensive, dry-clean-only, or where sweat will easily show, and I'm sure to sweat. So it must be a psychological problem with a psychological solution, right? I really should look into that.
posted by HotToddy at 1:19 PM on July 9, 2008

another certain-dri user here. i swear by it. it changed my life, but like others, i had to try it a few times before i wised up and actually followed the directions. after i did, it worked wonders.

i know what you're going through and it ain't fun. i used to wear multi-layers of clothing, avoid solid colors, etc. etc. because of how embarrassed i was at my sweaty pits. try certain dri and/or see a doc.
posted by nomad73 at 1:19 PM on July 9, 2008

I'm a girl, but boy do I have sweaty pits! I thank my grandpa for that one...

Having said that, I've had very good luck with the Old Spice range. Its the only deodorant (after trying all kinds in both men and womens ranges) that has kept me relatively dry and stench-free.
posted by arishaun at 1:35 PM on July 9, 2008

I adore certain-dri. My armpits are occasionally itchy since it's pretty harsh on skin, but if you go easy it'll really clear up the moisture.

A friend of mine also had botox injections and said it worked like a charm. I'd try certain-dri to see if it works and if not, check with a doc and see if you can get diagnosed and prescribed the botox injections. Good luck!
posted by ahimsa at 2:56 PM on July 9, 2008

Deodorants with aluminium salts are enough for me.
posted by jouke at 5:07 PM on July 9, 2008

There are a lot of previous AskMe posts on this subject.

I had the same problem. Based on the advice in the AskMe archives, I tried Certain-Dri. It's non-prescription; you can get it at Wal-Mart.

It instantly and completely stopped the sweating. Instantly. Completely. I have rarely been so completely satisfied with a consumer product.

There's some concern that the active ingredient (aluminum chloride) is a neurotoxin, but almost all anti-perspirants contain aluminum compounds. Then again, Certain-Dri contains a lot more aluminum than regular anti-perspirants. Just something to be aware of.
posted by greenie2600 at 5:10 PM on July 9, 2008

My brother had insane sweaty armpit problems for years to the point that he started wearing pantyliners under his shirts! In any case he discovered Maxim and totally swears by it.
posted by BubbleWrap at 5:26 PM on July 9, 2008

I have this problem, and, while I'm a 6'3", 260+ pound man, I tried more or less everything:
  • Certain-Dri: worked for a while, then stopped working, and never totally stopped the sweating, just making it "less bad".
  • Dri-Sol: completely ineffective.
  • Maxim: worked only partially, not stopping the sweating but making a measurable difference.
  • Avert/Secure from worked, and worked well.
There are some caveats to using Secure: the first is that it's a powerful formulation, and it gave me hellacious cottonmouth, to the point where I had to eat my meals washed down with water because I couldn't make spit. The second is that it dried out my sinuses, so in the hotter, drier months, I had the occasional nosebleed. You also need to be keenly aware of the fact that you're shutting down your sweat glands with this stuff, and become maniacal about hydration, or you can find yourself flirting with heatstroke under exertion.

Secure saved my paramedic internship: I was having sweat problems that made me look like that one guy in "Airplane" even if I was totally calm. I started using Secure, and the sweating problems went away. Now that my internship is over, I only use the Secure whenever I'm going to be in a pressure situation, as my sweats are apparently triggered by an oversensitive sympathetic nervous system glitch: I get slightly nervous, and my body goes into a full fight-or-flight response.

Anyway, I would try the other suggestions first, but as someone who had no success with those other choices, I finally found that Secure worked for me.
posted by scrump at 2:31 PM on July 10, 2008 [1 favorite]

I love Certain-Dri. Like someone else mentioned, my armpits get itchy at times. I also cannot use it the same day I shave my underarms because it burns so much, it keeps me awake at night. I also put regular deodorant on in the morning because sometimes (mostly in the summer) I'd notice that, while I wasn't sweaty, I was still stinky.

(Like many others, I started using Certain-Dri after reading about it here.)
posted by whatideserve at 4:34 PM on July 10, 2008

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