Anyone who sweats a lot — and we’re not talking at the gym — knows that humidity and silk shirts aren’t your friends. “We all have about 2.6 million sweat glands all over our bodies and are capable of producing multiple pints of sweat per hour as needed to regulate temperature levels,” dermatologist Jeanine B. Downie explained to YouBeauty. “Amounts of sweat vary from person to person, and each of us has a genetic family history that may predispose us to more or less sweating.”
About 3% of people in the U.S. sweat so much that it’s considered excessive, according to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD).
If your sweating is on the excessive side — you soak through shirts or have clammy hands and feet even when it isn’t particularly hot outside — there are several different causes that may be to blame: anxiety; hot flashes and night sweats brought on by menopause (which can strike as young as your 30s); medications, such as certain antidepressants; and health issues, such as thyroid problems and diabetes, according to the Mayo Clinic.
The good news is that you don’t have to put up with the embarrassment and discomfort of sweating through your clothes. There are several effective treatments, performed by dermatologists, for excessive sweating, including:
- Prescription antiperspirants. Drysol is a prescription antiperspirant that contains 20% aluminum chloride solution, which plugs up your sweat glands. The treatment is applied at night and can be used on any sweaty area, such as your underarms, under your rear, inner thighs, hairline, and feet.
- Microwave technology. This isn’t the kind you use to heat up leftover pasta; rather, this type of microwave technology, called MiraDry, helps combat underarm sweating by eliminating sweat glands and sweat by up to 80%. The treatment typically requires two procedures spaced three months apart.
- Botox. The wrinkle-erasing treatment is also FDA-approved to stop underarm sweating. Small amounts of the toxin are injected under the arm where it blocks the nerve that triggers sweating. The sweat-free effect kicks in about four to five days post-treatment and lasts for four to six months, according to the AAD.