How to Stop Armpit Sweat — Besides Just Using Deodorant

Whether you're looking to ease moisture temporarily or end it for good, these expert tips on how to stop armpit sweat will help you stay dry.

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Yes, sweating is a healthy way for the body to regulate temperature and keep you cool. The sweat your tank top sopped up is proof that you pushed yourself to your limit during your workout, and the droplets sliding down your ribcage and peeking through your shirt on a hot summer day is nothing to be ashamed about.

But for some, wet armpits can be uncomfortable, and those yellow stains on your white t-shirts can be tough to remove. So if you want to know how to stop armpit sweat — either for a few days or a few months — look to these dermatologist-approved solutions.

For a Few Days: Deodorants & Antiperspirants

You probably already know how to stop armpit sweat using this technique, but it's worth mentioning. Look at the ingredients carefully to see if what you're choosing is a deodorant or an antiperspirant. Deodorant uses baking soda, magnesium, or alpha hydroxy acids to prevent odor, while antiperspirants contain aluminum compounds to control odor and stop sweat.

"Antiperspirants work by plugging the sweat ducts in your armpits so that less sweat can reach the skin's surface," says Loretta Ciraldo, M.D., a dermatologist in Miami. "Aluminum is a safe and effective ingredient, and very little is absorbed into the bloodstream when applied topically."

A quick note: Some research suggests that aluminum-containing antiperspirants may be absorbed by the skin and have estrogen-like effects, which is thought to potentially contribute to the development of breast cancer. The National Cancer Institute notes that no scientific evidence to date has shown any link between these products and breast cancer, but if you're still uncomfortable with using aluminum antiperspirants, stick with a natural deodorant and consider one of the other sweat-stopping options.

The way you apply your antiperspirant is up to you: Swipe on a solid bar, like Secret Clinical Strength Antiperspirant (Buy It, $12, amazon.com); mist it on with Degree MotionSense Antiperspirant Dry Spray (Buy It, $6, amazon.com); or gently dab a presoaked pad, like Dr. Sweat Clinical Strength Antiperspirant Deodorant Pads (Buy It, $19, amazon.com), across your underarms once a week. Its high percentage of aluminum chloride keeps you dry for seven days. You can still add a natural deodorant each day if you want the benefit of a fresh scent.

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Secret Clinical Strength Antiperspirant

Secret Clinical Strength Antiperspirant
Amazon
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Degree MotionSense Antiperspirant Dry Spray

Degree MotionSense Antiperspirant Dry Spray
Amazon
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Dr. Sweat Clinical Strength Antiperspirant Deodorant Pads

Dr. Sweat Clinical Strength Antiperspirant Deodorant Pads
Amazon

For 6-12 Months: Injectables

When it comes to how to stop armpit sweat for longer than a day, a shot of filler is your best bet. A dermatologist can inject a neuromodulator like Botox into each armpit.

"Botox inactivates the nerves that signal the glands to produce sweat," says Dr. Ciraldo. The dose needed can be pricey (typically $850), but insurance may cover it. For mild cases, one session can last six to 12 months. But if you're suffering from hyperhidrosis, a medical condition that causes overactive sweat glands, you'll need to have injections every three to four months.

For Permanent Results: Zap Your Sweat Glands

It's possible to permanently stop armpit sweat at the source with an in-office procedure called MiraDry ($2,500 on average).

After a numbing solution is injected throughout your armpit, the device uses suction to hold the skin in place as it's heated with thermal energy, safely destroying most of the sweat glands, says Dr. Ciraldo. (Many of the odor glands and hair follicles are eliminated, too.) The treatment takes about an hour; you'll be swollen for a few days afterward, and numbness might last a few weeks. But just one session offers 50 to 85 percent permanent sweat reduction. (FYI, there are a lot of reasons why your sweat might smell so bad.)

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