How I Beat My Excessive Underarm Sweating
First off I want to say that in this article I am not trying to sell you anything.
Although I do usually recommend certain products to stop excessive sweating you won't find them mentioned here.
What I want to do in this article is give a true (summarised) account of how I personally beat my excessive underarm sweating problem. In writing it I hope to reach out to at least a few of the millions of people who suffer from this horrible condition.
My message is simple: I beat excessive sweating and so can you.
Read on to find out how I did it...
My excessive sweating nightmare begins
To this day I am unsure how or why I developed hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating). It happened around the time I took a career change and started working in a corporate office environment. Before this I wasn't even aware that the condition existed.
In all likelihood my condition started as a result of a combination of anxiety, stress and wearing formal corporate clothing. My symptoms
My symptoms were a combination of sweaty hands, sweaty and smelly feet and, worst of all, excessive underarm sweating. The latter had the biggest impact on my self-esteem and confidence.
I would arrive at work at 9.00am and within 30 minutes I would have huge sweat patches on my shirt. Even now when I look back I can still feel that horrible cold, wet sensation of having to wear sweat drenched clothes.
The crazy things I started to do
To try to deal with my condition I started to adopt more and more bizarre habits. I would go to the bathroom every 15 minutes or so to spray myself with antiperspirant and stuff reams of toilet paper under my arms.
Although this did temporarily stop my shirt from becoming saturated, it also meant that I could not raise my arms at the shoulder. Not only did this make me look ridiculous, it also exacerbated the sweating because I had to clamp my arms constantly by my sides.
I used to dread giving presentations or having to write anything on the whiteboard in a meeting room. Not only did I fear that people would see my sweat patches, but also that one of my balls of toilet paper might fall out in front of my associates.
I also tried other things such as wearing a vest to protect my shirt. And when one vest failed to stop the flood I even tried wearing two. Looking back I must have started to look like the Michelin Man!
Enough is enough - How I beat my excessive sweating
I can't remember when it was exactly but I reached a point one day when enough was enough. My self-esteem was at rock bottom and my quality of life was starting to be seriously compromised.
So, I decided to make a change. I was sure that if I approached the problem in a systematic, methodical way then I could at least manage my condition, or in the best case, beat it once and for all.
The following are the actual steps that I took that resulted in me beating my excessive underarm sweating problem.
Step #1: I analysed when my excessive sweating occurred
I sat myself down in a quiet room and reflected on the particular times when my sweating was at it's worst and when it was milder or didn't appear at all.
I wasn't surprised to find that my profuse sweating occurred when I felt self-conscious, under pressure or in uncomfortable situations.
I also noticed that some of the situations were physical - such as being stuck in a small, stuffy meeting room, and some were psychological - such as the intense pressure I put myself under when I first arrived at work and was desperate not to ruin my shirt for the whole day by saturating it with sweat within the first few minutes.
I then set about planning how I could reduce my exposure to the times when I was at high risk of excessive sweating. A simple example would be to go to the meeting room 10 minutes before the scheduled start time and make sure the air conditioning was running.
Step #2: I put together my excessive sweating management kit
Ok, so this sounds very grand but what it meant was to have plenty of spares and supplies available to me when I needed them. My kit included:
- A roll-on antiperspirant / deodorant.
- A small towel.
- A pack of lightly scented, moist wipes.
- Two spare shirts, neatly folded.
- A packet of disposable dress guards.
- Two pairs of clean socks.
- A foot deodorant spray.
I actually put two of these kits together - one for the car and one tucked away in my filing cabinet at work. And I made sure I replaced anything that I used so I always had a full kit.
For me, the true value of these kits was knowing that they were available should I need them. This relieved the tension and anxiety that I had created for myself by thinking that if I got a bit sweaty then for the rest of the day I would be doomed to feel uncomfortable and ashamed.
Over time I found I needed to call on my excessive sweating management kit less and less until I reached the point when I rarely used any of the items.
Step #3: I experimented with clothing and antiperspirant
Short of taking medication or undergoing medical procedures there a few things that you can do to actively manage and alleviate your excessive sweating. They include:
- Choosing the right clothing.
- Choosing an antiperspirant that works for you.
- Looking after your general health including taking regular exercise and eating healthy foods.
My next step was to experiment with each of these and find things that would have a positive impact on my excessive underarm sweating.
Over a few weeks I tried various non-prescribed antiperspirants - each for one week at a time. In the end I found a product in my local supermarket that worked extremely well for me. The product (that I use to this day) is a roll-on by a company called Mitchum. I recommend you look out for it and give it a try. But also be sure to try other products because you might something that works better for you.
I also experimented with different types of clothing and fabrics. In agreement with popular wisdom I found that 100% cotton, well-fitting clothes (not too tight, not too loose) worked best for me.
In the early days I stuck with light coloured fabrics since they were best at reducing the visibility of my sweat patches. This helped boost my confidence.
Through experimentation I also found that going to the gym during my lunch break worked very well for me. I think this was a combination of being able to "legitimately" sweat for half an hour and the chance to have a proper shower midway through the day. If you are in the position to give this strategy a try then I heartily recommend it.
Step #4: I relaxed, experimented and tweaked
Finally, and most importantly, I made a conscious effort every single hour of every single day to try to relax and take an objective view of what I was experiencing. Experimentation with the items discussed in step #3 really helped me to do this.
Whereas before I would panic and become paralysed with shame and embarrassment the moment I felt a drip of perspiration coming from my armpit, I started to look at what was happening in a more objective way.
I would think "Gee.. this antiperspirant sucks. I think I will drop it and try another one" or "Even though I have been sweating a little this morning, the brand of business shirt still feels really comfortable."
I found that working hard to remove my intense emotion from the situation helped me to think and act more calmly. And this in turn reduced my sweating.
So, how will you stop your excessive sweating?
I apologise to you. This has turned out to be a very long article. If you are still with me then thank you for taking the time to read it. I hope it has given you something to think about.
I managed to stop 90% of my excessive underarm sweating in about 8 weeks using exactly the strategies I have outlined above. I am now in the fortunate position where I rarely, if ever, even think about excessive sweating.
Why don't you do yourself a favour and give it a try? It will cost you very little, but the reward of beating your excessive sweating will be priceless.
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Good luck to you,
My Helpful Resources
- Other articles on excessive sweating
If you enjoyed this then please check out my other articles on the subject of excessive sweating.