woman sniffing her smelly armpit and checking for stinky body odor

Q. Is there any remedy for underarm sweating? Our 14-year-old granddaughter refuses to wear anything but black, as she feels the sweat does not show up as much. She has seen the doctor, but he had no suggestions.

A. Your granddaughter might have hyperhidrosis, a condition of excessive sweating. There are a couple of over the counter products that would be worth a try. One is Certain Dri, which contains aluminum chloride (12 percent). She should put it on before bed, making sure her armpits are dry before it is applied. After a week or so of use, she may only need to apply it two or three times a week.

Doctors can prescribe stronger products such as Drysol. For more resistant cases, physicians sometimes offer a device that delivers a mild electric current to the sweat glands (Drionic). A series of Botox injections can be effective but pricey. We are sending you our Guide to Skin Care and Treatment with many more details on dealing with hyperhidrosis.

She should also have a more thorough medical workup. Several readers report excessive sweating as a symptom of thyroid gland hyperactivity, a condition that requires treatment.

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  1. LIH

    A nurse recommended applying original Listerine to my poison ivy rash. Since it was on my underarm area, I used it there and discovered that it took care of perspiration odor as well. For several days I couldn’t use a deodorant, but the Listerine seemed to take care of the any odor by itself. It dried out the poison ivy, too.

  2. LGF

    Some females in my family seem to have this problem particularly bad. Certain Dry is a wonderful product, and seems to be less irritating than the Drysol (I guess due to the Certain Dry being a weaker solution). Also, I’ve noticed, for whatever reason, I do better using an antiperspirant with the ingredient aluminum chlorohydrate (like Suave solid or Tussy solid) than the usual one of aluminum zirconium trichlorohydrex gly. Just my personal observation.

  3. m. jensen

    Our daughter had trouble with this in elementary school. Drysol helped, and so did applying isoproply alcohol to underarms after showers using a cotton ball. Not sure what happened, but after a few months this was no longer a problem and she’s never had trouble again.

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