The People's Perspective on Medicine

Solutions For Sweaty Armpits

Q. I am a 50 year old male in good health. For years I have perspired heavily in my armpits. This begins early in the morning and continues all day. By the time I get to work, my shirt is soaked. This problem keeps me from wearing any shirt other than white, and I regularly go home in the middle of the day to change shirts. This is a waste of time but it’s more comfortable for a few minutes. Do you have any suggestions?

A. There are several possible solutions to this problem. The first and simplest is a strong antiperspirant containing aluminum chloride. It can be purchased over the counter as Certain Dri or prescribed as Drysol or Xerac AC.

To maximize effectiveness and minimize potential skin irritation, you should apply aluminum chloride to dry skin at night. One application every few days should work well.

If you find that aluminum chloride doesn’t help enough, you may want to discuss more drastic options with your physician. One is injections of Botox (botulinum toxin). These can be extremely effective, but they may need to be repeated every six months or so.

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About the Author
Joe Graedon is a pharmacologist who has dedicated his career to making drug information understandable to consumers. His best-selling book, The People’s Pharmacy, was published in 1976 and led to a syndicated newspaper column, syndicated public radio show and web site. In 2006, Long Island University awarded him an honorary doctorate as “one of the country's leading drug experts for the consumer.” .
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