What It Really Means When Your Underarms Are Always Sweating

Sweating is a healthy and natural response to heat, exercise, and anxiety. It's your body's way of cooling down and keeping your temperature in check. But is there such a thing as sweating too much? As it turns out, yes. Around three percent of Americans experience excessive sweating, or hyperhidrosis, according to the American Academy of Dermatology.

While harmless, hyperhidrosis can affect a person's everyday life, causing discomfort and social anxiety (via Everyday Health). Hyperhidrosis is unrelated to heat or exertion and can occur at any time. People with hyperhidrosis can sweat so much that it drips off of their hands or soaks through their clothes.

There are two types of hyperhidrosis: focal and secondary. Focal hyperhidrosis is when excessive sweating only occurs in the underarms, hands, and feet (via WebMD). There is no known cause and it often begins in adolescence. Secondary hyperhidrosis, on the hand, is caused by an underlying medical condition, like an infection, diabetes, hormone and nerve problems, or cancer. With secondary hyperhidrosis, sweating usually occurs all over the body.

How to stop your underarms from sweating

If you have focal hyperhidrosis and are experiencing excessive underarm sweating, there are a few things you can do to help treat and control your condition. Firstly, you can start using antiperspirant instead of deodorant (via Women's Health). While deodorant is great at masking body odor, it doesn't actually stop you from sweating. Clinical strength antiperspirants, however, temporarily block the opening of your sweat glands, greatly reducing underarm perspiration. You should apply clinical strength antiperspirant both in the morning and at night.

Cutting out caffeine from your everyday diet can also help reduce excessive underarm sweating. Since caffeine is vasoactive, it can affect your blood vessels, which may cause you to sweat more than usual. In addition to caffeine, alcohol and chocolate can have the same effect. Another way to reduce underarm sweating is to shave your armpits. Hair holds moisture, so if you're already sweating excessively, armpit hair can exacerbate the problem. However, if that doesn't work, you can buy underarm pads to absorb your excess sweat.