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How to Prevent Underarm Sweat Stains

Updated: Sep 28, 2022

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Ahh underarm sweat stains or as I like to call them: pit pancakes. If you’ve never had them you just won’t understand the pain. If you have them all the time, I'm sorry, I feel you and I got you!

underarm sweat stain

Underarm sweat stains have been a strain in my life since I was a child. I remember feeling self-conscious about raising my arms in public and always hesitated before wearing colored shirts.

This insecurity obviously played a major role in my personal style. My wardrobe became an all black and white nightmare.

To make matters worse excessive sweating isn't something I really wanted to discuss with anyone so I wasn't proactive about finding solutions until my mid-20's.

The first avenue I tried was anything that could help me live with the sweat:


While these DO work, they're a hassle!

I used these for longer than I should have because I always thought that underarm sweat was essential to my health. Eccrine glands secrete water to the skin surface which helps regulate our body temperature. The secreted water (sweat) cools the body down by evaporation.


We have around 3-4 million eccrine glands scattered throughout our entire bodies so missing a few under our arms isn’t gonna hurt. So after clearing my misinformed self with my Dermatologist I decided to try antiperspirants.


How do antiperspirants work?

  • Most antiperspirants are aluminum-based which work by plugging the pores in your underarms preventing sweat from being secreted.

  • These should be used before bed so the plug can form while we sleep. (When our eccrine sweat glands are less active.)


Over the Counter Antiperspirants

Aluminum Zirconium Trichlorohydrex or Tetracholorhydrex Gly (19% – 20%)

These are the training bras of anti-perspirants. My physician got me to try these before moving on to the good stuff. I still use these but mainly for their deodorant qualities.

  • Pros: Affordable, you can find these almost anywhere. You will have less irritation from using these products compared to their stronger counterparts below.

  • Cons: Only good for mild sweating, prepare for yellow-ish stains on your white cotton shirts.

  • Find them here: Dove Clinical Protection, Secret Clinical Strength, and Med-e-Tate.


Aluminum Chloride (12-15%)

This is the GOOD over-the-counter stuff, the only stuff able to control my sweating without having to get a prescription. They are a little more convenient as I only had to apply once a week. They do however sting-burn for a bit right after application.


Prescription-Only Antiperspirants

These need to be prescribed by your Dermatologist to treat hyperhidrosis

(excessive sweating)

Aluminum chloride Hexahydrate (20%)

  • Pros: Could be covered by insurance. Effective.

  • Cons: May cause skin irritation.

  • Find them here: Drysol

Glycopyrronium 2.4%

  • It does not form a plug but actually prevents the gland's sweat production.

  • Pros: Could be covered by insurance. Effective.

  • Cons: Side effects and irritation.

  • Find them here: QBREXZA


In-office treatments by Dermatologists

botox for underarms hyperhidrosis

Botox (onabotulinumtoxinA)

  • $1000 - $1500 per session

  • A dermatologist will give you about 15 intradermal injections of botox to each underarm for hyperhidrosis control. The effects typically last from 3-6 months.

  • Pros: Could be covered by medical insurance, lasts a long time.

  • Cons: Expensive (if not covered), bruising, tenderness, swelling at injection sites.

  • Find more info here: Botox


  • $1500 - $2500 per session

  • MiraDry uses heat or thermal energy to eliminate the eccrine glands in your underarms permanently. (Bonus: may remove some of the hair on there too!)

  • Requires 1-2 sessions.

  • Pros: Results are permanent.

  • Cons: Your armpits will be bruised, swollen, irritated, and painful after the procedure but that will clear up.

  • Find more info here: Miradry


  • Fractora is basically MicroNeedling and Radio Frequencies love child.

  • It's mechanism of action is comparable to Miradry, it creates thermal energy to disable the eccrine glands.

  • It is intended for cosmetic applications like improving fine lines, wrinkles, scarring, and stretch marks.

  • Cons: Requires multiple sessions.

  • Find more info here: Fractora.


prevent embarrassing underarm sweat stains and pit stains

I hope this gives you a better understanding of your problem and helps you in some way!

Have you tried any of these?

Let me know below!



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