Pits: Everybody’s got them, but nobody likes to talk about them. Why wouldn’t they? Communicating brings you knowledge, and knowledge is power, so let’s discuss some of the general questions you have about your armpits!
- Why are we sweating?
There are two different types of glands (sweat and smell) that can both cause physical discomfort. Most of the sweat glands in our skin are eccrine glands, which regulate our temperature and are present throughout our body. They produce an aqueous but odourless sweat that evaporates on the surface of our skin, cooling our body when it is warm.
The other type of glands are the apocrine glands. Their purpose is a little less clear. Most researchers find that the smell produced by the apocrine glands acts as a pheromone. That is to say, the odor produced by the apocrine glands can act as a sexual attractant, territorial marker or warning signal. Who would have thought sweat was so smart?
- How do I know if I’m sweating too much?
If your sweating affects your life, you’re not alone: about 1 in 10 Dutch people suffer from excessive perspiration. Often this has no medical cause, for example it can be hereditary. The medical term for excessive sweating is axillary hyperhidrosis. Symptoms are: excessive, visible sweating for at least six months without a clear cause, as well as the presence of at least two of the following characteristics:
- Sweating affects both armpits
- Hinders daily activities
- At least one sweat attack per week
- Excessive sweating starts before you’re 25.
- It’s in the family
- You don’t sweat in your sleep
- If you suffer from excessive sweating, see your doctor to make an appointment for a miraDry treatment.
Do you suffer more from sweat odor? Your body isn’t completely odorless, a little smell is perfectly natural. If it makes you feel uncomfortable, miraDry is a good solution. Not only armpit sweat and hair growth are permanently reduced, but the smell is also reduced.
- Okay, but how do I stop sweating?
- First try standard solutions like deodorant or anti-perspirant. If a deodorant or anti-perspirant doesn’t work, your doctor can prescribe medication. The downside is that these can have side effects.
- There is also a treatment that counteracts sweating by means of electric currents (iontoforesis therapy). This treatment has to be repeated daily or weekly.
- If you are not afraid of needles, you can have a botulinum toxin treatment (better known as Botox). This only works for a few months and therefore needs to be injected repeatedly for results. Botox paralyses the nerve, so you switch off the sweat glands.
- A drastic and drastic treatment is cutting the nerve (ETS). This is a heavy operation but it does have an effect.
- A new solution that is non-invasive and can be performed in the doctor’s treatment room is miraDry. miraDry uses microwaves to treat the sweat glands of the armpit. You will be given a local anaesthetic and may experience some swelling and sensitive armpits after treatment. This is short-lived. A treatment takes 1 to 1.5 hours. Together with your doctor you determine the number of treatments. On average, 1 or 2 treatments will relieve you permanently from excessive sweating.
- If you prefer a natural solution, try a chamomile, valerian, sage root, St. John’s wort or acupuncture treatment.
- Why do we have armpit hair?
It has a purpose! Armpit hair reduces friction between the upper and lower arm during movements, it covers exposed parts of the body with vital arteries, and it facilitates the spread of pheromones.
- .. should I shave it?
No. Medically, it’s not necessary to shave your armpit hair. If you’d rather do it, that’s fine. Don’t let anyone tell you it’s unhealthy or unclean to let it grow. Many people have the wrong association that shaved armpits are more hygienic than unshaven armpits. But that’s really not true as long as you wash regularly.
- Can you share razor blades?
If you choose to go through life with smooth armpits, NEVER share your razors! Not even if you’ve forgotten yours, are your best friends and not for once. The razor blade is full of dead skin cells and bacteria, so why share them with the risk of infection. If you’re sure you don’t want armpit hair, you can have it removed permanently with a miraSmooth treatment.
- Why do I have a rash in my armpit?
The bumps you get after shaving are caused by poor shaving behavior. Replace your razor regularly. The bacteria on the blades can cause irritation and infections. Don’t shave dry! This can cause superficial wounds, cuts and irritations. Clean your razor during shaving, so it doesn’t get clogged up with skin cells, hair, razor mousse etc. The cleaner the blade, the longer it takes to replace it.
Another cause is that you have a reaction to your deodorant or soap. Change it and see if the rash is getting less.
This blog is based on the blog of Good Housekeeping. Read here the original: 9 Embarrassing Questions You Have About Your Armpits.