Excessive sweating and "pit stains"?

In medical school I lived in an apartment tower with a lot of other medical students and residents. We called it a “doctor dorm.” When I would carry my dirty clothes in a laundry basket up to the laundry room I would strategically hide my T-shirts and undershirts at the bottom because I didn’t want anyone in the elevator to see the yellow pit stains on them. No one needs to see that.

A combination of underarm sweat and antiperspirant/deodorant products are responsible for the indelible marks that we inevitably leave on our favorite T-shirts. And unfortunately stain removers only go so far. For people who are plagued by this problem there are a few solutions.

If you are some one who sweats a lot in the underarms you may have a condition called hyperhidrosis, which literally means “over sweating.” Some options include purchasing stronger antiperspirants, wearing moisture-wicking fabrics, or applying antiperspirants at night to allow them to penetrate the skin more.

If the problem persists you may benefit from seeing a dermatologist. A dermatologist can help you determine if excessive sweating is an isolated problem or if it might be related to an underlying condition. He or she can also prescribe medications to reduce sweat production, including topical solutions, pills, or even injections of neurotoxins. Addressing this problem may help to not only return your confidence, but also extend the lifespan of your favorite shirt.

Brendan Camp, MD FAAD Board certified dermatologist at MDCS Dermatology

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