Excessive underarm sweating can be an embarrassing and uncomfortable problem for many people. While there are several treatment options available, including antiperspirants, medications, and surgery, some people have turned to waxing as a potential solution. But actually does waxing armpits reduce sweat? Let’s take a closer look.
How Sweat Glands Work
The human body has two types of sweat glands: eccrine and apocrine. Eccrine sweat glands are distributed over the entire body and produce a clear, odorless liquid that helps regulate body temperature. Apocrine sweat glands, on the other hand, are primarily located in the armpits and groin and produce a thicker, milky sweat that is odorless but can develop an unpleasant odor when mixed with bacteria.
The sympathetic nervous system controls the production of sweat by activating sweat glands when the body’s temperature rises or in response to emotional stress. Sweat glands release sweat through ducts that connect to pores on the skin’s surface, where it evaporates and cools the body.
How Waxing Works
Waxing is a hair removal method that involves applying wax to the skin and then removing the wax and hair from the root. There are several types of waxing, including hot waxing, cold waxing, and sugaring. Hot waxing involves heating wax and applying it to the skin with a spatula, while cold waxing uses pre-made wax strips that are pressed onto the skin. Sugaring is a natural alternative to waxing that uses a sticky paste made from sugar, lemon juice, and water.
Waxing removes hair from the root, which can result in a smoother appearance and slower regrowth than shaving. However, waxing can also cause pain, irritation, and ingrown hairs if not done properly.
The Relationship Between Hair and Sweat
Hair can play a role in trapping sweat and bacteria, which can lead to unpleasant odors and stains on clothing. Removing hair through waxing armpits reduce sweat and odor by removing the medium for bacteria to thrive. However, research on the relationship between hair removal and sweat reduction is limited, and the results are mixed.
Research on the Link Between Waxing and Sweating
A study published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology in 2017 found that hair removal by waxing or other methods did not significantly affect the amount of sweat produced by apocrine sweat glands in the armpits. Another study published in the Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology in 2013 found that hair removal by laser reduced sweat production in the armpits by 22%.
While these studies suggest that hair removal may not have a significant impact on sweat production, more research is needed to confirm these findings and determine whether the type of hair removal method used plays a role.
Other Factors That Affect Underarm Sweating
There are several other factors that can contribute to excessive underarm sweating, including genetics, hormones, and medical conditions such as hyperhidrosis. Lifestyle changes, such as maintaining a healthy weight, avoiding trigger foods, and practicing relaxation techniques, can also help manage sweating.
Pros and Cons of Waxing as a Sweat Reduction Method
While waxing may not be a guaranteed solution for reducing underarm sweating, there are some pros and cons to consider:
- Waxing can result in slower regrowth and a smoother appearance compared to shaving
- Removing hair can potentially reduce the medium for bacteria to thrive, resulting in less odor and staining on clothing
- Waxing can be painful and may cause skin irritation, redness, and ingrown hairs if not done properly
- Waxing may not have a significant impact on sweat production, and more research is needed to confirm its effectiveness
- Waxing may not be a suitable option for people with sensitive skin, certain medical conditions, or a history of allergic reactions to wax
Tips for Safe and Effective Waxing
If you decide to try waxing as a hair removal method or to potentially reduce underarm sweating, here are some tips for safe and effective waxing:
- Choose a reputable salon or esthetician who uses clean and properly sanitized equipment
- Ensure that the wax is at the appropriate temperature and consistency before applying it to your skin
- Take pain relief medication, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen, before your appointment if you are concerned about pain
- Exfoliate the area to be waxed beforehand to help prevent ingrown hairs
- Avoid using antiperspirant or deodorant on the day of your appointment, as this can interfere with the waxing process
While waxing may be a popular hair removal method, it may not be a reliable solution for reducing underarm sweating. While removing hair could potentially reduce the medium for bacteria to thrive, research on the link between hair removal and sweat reduction is limited and the results are mixed. Other factors, such as genetics and medical conditions, can also contribute to excessive sweating. Ultimately, the decision to wax or not should be based on personal preference and individual circumstances, and should always be done safely and properly to avoid any adverse effects.