From drenched bras that need to be washed at the end of each day to unsightly wet spots on shirts and dresses, under-breast sweat can be a nuisance—not to mention, a bit embarrassing.
While every woman may experience underboob sweat at some point, it's most common among women with large or ptotic (a.k.a. droopy) breasts, says Dr Alexes Hazen. "An overhang of skin tends to get sweaty," says Hazen. Not only is this plain annoying, warm, moist skin is an ideal breeding ground for bacterial, fungal and yeast infections, which can surface in the form of an uncomfortable rash.
Thankfully, there are steps you can take to avoid breast sweat. Here are five worth trying:
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Choose the right bra (hint: not a sports bra).
You buy sweat-wicking workout gear and wear cotton tops on hot summer days, so why wouldn't you choose a bra that's just as breathable? "Often, sports bras are too thick, which can lead to excess under-breast sweating. Bras that extend down toward the abs can also promote sweating," Hazen says. On the flip side, thin, lacy, mesh bras or ones made from lightweight cotton, can help reduce sweat, Hazen says.
Bras with cooling liners are also worth a shot, as they can help absorb the moisture, says cosmetic dermatologist Dr Shereene Idriss.
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Use deodorant—yes, under your boobs!
While it may seem strange to apply an deodorant anywhere other than your underarms, it works, Hazen says. "Deodorant can be used anywhere—on your feet, hands and even under your bra," she says. Consider using a spray, which Hazen says is easiest to apply to the chest.
Since some research suggests that the aluminium in traditional deodorant can be absorbed by the skin and potentially lead to changes in the oestrogen receptors in breast cells, Idriss recommends using an aluminium-free deodorant, instead. (Most research disproves a connection between aluminum and breast cancer but you can never be too cautious.)
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Keep your skin as dry as possible.
Be sure to change out of sweaty bras as soon as you can, and use a towel to pat the area dry, Hazen says. This will help prevent uncomfortable and unsightly rashes.
If you do get a rash, use an anti-yeast or anti-fungal powder, which should clear up your skin within a couple of days, says Hazen.
On especially hot days, you might try wearing a bra liner, which slides under the bottom of your bra to help absorb sweat and keep you dry.
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Consider Botox injections.
If you've tried the above tactics and they're not working, Idriss suggests scheduling an appointment with your dermatologist to discuss Botox injections, which are used to treat excessive sweat. The injection works by blocking the chemical signals that turn your sweat glands on, she explains. "Your doctor will help you evaluate your options, and may also talk to you about prescription pills that can lessen the overall amount of sweat your body generates," she adds.
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Talk to your doctor about a breast lift or reduction.
If your under-breast sweat is especially problematic—and you're dealing with other issues due to your large breasts, such as neck or back pain—Hazen recommends making an appointment with a plastic surgeon to talk about having a breast lift or breast reduction. "Because under-breast sweat is much more common in women with large breasts, and breasts that droop, these procedures can be helpful," she says.
First published: 21 Jul 2017