It certainly is no secret that the earth is experiencing the hottest temperatures on record. As the thermometer ticks up, it becomes more likely you will experience breast or “under-boob” sweat - an all-too-common problem for women, especially in hot and humid weather conditions or during an intense workout.
Breast sweat can cause discomfort, rashes, and even odor, especially in the under-boob area. Medically speaking, perspiring is a good thing since it is the way our bodies stay cool on super-hot days or during a workout. However, excessive breast sweat can be uncomfortable for many reasons, especially when you are in a professional setting or dressed up for a special occasion.
How do we fix this? Let’s begin with a quick biology lesson. Sweat is the visible moisture excreted through the openings of sweat glands. The two types of sweat glands are eccrine and apocrine – and breast sweat is a combination of both. Eccrine sweat is produced by sweat glands throughout our body and helps regulate body temperature and keep us cool while apocrine sweat is produced by apocrine glands, which are concentrated in armpits, breasts, and groin areas. Unfortunately, the apocrine glands produce a thicker smellier sweat in these areas of the body - which brings us back around to the issue of breast sweating.
While you can’t stop your breasts from sweating, you can make some simple lifestyle and skincare adjustments to decrease perspiration, reduce odor and prevent irritation. Try these tips to help you reduce uncomfortable breast sweat:
Choosing the Right Bra & Clothing
Choosing the right bras and clothing can help you avoid or at least minimize the problem. Fabric is key to staying cool. Look for materials that wick away moisture and promote airflow. Some examples of cooling fabrics include bamboo, linen, cotton, or performance synthetic blends. When exercising, you can also opt for athletic wear that is designed to wick moisture away from the body and help regulate body temperature.
For everyday non-workout clothing, choose lighter weight and lighter-colored fabrics and avoid clothing that is tight or clings to your body – remember, airflow is important to staying cool. Changing and laundering garments often will help, especially workout clothes and sports bras.
When it comes to choosing the right bra to reduce breast sweat and help you feel cool and comfortable all day, look for a good-fitting bra made from synthetic fabric (such as polyester or nylon) that is breathable with moisture-wicking and cooling properties. While cotton bras are naturally breathable, they don’t wick away sweat like performance fabrics do, so they can end up feeling damp against your skin. However, if you have a sensitivity to synthetic fabrics, cotton is a good workout option.
Some women find bra liners to be helpful. Bra liners go along the inside of your front bra band and help soak up sweat. They are available in a range of washable fabrications including cotton, bamboo, and blends.
Choosing the Right Products
Generally speaking, deodorants simply mask the smell of sweat while antiperspirants can be effective in reducing sweat production. The good news is that these products aren’t just for armpits – on a sweltering day, you can also use them on your breasts. The antiperspirant that you regularly use on your armpits shouldn’t irritate your breasts, but it’s best to try it out in a small area first and avoid using “clinical strength” antiperspirants on your breasts. Some women may find products such as Lume whole body deodorant or Body Glide sticks to be helpful while others may simply use an absorbent powder with cornstarch to help soak up sweat.
Lifestyle and Diet Changes
Beyond clothing and bra choices, there are lifestyle and diet changes that can help prevent breast sweat. Eating a balanced diet with plenty of high-water content fruits and vegetables can improve your overall health and may help reduce sweat production. Staying hydrated by drinking water is also important. Some women find practicing stress and anxiety reducing activities like yoga or meditation can help decrease sweat production. However, if your sweating is excessive and following basic tips does not help, you should see your doctor as there may be a medical cause involved.
While breast sweat can be an ongoing challenge, there are plenty of simple solutions that can help you stay cool and dry. From choosing the right fabrics for your bras and clothing to making lifestyle changes, finding the right combination of solutions can help you feel more comfortable and confident no matter the weather.