As the co-founder of Thompson Tee, it’s my mission to help people overcome excessive sweating, specifically axillary hyperhidrosis. Dealing with profuse armpit sweating has been a life-long struggle — I've tried every sweat hack and supposed solution out there. One of the questions I get the most is about garment guards and whether they work. The short answer? Not really.
Dealing With Axillary Hyperhidrosis
Axillary hyperhidrosis is a medical condition where you sweat up to five times the amount needed to regulate body temperature — primarily in the armpit region. The condition differs from heavy underarm sweating, where you sweat heavily on occasion (such as a stressful situation or when eating spicy food.)
With axillary hyperhidrosis, your extreme sweating happens without warning — and regardless of your environment. It could be the dead of winter, and you're still sweating bullets.
Related: Axillary Hyperhidrosis or Not? 12 Signs Your Armpit Sweat Isn't Normal
There are several ways to deal with axillary hyperhidrosis— one popular option is garment guards or underarm sweat pads.
Garment guards are sweat pads worn underneath clothing around your armpits to block sweat from seeping through your clothes. There are several types of garment guards. These include:
- Shields that fasten around the torso.
- Adhesive armpit pads that stick directly to your skin or clothes.
- Garment guards that pin to your clothing.
Where Garment Guards Fall Short for Axillary Hyperhidrosis
While garment guards can work for people who sweat lightly, they have several inconvenient downsides for people with axillary hyperhidrosis.
First, they’re often visible through your shirt, which is embarrassing. Stressing over whether people can see the bulky pad in your underarms is no better than sweating.
Removing sweat pads from your skin is also painful. The adhesive used in garment guards can ruin your clothing, accumulating on the fabric over time. And as you go through the day, sweat loosens the adhesive.
Many users have also reported skin skin irritation, skin discoloration and rashes after using them repeatedly. If you have sensitive skin, I recommend not trying garment guards.
Most garment guards are also disposable and only for one-time use — it can be costly and time-consuming to constantly keep a supply on hand.
Above all, garment guards simply can't handle the volume of sweat someone with axillary hyperhidrosis produces in a day. When trying garment guards, I completely sweated through the fabric in a matter of minutes.
Garment guards are a temporary, cobbled solution that barely mask the symptoms of axillary hyperhidrosis. You’re constantly fiddling with your shirt to make sure the garment guards stay in place, ducking into the restroom to switch them out throughout the day.
Embarrassing sweat stains are replaced by irritating adhesive pads. Garment guards aren’t feasible for daily life with axillary hyperhidrosis and don’t truly improve your discomfort or give you peace of mind.
A More Effective Alternative to Garment Guards
I remember the embarrassment and discomfort of growing up with axillary hyperhidrosis vividly. Working in the corporate jet business, I had to look professional when dealing with clients. Sporting giant underarm sweat marks affected my confidence — so much so that I never removed my suit jacket.
Of course, garment guards are just one of many solutions to axillary hyperhidrosis. To deal with my sweating issue, I created a sweat proof undershirt called Thompson Tee. Now, the discrete, sweat proof design helps me go all day without thinking about sweat.
It’s called Hydro-Shield— our patented sweat proof barrier embedded in the underarms of every Thompson Tee. No constant change or switching out garment guards. No irritating skin rashes. You throw on your undershirt and go, just like everyone else.
I encourage you to give one a try! If you have, let us know your feedback in the comments below.