Body odor, sweat, ingrown hairs and razor bumps are just some of the many problems that can surface near your armpits. Sweating in particular can be an embarrassing problem because it is difficult (if not impossible) to hide. And while you may know that laser hair removal can eliminate the risk of shaving bumps and ingrown hairs, can it also help with sweating?
Can laser hair removal reduce underarm sweat?
Technically, no, laser hair removal does not prevent sweating. Your hair does not produce sweat. Your sweat glands, which happen to be situated in your armpits, produce sweat when your body temperature rises (Our bodies naturally produce heat, but when our internal temperature rises - due to physical exertion, for example - the sweating process is triggered to prevent overheating. By sweating, our body dissipates heat and acts as a kind of natural cooling system) or when you are stressed or nervous.
Sweat itself does not smell. The culprits are the microorganisms such as bacteria and fungi on the skin that transform sweat into a bad odor. The composition of the microbiota on the skin is different for everyone and genetically determined. Sweat is produced by the sweat glands, which are small glands in the dermis. We have about two to five million sweat glands scattered throughout our body and they are classified into two classes:
- Eccrine sweat glands: these occur all over the body, but are more concentrated on the palms of the hands, forehead and soles of the feet
- Apocrine sweat glands: these glands are located only in specific places, such as the armpits and navel. They usually originate in the hair follicles and distribute sweat largely through the hair. The apocrine sweat glands develop at puberty.
Because your (apocrine) sweat glands are connected to your hair follicles, you probably notice more sweat near areas with thicker body hair. Body hair traps sweat (and odor) under your armpits, and the longer your hair is, the faster you'll get those noticeable sweat stains on your shirts.
Here's what laser hair removal can do: Removing your armpit hair makes sweating less of a problem because the hairs can no longer hold the sweat. Body hair can trap sweat, making it harder for it to evaporate, making it more of a problem for you. Laser hair removal can cause sweat to dry more quickly and makes it easier to apply antiperspirants.
In summary, removing your body hair by laser hair removal does not take away the physical process of sweating, but it can help you control sweating by making your deodorant more effective and preventing your hair from trapping the sweat.