How to Stop Sweating So Much
Sweating is a natural bodily function that all of us experience. However, if you find yourself drenched in sweat over the slightest thing — walking, working out, sitting at your desk — then there could be a problem.
Excessive sweating, otherwise known as hyperhidrosis, is a medical condition that affects around 3 percent of US adults.
Scroll down to hear more about this condition, and what you can do to stop sweating so much.
WHAT IS HYPERHIDROSIS?
Sweating is how your body lowers your body temperature. When you sweat, your body releases liquid through the sweat glands, which helps to cool you down.
Hyperhidrosis, on the other hand, is the excessive production of sweat. According to dermatologists, there are two types of hyperhidrosis: primary and secondary.
"Primary hyperhidrosis is due to overactive signaling of sweat glands to secrete sweat without stimuli," explains New York City-based dermatologist Dhaval Bhanusali, MD. It’s most commonly seen in the underarms, feet, and hands.
Secondary hyperhidrosis is excessive sweating that's triggered by an external factor such as medication or illness, like diabetes or thyroid issues.
HOW TO STOP EXCESSIVE SWEATING
Whether you’re sweating excessively on your armpits, head, face, or another area of the body, it’s definitely an issue that can leave you feeling uncomfortable. There’s also the chance that all that sweat will mix with bacteria on the skin, leading to body odor. Fortunately, you can stop sweating — or at least reduce it a lot — by trying the below tips.
#1: Swipe on an Antiperspirant
Antiperspirants are a topical substance made of aluminum chloride that block your sweat glands and prevent you from sweating. They’re different to deodorants, which simply mask the smell of sweat. To get the most out of your antiperspirant, make sure you apply it before sweating — on dry skin. You can also try applying them at night before going to sleep.
"Applying an antiperspirant at night is ideal as the body temperature is lower and often skin is drier allowing for a more effective application," says dermatologist Tara L. Kaufmann, MD.
And finally, consider shaving your armpit hair to make your antiperspirant more effective.
There are plenty of over-the-counter antiperspirants available that you can use to control excessive underarm sweating. If your situation is very bad, visit your dermatologist or health care provider for a prescription antiperspirant. Stronger antiperspirants are best for those dealing with chronic sweating.
#2: Drink More Water
Staying hydrated is essential for keeping the body cool and reducing sweating. To make sure you’re drinking enough each day, divide your weight in half (in lbs) — and that’s how many ounces of water to drink. For example, if you weigh 160 pounds, that means you should be consuming 80 fluid ounces a day.
In addition to staying hydrated, you should also avoid drinks that contain caffeine and alcohol, which can raise your heart rate and increase your body temperature, making you sweat more.
#3: Apply a Cooling Body Mask
A cooling mask can keep your body temperature stable and prevent you from sweating excessively. It’s also an opportunity to lie back and relax — another way to reduce body temperature and minimize sweating.
Try Rainbow’s Hydrate Mask, a cooling jelly formula of hyaluronic acid and vitamin B5 to moisturize, cool, and calm the skin for quick relief.
#4: Avoid Spicy Foods
What you eat can influence how much you sweat. Most spicy foods contain chilli peppers, which contain capsaicin — a compound that gives hot peppers their heat and leaves you feeling sweaty.
"Capsaicin binds to receptors in the nervous system, and then sends signals to the brain that are interpreted as heat. That triggers the body to try to cool off by sweating," Dr. Marisa Garshick, an assistant clinical professor of dermatology at Cornell-New York Presbyterian Medical Center.
Other foods that can contribute to sweating include salty and fatty foods like potato chips, sausages, and pizza.
#5: Consider Oral Medication
If you’re looking for a stronger hyperhidrosis treatment options than the ones above, your doctor may be able to suggest or prescribe certain medications such as glycopyrrolate or Oxybutynin (Ditropan). These can both help to suppress hyperhidrosis. The experts say antidepressants and beta blockers may also be effective in controlling excessive sweating. However, they can make come with potential side effects, which you should discuss with your healthcare provider or derm.
#6: Try Botox Therapy
A longer-lasting treatment for excessive sweating is botox (botulinum toxin).
"In under three minutes, they go from being super-sweaty to nearly dry," says board-certified dermatologist Estee Williams, MD. "The dose can be tailored to the degree of dryness that they want." According to the experts, Botox injections can work for up to six months.
#7: Consider Iontophoresis
Iontophoresis is a treatment for hyperhidrosis that involves sending a gentle electrical current through water to temporarily shut down your sweat glands.
#8: Ask Your Derm About Sympathectomy
Thoracoscopic sympathectomy is a surgical procedure to correct excessive sweating. It takes approximately 2 hours and is typically performed under general anaesthetic. The sweat glands in your face, hands, and armpits are controlled by nerves in your chest known as thoracic sympathetic nerves.
The operation is performed using a thoracoscopic method). They will make a couple of small incision in the upper part of your chest wall near your underarms, and insert tubes into these incisions along with a telescope to cut or clamp the nerves.
WHEN TO SEE A DOCTOR
Sweating is completely natural, and nothing to worry about. That said, if you notice you are sweating for no good reason and it’s excessive, you should seek medical attention. It could be caused by medical conditions such as hormonal disorders,
If your sweating is accompanied by chest pain, muscle weakness, blurred vision, dry mouth, low blood sugar, or diarrhea, it can be a sign of an underlying medical condition. Speak to your doctor for the best treatment.
If sweating is getting you down, try one of the above tips for combatting sweaty armpits, legs, and hands. You can also try a home remedy like coconut oil, green tea, or tea tree oil to balance sweating and prevent body odors. But if you’re sweating is becoming too much to handle, a cream or deodorant might not be enough. Instead, visit your doctor or dermatologist to get an FDA-approved clinical strength antiperspirant or prescription medication.
Whether you’re dealing with day or night sweats, your doctor should be able to help out and give you advice on the best treatments.