In most cases, sweating is normal and healthy. It’s how your body cools itself down when you’re exercising or overheated. Hyperhidrosis is sweating that’s not caused by exercise or heat and is considered excessive. Excessive sweating typically occurs on the hands, feet, and armpits, and for some people it can interfere with their everyday life, or keep them from doing activities. While secondary hyperhidrosis is caused by an underlying condition you should take up with your doctor, primary hyperhidrosis can be improved with certain lifestyle changes. Take a look at how to stop sweating so much.
What Is Hyperhidrosis?
To put it simply, hyperhidrosis is excessive sweating. It causes your body to sweat more than it needs to, sometimes for no apparent reason. You may sweat so much that it soaks through your clothes or drips off your hands. Hyperhidrosis may affect your entire body, or only certain areas. The most commonly affected areas include the armpits, palm of your hands, soles of your feet, face, chest, and groin. Both sides of your body are usually equally affected, for example, both hands or both feet.
Hyperhidrosis symptoms can range in severity. Symptoms may be minor ones that come and go, or you may have more constant symptoms that have an impact on your day to day routine. It can also have an emotional impact on your life. You may feel embarrassed or avoid being around other people or doing certain activities.
What Causes Hyperhidrosis?
Primary hyperhidrosis is caused by faulty nerve signals that trigger your sweat glands to become overactive. Your eccrine glands (sweat glands) create sweat to cool down your body when you get hot. This process activates when you get hot or if you’re nervous. With hyperhidrosis, your eccrine glands activate and produce sweat more often than when your body is too hot. There’s no medical cause for this type of hyperhidrosis, and it usually also has a hereditary element.
Secondary hyperhidrosis is caused by an underlying medical condition or by taking certain medications, such as pain relievers, antidepressants, and some diabetes and hormonal medications. This type of hyperhidrosis can cause sweating all over the body. Conditions that may cause it include diabetes, menopause hot flashes, thyroid problems, some types of cancer, nervous system disorders, and infections.
What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Hyperhidrosis?
- Excess sweat on your palms, hands, underarms, face, and body
- Sweating that interferes with everyday activities
- Skin that turns soft and white, and peels in certain areas
- Skin infections like athlete’s foot
How to Stop Sweating So Much
1. Wear Breathable Fabrics
One of the most helpful things you can do to stop sweating so much is to ensure you wear light, breathable fabrics. Lighter colour fabrics will also help reflect the sun away rather than absorb it (wearing white is a great way to reduce sweat and feel cooler). Natural fabrics are generally more comfortable and act as sweat barriers. Cotton is one of the best fabrics to wear as it helps keep your body cool.
2. The Right Footwear
If your feet get really sweaty, it may be time to switch up your footwear. Try to wear sandals or open-toe shoes to help air out your feet. When you wear socks, opt for athletic options as they soak up the most sweat. You should also choose shoes made from natural fabrics, like cotton and leather.
3. Use Antiperspirant
Antiperspirant and deodorant are often used interchangeably, but they’re not the same. While deodorants prevent odours that can occur when bacteria mix with sweat, antiperspirants target your sweat glands, making them a better choice for hyperhidrosis. If you need both, consider a antiperspirant/deodorant combo. Make sure your skin is clean and dry before application to get the best results!
4. Stay Hydrated
Staying hydrated helps cool down your body. Lowering your core temperature means your body doesn’t have to sweat as much to release extra heat. On top of this, dehydration can lead to even heavier sweating. Make sure you drink plenty of water each day (about nine glasses for women and 12 glasses for men). If you feel like you struggle to drink enough water, check out these creative ways to drink more H20.
5. Up Your B Vitamins
Vitamin B helps your organs and other vital systems function properly. When you have enough vitamin B in your body, it doesn’t need to work as hard, which means you produce less sweat.
Additionally, low levels of B-complex vitamins can affect the body’s response to stress, causing oversensitivity to tense or fearful situations. Since excessive sweating can be triggered by an overreaction of the sympathetic nervous system to stress, it’s important to get your B-complex vitamins.
Foods rich in B-complex vitamins include animal products like meat, poultry, seafood, eggs, and dairy products. Vegetable sources of B vitamins include whole grains, leafy greens, beans, and peas.
6. Switch Up Your Diet
Avoid spicy foods and steer clear of deep fried, fatty, processed foods. Spicy foods cause your body to react the same way it would to a hot, sunny day. Processed foods are generally high in fat and lack fibre, making them difficult to digest.
Your body has to do a ton of work and expend a lot of energy digesting them. This increases your core temperature, making you sweat. Caffeine is also thought to induce sweat due to its effect on your central nervous system. It spikes your blood pressure and increases your heart rate, which causes the physiological sweat response.
If you experience excessive sweating, we hope these tips and changes help you to get a handle on hyperhidrosis so you can stop sweating so much.
This post contains affiliate links.
Did you enjoy these tips for how to stop sweating so much? We’d love it if you shared this post on Pinterest!
Looking for more healthy lifestyle tips and hacks? Make sure to follow our Health Board on Pinterest!