As unpleasant as it may be, sweating is the body’s natural, healthy way of cooling itself down. However, while you expect to sweat during a heavy workout, excessive sweating—during a mid-afternoon work meeting or while dining out for a nice dinner—can be a source of embarrassment. Excessive sweating is known as hyperhidrosis. For example, if you sweat while working at your desk, that is excessive sweating.
As mentioned, sweating is one of the ways our body keeps us from overheating: by keeping our body temperature within one or two degrees of 98.6, it helps to maintain a balance in our hormones and bodily fluids. When your temperature rises, the sweat glands kick in to produce more sweat. With hyperhidrosis, the body’s cooling mechanism is so overactive that it produces four or five times the amount of sweat that you need.
Tips to help you manage your sweat
- Always choose an antiperspirant, not deodorant: Deodorants mask body odor, but do nothing to prevent sweating. Antiperspirants help to reduce the production of sweat. Aluminium salts dissolve into the moisture on the skin’s surface. This forms a gel, which temporarily sits on top of the sweat gland, reducing the amount of sweat released.
- Avoid spicy foods: Hot sauces, peppers and other spicy foods stimulate the sweat glands and increase the amount of sweat you produce.
- Ditch coffee and tea: Caffeine can be a major cause of unnecessary sweat. It stimulates the central nervous system and triggers the sweat glands.
- Wear breathable fabrics: Cotton is the best choice for those who sweat excessively, as it allows air to reach the skin.
If you’ve already tried the methods listed above, don’t worry – other treatments and medical procedures are also available. These can include medication, specialized treatments, and some cosmetic surgeries. Thoroughly discuss all options with a licensed physician at CareWell to determine the best solution for you.