Sweat is a completely natural, everyday occurrence.
When it gets hot, the body reacts by producing sweat, which has a cooling effect on the skin upon evaporation.
However, almost 5% of the total American population experiences hyperhidrosis, which means they often sweat more than usual.
Naturally, excessive sweating can complicate a person’s work and social life, especially if they have to keep worrying about visible sweat stains or damp armpit patches.
Hyperhidrosis is mainly linked to family history, but there are some medical conditions and treatments that may cause excessive sweating as a side effect.
Despite the anxiety caused by this condition, it is both treatable and manageable.
There are plenty of natural, cosmetic and lifestyle options that can be used to provide relief or completely remove the problem.
Types of Excessive Sweating
Primary hyperhidrosis: It causes excessive sweating in the hands, underarms, face, and feet, and often begins in childhood.
Generally speaking, there are two main categories of excessive sweating:
Secondary (generalized) hyperhidrosis: It usually presents in adulthood. It is associated with medical conditions or as a side effect of certain medications and treatments.
People suffering from it either sweat all over their bodies, or in one central or large body surface area.
Treatment and management of hyperhidrosis depend on the type of condition, as well as other complex factors.
Here Are Some of the Strategies Used to Control Excessive Sweating:
It’s important to note there are no documented studies that confirm the validity or lack thereof on using natural remedies in the treatment of hyperhidrosis.
However, natural remedies have been in existence for centuries across many continents of the world.
Consider these tips below if you are trying to go the healthy, natural route to counter excessive sweating:
- One person’s successful treatment may not work for another and, usually, a combination of treatments may be needed.
- Finding the right natural treatment combination needs time, patience, and support from a knowledgeable, licensed healthcare professional.
- Natural remedies can have a powerful effect. Always let a consulting doctor know what products have been used to avoid any potentially dangerous interactions with modern medicine.
Natural remedies for excessive sweating include:
- Hypnosis and other relaxation techniques
- Sage tea or sage tablets
- Valerian root
- St. John’s Wort
Wear Breathable Clothing
Breathable clothing greatly reduces a person’s chances of sweating, as long as the case is not too extreme.
Breathable fabrics provide ventilation for the body, while lightly-colored clothes act as reflectors against harsh sunlight. This reduces the chances of excess heat absorption. This is why people are advised to wear white in hot climates.
Wearing dark colors or complex prints in cooler weather helps hide any appearance of sweat.
A person can similarly opt to layer their outfits to keep sweat from showing.
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Use Antiperspirant Before Bedtime
For most people, deodorants are the go-to solution for sweaty underarms, but they may be slightly inefficient against hyperhidrosis.
Deodorants function by masking the smell produced by sweat bacteria. In some cases, some deodorants contain antiperspirant elements. Most drugstore antiperspirants are made of metallic salts called aluminum chloride.
Antiperspirants containing aluminum act by inhibiting the sweat glands. This means that even though the body still produces sweat, the moisture doesn’t reach the skin’s surface.
Image: Science ABC
To get the best out of this option, make sure your armpits are completely dry and clean before application, as the active ingredients in antiperspirants need time to get to and block the sweat glands.
This solution may be slightly temporary for chronic cases of excessive sweating.
Reduce Consumption of Certain Foods
Certain foods have what is referred to as a thermic effect.
Spicy food is at the top of this list.
The human body reacts to spicy food in the same way it would during hot weather. It naturally attempts to cool things down, which means sweating will occur.
There are also known cases of a unique kind of perspiration known as gustatory sweating, which occurs when a person sweats when they think about food, during a meal or immediately after eating.
Examples of foods that cause thermogenesis in the body include:
- Alcoholic drinks
- Certain proteins
- Garlic and onions
- Processed, fatty foods
- High sugar, high-carb foods
To avoid sweating caused by metabolic heat, which occurs during digestion, people can opt to eat smaller, spaced-out meals in one day.
Sweating is the body’s natural cooling system in action.
By keeping cool, people suffering from excessive sweating greatly minimize how much they sweat.
A simple action like placing a bowl of ice in front of a fan to circulate the cold air in a room can be quite effective.
Houses can also be kept relatively cool by keeping both the blinds and curtains drawn during the day to limit access to harsh sunlight during summer or humid seasons.
Staying well-hydrated also helps with keeping body temperatures down.
Store skin moisturizers in refrigerators to get an instant cooling effect during application, always wear sunscreen and use mobile fans, hats and other protective but well-ventilated clothing and shoes to keep your body from overheating.
Consider Modern Medicine
Chronic cases of excessive sweating could be hiding an underlying medical condition or an adverse reaction to certain treatments and medications.
For the management of secondary generalized hyperhidrosis, a medical practitioner should be able to change medications or lower dosages causing hyperhidrosis as a side effect.
Medical options used to ease excessive sweating include:
- High-strength prescription antiperspirants and creams specifically designed for excessive sweating.
- Prescribed oral medications which block the nerves that stimulate sweat production.
- Antidepressants prescribed to treat anxiety but which can be a cause of hyperhidrosis.
- Botox injections, which ideally last between six months to a year. These injections are used to handle extreme cases of excessive sweating. A person usually needs several injections for this to work.
- Surgery, which is also considered for extreme cases. A person can either have complete sweat gland removal, nerve surgery or microwave therapy.
Sweating will always serve an important purpose in the body.
Expert medical advice is a top priority if excessive sweating begins out of the blue in addition to other symptoms, like shortness of breath, insomnia, increased heart rate or even weight loss.
There are always solutions available to either reduce, remove or hide the effects of excessive sweating.
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