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Why Do I Sweat so Much on My Back?

Why Do I Sweat so Much on My Back?

Ordinarily, a sweaty back shouldn't be a cause for concern.

Why? Sweating is a natural and healthy response to an increase in your body's temperature.

The hypothalamus is a small region in the base of the brain. One of its functions is receiving a signal from your nervous system when you're exposed to too much heat.

The hypothalamus then triggers the production of sweat in the affected areas of your body to help cool you down.

While it's normal to experience back sweat during a workout or on a hot day, in other scenarios, it's undesirable, uncomfortable and embarrassing.

When Is Back Sweat an Issue?

You should be concerned if you start to frequently experience back sweat in the absence of a natural trigger.

Sweating heavily around your back may be the result of a condition called primary hyperhidrosis.

Primary hyperhidrosis causes sweat glands to become overly active and produce more sweat than is necessary.

It mostly affects persons aged 18 to 39 and is believed to be brought about by genetic factors.

While this condition affects all parts of the body, it is often localized to specific areas like the back and:

  • Feet (Plantar hyperhidrosis)
  • Palms (Palmar hyperhidrosis)
  • Armpits (Axillary hyperhidrosis)
  • Head and face (Craniofacial hyperhidrosis)

One other identified cause of an abnormally sweaty back is secondary hyperhidrosis.

This can be brought about by side effects of medication, changes in hormone levels/hormonal imbalances, or an issue with the nervous system.

Primary and Secondary Hyperhidrosis
Image: ajmc.com

Whenever you experience back sweats, it's important to consult your doctor or a dermatologist if:

  • Everything you've tried to minimize excessive sweating isn't helping.
  • The back sweats have lasted for at least half a year.
  • The sweating keeps you from going about your daily activities.
  • Heavy sweating on your back occurs at least once a week.
  • You have a family history of heavy sweating.

A dermatologist will identify whether primary or secondary hyperhidrosis is the issue and recommend appropriate treatment.

How Serious Is Hyperhidrosis?

If it's linked to another medical condition, hyperhidrosis is serious and you should see a doctor immediately.

Moreover, according to the American Academy of Dermatology Association, hyperhidrosis negatively impacts a person's quality of life.

How Is Hyperhidrosis Diagnosed?

There are two main tests that a dermatologist can perform to inform your diagnosis.

The first is called a paper test. For this, your dermatologist places a special kind of paper on the areas where you've been experiencing heavy sweating.

It's important to do this, as excessive sweating could be happening in other body areas but going unnoticed.

The paper soaks up sweat and the dermatologist performs an assessment to determine how much excess sweat your body is producing.

A body working at maximum capacity can produce roughly 2 liters of sweat per hour, so this serves as a standard for measuring sweat produced over and above the maximum required.

The other test you can undergo is a starch & iodine test. Your dermatologist will apply a solution containing iodine to your back.

They will then sprinkle starch over the area. In the event that the combination of starch and iodine turns dark blue, this will be an indication of an issue.

Following, your body fluids will be collected in order to run several lab tests including:

  • Tests to establish your blood glucose levels
  • An assessment of how well your thyroid glands are functioning
  • Measurement of your uric acid levels

How Do I Stop My Back From Sweating?

Here's some good news. There are several ways in which you can manage excessive back sweating.

Stay Hydrated

When your body temperature rises, drinking cold water helps to lower it.

Furthermore, this replenishes some of the water you've lost as a result of excessive back sweating.

In the same vein, as you increase your water uptake, cut back on these potential back sweat triggers:

  • Spicy food
  • Caffeine
  • Smoking
  • Alcohol

Use Antibacterial Soap

While having a bath, spend a bit more time on your back. Using an antibacterial soap will eliminate the millions of odor-causing bacteria normally found on the skin.

Many of these soaps are intended to offer protection against sweat and odor for a reasonable amount of time.

Based on your individual circumstances, your doctor can recommend some antibacterial soaps that will work best for you.

Ditch Synthetic Fabrics

Wear clothing made of natural fibers as often as you can. Natural fabrics tend to be more breathable than synthetic fabrics.

Breathability is the extent to which a fabric allows air, heat, and vapor to escape from the skin.

Synthetic fabrics tend to trap sweat. This causes it to collect around your back and in no time, it soaks through your clothes.

And, should there be bacteria on your skin's surface (which is very likely, as mentioned above), odor emanates when sweat comes into contact with these microorganisms.

Go for breathable materials such as wool and cotton to help you keep cool as the day goes on.

Micromodal fabric is a new-comer to the world of sweat-alleviating clothing. Micromodal fabrics are made from the fibers of sustainably harvested beech trees.

Swap Your Regular Tees With These Ones

Over time, regular t-shirts become discolored as a result of sweat. Some also acquire a distinct sweaty odor regardless of how often they are cleaned. Worse still, fragrances only succeed in compounding the odor problem.

However, it doesn't have to be this way.

Many people who experience excessive sweating are unaware that there's clothing purposefully created to make living with the condition more manageable.

For over ten years, Sweatshield worked to develop a special technology to make the perfect sweatproof undershirt.

The results are remarkable, to say the least.

Sweatshield undershirts have worked for thousands of people thanks to:

  • A light, silky smooth fabric
  • A sweat barrier that allows sweat to evaporate while preventing odor
  • A versatile design that blends well with different outfits
  • A tailored fit for unparalleled comfort

Don't let back sweat dampen your mood and hold you back.

Choose from a range of highly effective undershirts and witness the difference.

Photo: Yanalya

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