Excessive sweating can lead to embarrassment from sweaty palms and hands to soak through shirts, not to mention often being accompanied by an unpleasant odour. So what can we do about profuse sweating? Why do we do it and how can we stop it?
our bodies respond to excessive temperature is to sweat. When our brain senses that our core temperature is rising then it begins releasing sweat from 2.5 million eccrine (sweat) glands on our body. This then lowers our body temperature as the heat in the body is used to evaporate the liquid from the skin.
In addition to the eccrine glands. We also have apocrine glands, which secrete a different type of sweat. This type of sweat contains more nutrients and is largely emitted in the armpit and growing areas, it is from this type of sweat that the smell emanates. These glands are activated when we get emotional or excited as well as during exercise.
Because the human body excretes sweat from these two different types of gland we need to ensure that we look at each type before we decide on how we can overcome the problems that sweating causes.
In addition to this natural sweating process. Some people also suffer from hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating), for these people the eccrine glands in the skin become overactive producing large amounts of sweat when the body actually doesn’t need it.
How to stop sweating
It depends on the reason for sweating as to how you can control it.
- Sweating during exercise. If this is you then try wearing breathable fabrics to ensure your body can regulate its temperature.
- Sweating throughout the day with no exercise. Try applying an antiperspirant before bed. After you have had a shower and are clean. Apply the antiperspirant, please take a little time to block the sweat ducts and should be completely active by morning. If you applied antiperspirant in the morning then the sweat ducts can be more active and antiperspirant doesn’t get a chance to work by blocking those ducts. You should also make every attempt to stay cool throughout the day, keep regularly hydrated and keep your body temperature lower by staying in a well vented room, this should help your body regulate its own temperature and negate the need for excessive sweating.
- Sweating whilst eating spicy foods. Well, you may just have to avoid those spicy foods!
- As a side effect from various medications. Seek advice from your doctor if you have started sweating excessively after beginning a new course of medication.
How to stop armpit sweat
Armpit sweat specifically contains sweat from both the eccrine (cooling) and apocrine (smelling) glands. This means that heavy sweating can lead to sweat stains as well as a bad odour.
Excessive armpit sweating, medically known as axillary hyperhidrosis can be treated with a couple of home remedies but you may need to talk to your doctor for some of the more advanced remedies.
- Apply antiperspirant before bed. Antiperspirants work by blocking the sweat pours in your skin, most people tend to sweat less at night, meaning the antiperspirant has a chance to get into the pores to prevent sweating during the day.
- Combine and antiperspirant (to block the pores and prevent sweating) with a deodorant to combat any lingering odour.
- Wear breathable clothes. This firstly prevents your body from heating up in the first place but also allows any sweat produced to evaporate through your clothes.
- Consider asking your doctor for prescription antiperspirants.
- Speak to your doctor or dentist about the use of botulinum toxin for excessive sweating.
Sometimes people suffer from primary focal hyperhidrosis, this is where the excessive sweating is not as a result of another medical condition or a side-effect of medications taken, primary focal hyperhidrosis is the condition itself. This does make things more difficult to treat as breathable clothes and antiperspirants are unlikely to work. Speaking to your doctor or a practitioner, which uses treatments such as botox injections may be an option.
How to stop sweaty hands – 9 Things You Can Do
Sweaty or clammy hands, known as palmer hyperhidrosis can be really embarrassing, particularly if you work in a social environment which includes handshaking. It can also make operating some equipment, like a computer mouse trackball really difficult. The good news is that there are a variety of ways to stop sweaty hands including, but not limited to:
- Dedicated hand antiperspirant. These are absorbed quickly and don’t leave a residue on your hands. Sweat Guard is one such product, others are also available.
- Wash your hands with water only. Unless they are particularly dirty, then, of course, use soap but remember that soap can try your skin out and exacerbate the sweating.
- Don’t wear gloves. Unless it is particularly cold out, avoid wearing gloves as this can prevent your hands from breathing and again make the more sweaty.
- Carry around a small container of talcum powder. Talcum powder can absorb excessive sweat and a quick dab onto your hands can work wonders.
- Reduce stress. If stress is the cause of sweaty hands try to identify why you are stressed and look at ways to reduce it.
- Ask your doctor for a prescription. There are some drugs which are able to reduce the amount that your hands sweat.
- Speak to your dentist about the use of botulinum toxin type A.
- Don’t skip meals. Low blood sugar can also contribute to sweaty hands.
- Avoid too much alcohol. If you are prone to palmer hyperhidrosis then alcohol causes your blood vessels to dilate, this then leads to warming of the skin which triggers your parasympathetic nervous system to kick in and you start sweating.
This post has been written by Dr Ajay Murgai, he is a highly experienced General and Cosmetic Dental Surgeon. Dr Ajay runs clinics in Hertfordshire, South Oxfordshire and Harley Street, and carries out a full spectrum of treatments from Aesthetic Dentistry to routine examinations.