Excessive sweating, or hyperhidrosis, is a very common problem. Approximately, seven million people in the United States alone suffer from excessive sweating and, if you’re one of these people, you know that it can have profound and often life-changing results. Contrary to popular belief, excessive sweating has absolutely nothing to do with personal hygiene. Everyone sweats. It's a natural mechanism the body uses to cool its internal temperature and it is an important part of your physical health. If you didn’t sweat, your body would overheat and you would die. The most common area to be affected by excess sweating is the underarms and, although there is no natural cure for excessive sweating, there are ways to prevent, or calm, the outcome. Here’s how to prevent excessive sweating in your underarm area.
Visit an on-line resource to find out more about hyperhidrosis.The International Hyperhidrosis Society and Hyperhydrosis.com are great resources for people with excessive sweating problems. Familiarize yourself with the facts, find specialists in your area and read testimonials from other sufferers.
Watch your diet. People who are overweight tend to have more problems with sweating; however, even if you are a normal body weight, your diet may still be a problem. Natural, unprocessed foods such as fresh vegetables, fruits, dairy products and fish may help to keep your body cool. Always avoid spicy foods.
Hydrate. Drink plenty of water. It is recommended that you drink at least 8 glasses of water a day, but drinking more water will only help. You should also avoid drinking ice cold beverages, because this will only act to increase your internal body temperature. The body is always working to maintain a constant body temperature so, when you drink cold water, the body will start to heat up to restore its normal temperature. Drink water that is room temperature or only slightly cooler.
Drink hot green tea. Though the last thing you want to do when you’re hot and sweating is to drink a hot cup of tea, hot tea does the opposite of ice cold water. You may feel hot when you begin to drink it but, when the heat hits your stomach, it will send a signal to your brain telling it to cool itself down. Additionally, green tea is a great way to rid the body of the toxins that cause you to sweat.
Avoid drinking excessive amounts of alcohol. Alcohol increases blood flow and your heart rate and an increased heart rate will raise your body temperature, similar to what happens when you exercise. Alcohol also dilates the vessels in your skin, which further increases your body's ability to sweat.
Quit smoking and limit your caffeine. Besides the fact that it’s just common sense and healthy, it will also help to calm your excessive sweating problem. The chemicals in a cigarette add to the bodies adrenaline levels, which is also why you might shake or need to use the bathroom immediately after smoking. This increase of adrenaline will also speed up your heart rate and, like caffeine and alcohol, will make you sweat.
Dress accordingly. Wear light, comfortable and breathable fabrics. Loose-fitting and natural fabrics are the best way to keep your body comfortable. Cotton is a breathable fabric and helps absorb perspiration. Avoid wearing nylon and polyester, which do not provide any ventilation and will only increase and trap sweat, which will lead to sweating and body odor.
Relax. Getting “worked up” increases your internal temperature, aggravating your sweat glands, which causes you to sweat. You may notice that mental stress, for example, before an important meeting, makes you sweat more than at other times. Take a few moments to breathe and meditate on actively relaxing any time you begin to feel overworked or stressed.
Try a prescription antiperspirant. There are several antiperspirants that contain aluminum chloride, which blocks sweat glands. Apply the solution at night and wash it off in the morning. Aluminum chloride may burn your armpits, but it will eliminate sweating. You should not use the solution more than three times a week. Do not use aluminum chloride when you’re exercising or when you will be in the sun for extended periods of time as it severely impedes your ability to sweat and may cause heat stroke.
Use secure wipe topical pads. Most topical pads require a prescription in the US, but there are several on-line pharmacies, such as Pharmacy.ca in Canada, that will ship to the US. A topical pad can be used on the underarms before your normal antiperspirant and/or deodorant and significantly calms underarm sweating.
Take an oral hyperhidrosis treatment. Oral treatments, much like secure wipes, also require a prescription but, again, can be ordered from international pharmacy sites and shipped to the US. Oral treatments are a great way to combat excessive underarm sweating, but can also significantly reduce all over body sweat.
See your doctor. Hyperhidrosis can be a serious problem and may have something to do with your nervous system. If you’ve changed your diet and exercise program and none of the above tips has helped, you should seek the advice of a medical professional. There are several surgical procedures that can have positive effects on your excessive sweating, but all involve risks and may not always work.
Use solid antiperspirants that contain a deodorant as well. Look for aluminum chlorohydrate as the active ingredient. Swimming is a great way to cool your body's internal temperature and it will also work to relieve stress and calm your nerves. If you have access to a pool, take a 30-minute soak. Swimming in cool water for 30 minutes will provide you with about three hours of wetness protection. Apply baby powder or baking soda to your underarms after you’ve applied your normal deodorant to help absorb excess sweat and odor. Experiment with several brands and types of over the counter antiperspirants and deodorants to see which works best for you.
When using prescription hyperhidrosis products be hyper aware of the risks, especially heat stroke. Follow the dosage instructions and talk to your doctor. Do not use an antiperspirant with aluminum chloride when you’re exercising or when you will be in the sun for extended periods of time as it severely impedes your ability to sweat and may cause heat stroke.