Limit spicy foods and caffeine
If you experience excessive sweating, or hyperhidrosis, you’re one of the 2-3% of people who sweat up to 10 times more than people without the condition. It can help to keep a symptom diary, including foods and drinks consumed, to identify the things that make you sweat heavily. Then avoid the sweating triggers you’ve identified. Common ones include alcohol and spicy food, such as curries or hot peppers.
Bathe with care
When bacteria mix with sweat, they cause odour. Bathe or shower daily, but not with products based on soap, which can make things worse. The Hyperhidrosis UK support group recommends using a special emollient wash available from pharmacies. Dry off completely, since bacteria and germs thrive in dampness.
Manage hot flushes and night sweats
If menopause causes hot flushes or night sweats, many remedies are available. Apply a cool, wet flannel to your skin or drink iced water for relief. Prescription medications and hormone therapy may also relieve hot flushes. Some women try complementary therapies, but evidence is lacking for many of these. Seek medical advice if hot flushes are causing problems, and before trying a supplement or herbal remedy.
Choose the right clothes
Loose-fitting clothes and natural fabrics like cotton let air circulate around your skin, which slows the build-up of moisture. When you exercise, wear fabrics and socks that pull moisture away from your skin. Consider absorbent under layers like t-shirts. Keep an extra shirt or jacket handy in case your sweating becomes excessive. Black or white clothes are less likely to show sweat marks.
Stress can cause sweating, and excessive perspiration can make you stressed and anxious. Try to break this vicious circle with relaxation techniques such as yoga, meditation, deep breathing and biofeedback. Yoga classes, guided imagery, or just some more me-time may help. If stress is a problem, seek medical advice. A talking therapy called cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) may help.
Keep your cool
Lower temperatures at home and at work can help reduce sweating. Try a fan or air conditioner, or open the windows to keep air moving. Drink plenty of cold water and take cool showers or baths. Dress in layered clothing so you can remove or add layers as the temperature changes. In summer, stay out of the sun and avoid strenuous activities in the hotter parts of the day.
Obesity, smoking and drinking alcohol can cause or intensify heavy sweating. So aim for a healthy weight, quit smoking and limit alcohol. Not only will you reduce sweating, but you’ll also feel better and reduce your risk of many health conditions.