Sweating is your body’s way of regulating its temperature, but it can be annoying and make you feel gross.
When we’re warm – or boiling in a heatwave – we sweat, normally a lot.
The moisture evaporates and cools us down – it’s all perfectly natural, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t frustrating.
Sweaty hands, sweaty faces and armpits are all par for the course in sticky hot weather, but if you’re not keen on them, don’t worry there’s a few tricks you can use to combat them.
1. Wear loose clothing and avoid man-made fibres
The closer the clothing is to your skin the hotter you feel, plus it just sticks to you. Opt for a looser outfit.
Nylons and man-made fabrics just retain the heat, making you feel hotter. Go for a cool linen or cotton. The idea is to go for light, breathable fabrics. Lighter colours are also good as they reflect the sun rather than absorb it like blacks.
2. Apply antiperspirant before bed
It may feel odd, but apply an antiperspirant before bedtime. It blocks the sweat ducts so the sweat doesn’t get out onto the surface of our skin.
Deodorants don’t stop you sweating but they do mask the smell. Some antiperspirants contain deodorant.
Make sure your underarms are clean and dry and then apply your antiperspirant.
3. Avoid foods that make you sweat
Avoid spicy food as your body will react the same way as they do to heat – and you will sweat.
Stay away from caffeinated food and drink too as it stimulates the adrenal glands and causes your feet, palms and underarms to sweat.
4. Keep cool
This one seems obvious, but is worth repeating. Stay cool and you’ll sweat less.
There are several ways to do this; place a bowl of ice in front of a fan to get cool air in your room, keep curtains and blinds closed during the day to stop the room overheating and stay in the shade.
You can also eat smaller meals to keep cool as when your metabolism is going your feel hotter – metabolic heat is needed to break down your food.
Also keep hydrated.
If you store them in the fridge they feel cooler when you apply them. Get out that hand held fan too .
5. Change shoes
Make sure you wear different shoes day to day and wear socks as they absorb sweat. If you can change your socks during the day.
6. Buy sweat shields
You can ask your pharmacist but there are sweat shields on the market that could help. They absorb sweat and stop it leaking through onto clothing.
There’s the APRITECH sweat pads on sale for £9.99 on Amazon.
7. Foot powders
If your feet are the issue, then try out talcum powder or foot powders. Try the Shoe Rescue powder on Amazon.
8. Medical options
There are last resort medical treatments too. If you sweat excessively go and see your doctor. It may be down to a condition called hyperhidrosis.
There are high strength antiperspirants that you can’t get in stores. There are also creams that you can use on your head and face. Check with your doctor.
Again you need to ask your doctor, but there’s oral medication that can block chemicals that allow certain nerves to communicate. There are side effects like dry mouth, blurred vision and bladder problems.
As well as the above people use botox and surgery. These are only in extreme cases though. Injections, like botox, last six months to a year and need repeating.
They can cause pain or muscle weakness.
Surgery includes microwave therapy, sweat gland removal and nerve sugery. It’s only seen as a last option in very serious cases.
What is hyperhidrosis?
If you sweat excessively, you may be suffering from hyperhidrosis, according to the NHS .
Usually the armpits, hands and soles of the feet are affected.
It can start at any age and the cause is usually unknown.
When should I see my GP?
If you’ve tried the above – bar surgery – and nothing is helping.
If it’s lasted six months.
It happens at least once a week.
It happens at night – if you get night sweats.
Why else could I be sweating?
There are some medical conditions that cause it, such as obesity, menopause, an overactive thyroid gland and diabetes, as well as illnesses associated with a fever such as flu, HIV and malaria.
Managing it involves eliminating and treating any underlying cause. Wearing loose clothing and cotton underwear can keep you cool and using antiperspirants containing aluminium chloride can also help.
We also have a guide to the best deodorants for men to keep the sweat and odour at bay.