Tired of being sweaty and wanting to learn how to stop sweating so much? If you sweat excessively, you’re not alone. In fact, an estimated 2-5% of the population struggles with a condition known as hyperhidrosis, which refers to excessive sweating that isn’t caused by heat or exercise.
We’ve all been there. You’re in the middle of an important presentation at work, or on a first date, and you start to feel a telltale trickle of sweat making its way down your back. You may not even be doing anything strenuous or stress and find yourself sweating excessively while just sitting or sleeping. It can be very inconvenient as you may find yourself having to change your clothes or shower multiple times a day.
Fortunately, there are ways to combat sweating too much from simple lifestyle changes, deodorants, medications, to even surgery.
How to Stop Sweating So Much
Deodorant is the most common way to help with sweat and the odors that come from it. You can use deodorant in stick or spray form, stick deodorant being more long-lasting, as well as helpful for the environment (no aerosol), while spray deodorant gives you cleaner coverage with less residue left behind on your hair and skin..
If you’re in need of something stronger, you can try medicated deodorants which contain additional active ingredients that can help control excessive sweating, treat skin conditions, or reduce inflammation.
Another option for treating hyperhidrosis is Botox injections. Botox works by temporarily paralyzing the nerves that trigger sweating. The procedure is quick and easy, and it only takes a few minutes to administer the injections.
The downside of Botox is that it’s not permanent; the effects only last for 4-6 months, and you’ll need to undergo repeat treatments if you want to keep the sweating under control. Additionally, Botox injections can be quite painful, and they often come with some bruising and swelling at the injection site. It is also a bit more of a pricier option with each session costing around $1,000.
If topical treatments like antiperspirants and botox aren’t doing the trick, your next best bet is iontophoresis. This is a treatment that involves using electrical currents to temporarily shut down the sweat glands. It’s typically done by placing your hands or feet in a shallow tray of water while holding a low-voltage current, and it takes about 20-30 minutes per session and costs around $150-$200 per session.
Most people see results after 2-3 sessions, although results are not permanent. Maintenance of a minimum of 1 session a month must be kept to continue to see results, more often for more serious cases.
Anticholinergic medications are a type of drug that blocks the effects of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that is involved in many functions of the body, including sweating. Medications like glycopyrrolate, oxybutynin, and benztropine are usually taken orally, but they may also be available in topical forms for localized treatment.
Anticholinergic medications are typically available only with a prescription from a healthcare provider and can cost between $10 and $50 per month.
In some cases, surgery may be necessary to correct excessive sweating. This type of surgery is typically reserved for people who have failed to respond to other treatments like iontophoresis or botox injections. There are two main types of surgery for treating hyperhidrosis: endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy (ETS) and laser-assisted liposuction (LAL).
ETS involves cutting or destroying the nerve connections between the brain and the sweat glands in the armpits; this helps to drastically reduce sweating in those areas. LAL involves removal of the sweat glands themselves through small incisions in the skin; this helps to reduce sweating all over the body.
Both procedures are effective but come with some risks; ETS can cause compensatory sweating (excessive sweating in other areas of the body), while LAL can cause scarring and infection. Before undergoing surgery, be sure to discuss all of the risks and benefits with your doctor.
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Lifestyle Changes That Can Help With Sweating
There are a few easy lifestyle changes that you can start right away to help you stop sweating so much:
- Wear breathable clothing: Choose loose-fitting clothes made of natural fibers such as cotton or linen. Avoid synthetic fabrics as they can trap moisture and make you feel hotter.
- Stay hydrated: Drinking plenty of water helps regulate your body temperature, which can reduce excessive sweating as well as improve a multiple of health issues.
- Avoid spicy foods and caffeine: These can increase your body’s internal temperature and cause you to sweat more.
- Practice good hygiene: Bathe or shower daily, shampoo your hair, and use an antiperspirant or deodorant to help control sweating and odor.
- Use talcum powder: Applying talcum powder to areas prone to sweating, such as underarms or feet, can help absorb moisture.
- Manage stress: Stress can trigger hyperhidrosis symptoms, so try to practice relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, or yoga, and make sure to get enough sleep.
If you’re wanting to know how to stop sweating so much, there are a number of different ways. If simple lifestyle changes and topical treatments haven’t worked, your next best bet is anticholinergic medications or botox injections.
Surgery is an option for people who have failed to respond to other treatments, but it comes with some risks that you should discuss with your doctor before moving forward. No matter which treatment you choose, don’t give up hope—you CAN get your excessive sweating under control!