Effortless ways to combat excessive sweating this summer

When sweating gets excessive then it really is the pits. Source: Getty Images.

Although the summer months bring the enjoyment of longer days and more pleasant conditions it can also bring with it unsightly excessive sweating.

Sweating is a natural process, without it, our body wouldn’t be able to cool down its core temperature.

But what’s not natural is excessive sweating at all times. When it gets excessive that’s when it really is the pits, particularly when your underarms or back soak your shirt or you avoid handshaking because you dread the thought of someone clasping your slippery palm.

All hope is not lost however, there are a number of practical measures that can be utilised to significantly alleviate the problem, including some unique methods that may surprise you.

Get some clinical-strength antiperspirant

This one is just common sense, but not all deodorants are made equal and you may have to spend a little extra if you want to stop excessive sweating.

There are many antiperspirants that are dedicated to stopping sweat. For people with hyperhidrosis (the medically recognised condition of excessive sweating), aluminium chloride is the active ingredient you need to look to combat the condition.

When shopping for a good deodorant, look for products with 12 per cent or higher aluminium chloride content. Most store-bought deodorants aren’t effective because they contain a low percentage of the ingredient, so you may need to visit your pharmacist or ask your doctor to recommend the right product.

Apply the antiperspirant correctly

Did you know that there are wrong and right ways to apply antiperspirants? Apparently, most people don’t do it the right way. For maximum effectiveness, your deodorant should be applied at night before going to bed. This is because the aluminium chloride in your deodorant needs time to block the sweat glands.

This is also a time when people seem to sweat less, meaning there is less chance for the blocking process to be disrupted. If you apply it just before you go out you can sweat away the product, making it less effective.

Before applying your deodorant at night, make sure your underarms are clean and free from moisture.

Dress strategically

This is another common-sense tip. As the seasons change so should our outfit choices.

Dressing in light, loose, breathable fabrics is a simple way to avoid transferring excessive sweat onto your clothing. Cotton absorbs sweat more effectively, while polyester and other manmade fibres such as rayon don’t breathe or absorb sweat, leaving you to stew in your sweat, possibly causing skin irritation.

There are some manmade fabrics, however, that are specially made to absorb sweat. They’re usually marketed as sportswear and labelled “moisture wicking”, so while gym gear as day wear is fashion, make the most of it and wear some comfortable, moisture-wicking leggings and t-shirts.

Beware food triggers 

Spicy and fatty foods often trigger sweating, so stick to mild foods if you suffer from excessive sweating. The body reacts to spicy foods in the same way as it does to heat, by trying to cool things down in the body, thus causing you to sweat.

Coffee and energy drinks are also triggers for excessive sweating so try to limit these in your diet. Calcium-rich foods and fruits have been known to reduce sweating, however, so you may want to replace some of those problem foods with these.

Don’t avoid exercise

Surprisingly, one of the methods that can stop excessive sweating is working up a sweat by exercising. Exercising produces endorphins, which lower stress hormones and relax the body.

By putting your body at ease through exercise you have less of a chance of triggering an adrenaline response that causes your body to sweat. To maximise this effect, try and incorporate 30 minutes of exercise every day for five days a week.

Eat parsley

Although it may come as a surprise, if the odour that can come with sweat makes you particularly worried, many people swear by eating parsley to entirely eliminate body odour (as well as bad breath and smelly feet!). Just add a handful of fresh parsley to a meal each day, or munch on a bunch from your herb garden, or make some parsley tea by steeping the parsley in boiling water. It won’t stop you sweating but it will prevent any nasty odour.

If, however, you still find that you are sweating so much it has a negative impact on your daily life, there are other, less natural methods that could help you out. There are medications and supplements you can try – Botox and other anti-wrinkle injections, for example, are an effective treatment for some people who use the injections to paralyse the sweat glands – so see your doctor for advice.


IMPORTANT LEGAL INFO This article is of a general nature and FYI only, because it doesn’t take into account your personal health requirements or existing medical conditions. That means it’s not personalised health advice and shouldn’t be relied upon as if it is. Before making a health-related decision, you should work out if the info is appropriate for your situation and get professional medical advice.

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