How to Avoid Sweating Too Much

Four Parts:Use an AntiperspirantWear the Right ClothingLifestyle Changes and Unverified Home RemediesSeek Medical Help

Do you avoid shaking people's hands because your own hands are so sweaty? Do your feet sweat so much that your socks and shoes always smell? Are you embarrassed by those always-expanding sweat stains under in your armpits? If you have these problems, then know you're not alone. You could be experiencing a medical condition called hyperhidrosis, but even if you don't have a medical condition, and you just seem to sweat a lot, you can take steps to keep wetness and odor from interfering with your life and clobbering your self-confidence.

Part 1
Use an Antiperspirant

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    Start with a soft solid formula for armpit sweat. Check the label to make sure that you're using an antiperspirant and not just a deodorant. Deodorant will mask smelly armpits, but it won't attack the excessive sweating.
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    Look for a formula labeled "clinical strength." You'll have to pay more for a clinical strength antiperspirant, but these products will be more effective at cutting down on sweat production.
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    Put on antiperspirant once in the morning and once before bedtime. Applying antiperspirant twice a day has been clinically shown to be extremely effective in preventing excessive sweating. If you only apply it once a day, apply it before bedtime rather than in the morning. Also, try massaging the antiperspirant into your skin.
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    Apply antiperspirant to dry skin only. If your armpits are sweaty or if you've just gotten out of the shower, then dry your armpits with a towel or blow-dry them with a hair dryer set on a cool setting. If you apply antiperspirant to wet armpits, you may experience skin irritation.
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    Use antiperspirants on other parts of your body besides your armpits. An aerosol antiperspirant can be a great solution for sweaty feet as long as you're sure to spray not just the soles of your feet but also between your toes. If your face sweats a lot, try applying some antiperspirant along your hairline. Just test it first before you take it out in public to make sure that the antiperspirant doesn't irritate the skin on your face.[1]

Part 2
Wear the Right Clothing

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    Choose fabrics that absorb sweat. Cotton will absorb moisture as will fabrics found in athletic wear that are designed to wick away moisture. You can also choose clothes with a loose weave, such as clothes made of linen.
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    Wear layers. Guys should wear cotton undershirts to absorb excess sweat, while women can wear an absorbent camisole or use sweat absorbing pads.
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    Select the right colors. If you wear white, people are going to notice that you're sweating. If you choose dark colors or prints, then your sweat isn't going to show up as much.
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    Purchase "breathable" shoes for sweaty feet. Brands like Geox have absorbent insoles and also let moisture out through holes in the soles of the shoes. You can also reduce foot sweat by wearing shoes made of leather and other natural materials.[2] Wear sandals or go barefoot when you can so that your feet can breathe.
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    Bring extra clothing. Bring an extra shirt or blouse that you can change into midday if you have sweaty spots on your outfit. Change your outfit in a restroom or in your car, and use a cloth or a handkerchief to wipe away excess sweat before you put on your new top. Also, if your feet are sweaty and smelly, bring an extra pair of socks and shoes.[3]

Part 3
Lifestyle Changes and Unverified Home Remedies

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    Skip spicy foods. Foods like hot peppers can make you sweat more, while onions and garlic can make your sweat smell unpleasant. Eat more bland foods throughout the day when you're at work or out in public.
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    Lose weight. If you're overweight or obese, losing weight will help reduce the amount of sweating that you experience because the heavier you are, the more you'll sweat because it's harder it is to cool down efficiently.
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    Be a hygiene nut. The odor of sweat can be reduced considerably by frequent hygiene practices that are very simple.
    • Have a daily bathing routine of either a shower or a bath and in particularly bad cases, consider bathing twice a day. Use a deodorant soap that will help to wipe out the bacteria that cause odor.
    • When you're out and about, carry baby wipes or similar wipes that you can use underarm and on your body to mop up sweat quickly in the bathroom and feel fresh again.
    • Carry an antiperspirant with you at all times for quick touch-ups, especially after physical activity or a stressful experience such as delivering a presentation. If you have a permanent workspace, keep a stick of antiperspirant in your desk drawer. Just make sure you don't leave your antiperspirant in a hot car where it could melt.
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    Quit drinking caffeinated beverages. These drinks can cause you to sweat excessively.
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    Try sage. Some people believe that sage can soothe the nerve fibers that cause you to produce excessive sweat. Try these sage recipes to prevent sweating too much:
    • Add 4 tablespoons of sage leaves to 2 cups (500 ml) of boiling water. Simmer the sage for 5 minutes, pour the liquid through a mesh sieve to strain it and drink the liquid.
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    • Combine 5 tablespoons of sage leaves, 1 tablespoon of valerian root and 1 tablespoon of horsetail. Pour 1 cup (250 ml) of boiling water over the herbs and bring the liquid to a boil again. Filter the leaves out and drink the mixture daily.
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    Wash your hands and feet with an herbal mixture. Mix equal amounts of eucalyptus leaves, oak bark, walnut leaves, witch hazel leaves and tormentil root. Place 5 tablespoons of the mixture into 2 quarts (about 2 L) of water. Boil the mixture for 5 minutes and remove it from the heat. Add 1 quart (about 1 L) of cool water and bathe your hands and feet with the liquid.
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    Use herbs to combat night sweating. Mix 3 parts sage and walnut leaves with 2 parts stinging nettle and strawberry leaves. Add 1 cup (250 ml) of steaming water to the mixture and drink it before bedtime.
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    Drink tea made from lemon balm, peppermint leaves or fennel seeds if you sweat because of anxiety or stress. Drinking these teas before bed can help you to relax and get some rest, which will reduce your anxiety levels.
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    Add essential oils to your shower or bathwater. Try rose, lavender or orange oil to produce a pleasant smell and hide body odor.
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    Apply a thin layer of oil to your hands and feet. Choose geranium oil, tea tree oil or cypress oil.[4]

Part 4
Seek Medical Help

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    Talk to your doctor or dermatologist first. If you are experiencing drenched clothing, embarrassment or an inability to control odor as a result of sweating, then it's time to speak to your doctor or dermatologist. Your health care professional may need to take blood tests to check your thyroid or to look for infections or run other tests according to their professional examination.
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    Try iontophoresis for excessive sweating of the hands and feet. Your doctor can prescribe an at-home electric iontophoresis machine, which uses a mild electric current run through water to shut down your sweat glands.[5]
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    Ask for Botox injections. Botox can temporarily paralyze sweat glands for 7 to 19 months per injection. These are usually given for sweaty underarms but can also be injected on the face, hands or feet.[6]
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    Use a miraDry machine. These devices work on the armpits or other sweaty areas that have a layer of protective fat. The handheld device delivers controlled electromagnetic energy, and the heat causes the sweat glands to decompose. Doctors usually recommend 2 treatments spaced 3 months apart.[7]
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    Take anti-cholinergic medication. These drugs are not FDA-approved, but they have a long history of being prescribed for excessive sweating. Athletes, people who participate in sports and people who work outdoors should avoid these drugs because they disable the body's sweating mechanism, which would cause difficulty with keeping the body cool.[8]
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    Seek psychological intervention. If you're experiencing anxiety triggered sweating, a course of cognitive behavioral therapy or psychotherapy might be just the ticket to relieve such sweating.
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    Undergo surgery as a last resort. You have a couple of options:
    • Local underarm surgery. This procedure is performed under local anesthesia in a dermatologist's office. Your doctor will use liposuction, curettage (scraping) or lasers to destroy the sweat glands. Recovery usually takes 2 days, although you'll need to limit arm activity for about a week. Unfortunately, health insurance does not always pay for this procedure.
    • Endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy. Surgeons put the patient under general anesthesia and attempt to cut the nerves from the spinal column that stimulate excessive sweating. This surgery could have serious side effects, including low blood pressure, heat intolerance and heart arrhythmia, so it's only recommended when all other treatment options have failed.
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    Ask your doctor about experimental treatments. Examples include acupuncture, biofeedback, hypnosis or relaxation techniques...[9]


  • Try to stay calm and relaxed when you're in a crowded place. Stress causes you to sweat more.
  • Drink as much water as you can, (especially on a hot day) to flush your system out.
  • Even if your sweat is visible, don't hide it with extra clothing, otherwise it will get worse and smell. Eventually it will dry, if not, go to the bathroom and clean yourself up.
  • Don't drink milk before going to spend the day outside in the hot sun. This will make you feel sick and sweat even more.
  • If outside, take breaks often. Have a sort a of dairy product during the break. Also, take a spray bottle if outside. Use it on hot parts of your body. This will moisten the skin so sweat won't have to.
  • Hyperthyroidism can cause too much sweating as a secondary outcome. If you suffer from this condition then medical help is a must. It could suggest you are a diabetic.
  • Try not to feel embarrassed by the sweat stains.
  • Some people are afraid of using antiperspirants because they think the ingredients are linked to a higher risk for breast cancer[10] and Alzheimer's disease[11]. Both the American Cancer Society and the Alzheimer's Association, respectively, have stated that no evidence exists to link antiperspirant to either cancer or Alzheimer's.
  • Prickly heat is caused when sweat is trapped in the ducts on the skin's surface and cannot escape. This can cause a rash, itching or blisters. If you also have this, keep the skin cool and dry and use antiperspirants.[12] Try to remain in an air-conditioned environment during treatment. If you have a rash, see the doctor for a corticosteroid cream or lotion, if relevant.
  • Sweating is sometimes associated with a poor diet. If you feel as if you are not eating healthy or if there are too many sweets in your diet it is possible excessive hyperhidrosis can occur. This can also be a major condition for a diabetic.
  • If you have a foul stench about your body avoid mixing scents by "masking" your scent. The result of a mixed smell could be quite foul.
  • Take a cold shower to prevent more sweat and stay hydrated with a cold beverage to cool your body.
  • Try to stay calm, to avoid nervous sweating.
  • Dark-colored clothing is known to absorb heat, making you sweat more.


  • If your excessive sweating is accompanied by dizziness, chest or stomach pain, or chills, then you could be experiencing something serious, such as a heart attack. You should seek out immediate medical attention.[13]

Things You'll Need

  • Antiperspirant
  • Clothing that absorbs moisture
  • Cotton undershirt or camisole
  • Sweat absorbing pads
  • Breathable shoes
  • Deodorant soap
  • Deodorant
  • Baby wipes
  • Sage leaves
  • Valerian root
  • Horsetail
  • Eucalyptus leaves
  • Oak bark
  • Walnut leaves
  • Witch hazel leaves
  • Tormentil root
  • Stinging nettle
  • Strawberry leaves
  • Tea made from fennel seeds, lemon balm or peppermint leaves
  • Rose, lavender or orange oil
  • Cypress, tea tree or geranium oil

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Categories: Featured Articles | Sweating and Body Odor Hygiene