Also known as hyperhidrosis, heavy sweating can be an embarrassing problem, but it can be effectively dealt with. Before you move to a colder climate or hide your body under thick fabric, you may want to try the following tips to combat heavy sweating.

Stop Sweating

First, you must try an antiperspirant…

This is perhaps the easiest way to tackle excessive sweating, which is mainly the reason why most people use it every day. Antiperspirants prevent sweating with the aluminum salts contained in them, which when rolled on the skin plugs your sweat pores.

Antiperspirants are available over-the-counter or in any drugstore. You can also use prescription antiperspirants but they may be irritating to the skin. Therefore, it is recommended that you first use OTC antiperspirants and then consider prescription ones if they do not work.

Antiperspirants are not only used for the underarms, but can be used wherever you sweat the most, such as the hands and feet. Some antiperspirants can also be applied to your hairline.

Medical treatments for hyperhidrosis

If antiperspirants are ineffective in treating excessive sweating, your doctor may recommend the following medical treatments:

Iontophoresis: This involves placing your hands and feet in shallow water for about 30 minutes. A mild electrical current will travel through the water and although experts are unsure about how this works, some believe that the electrical current simply blocks perspiration on the surface of the skin.

This treatment needs to be repeated a few times every week before you stop sweating. You can also use an iontophoresis machine at home once you learn how to use it.

Even though the treatment is safe, it is not recommended for pregnant women, people who have metal implants or pacemakers and those suffering from epilepsy or cardiac disorders.

Botulinum toxin: Botulinum toxin is the same drug most people use for wrinkles. This treatment works by stopping the release of a chemical that activates the sweat glands in your skin. You may require several Botulinum toxin injections before you stop sweating, however its effects last for about a year.

Anticholinergic drugs: When the aforementioned treatments fail to treat heavy perspiration, you may be recommended to try anticholinergic drugs. Oral anticholinergic drugs can block the sweat glands; however, they are not advisable for everyone as they may cause side effects such as urinary problems, heart palpitations and blurred vision.

Surgery: Surgery is always the last resort for heavy sweating that has not responded to other medical treatments. Surgery may involve abrasion, cutting or the suction of the sweat glands.

How to control heavy sweating at home

The following measures may be beneficial if you incorporate them into your lifestyle along with the use of antiperspirants and/or medical treatments recommended by your doctor:

  • Avoid wearing heavy clothing that traps sweat. Wear loose, breathable clothes made of cotton or silk. Our feet tend to sweat heavily during exercise too; therefore, socks made of polypro and merino wool are good options.
  • Shower daily with an antibacterial soap to eliminate bacteria that cause bad odor with sweat.
  • Avoid spicy food and alcohol as both can make you sweat excessively. Consumption of hot beverages such as coffee and tea should also be reduced.