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8 reasons you sweat

Everyone sweats - just not for the same reasons or in the same amounts. Some people are drenched after taking a few steps on the treadmill. Others can make it through a gruelling indoor cycling class without releasing a drop.

We take a look at some of the causes of sweating and ways to combat excess sweating.

Sweat trigger 1: Heat and humidity

Sweating is your body's built-in cooling system. When the temperature rises, millions of tiny sweat glands in your skin are activated and sweat is released through your pores. As your sweat evaporates, it cools you off. Yet leftover sweat can leave your skin soaked - especially on humid days when the air is already so saturated with moisture that your sweat evaporates more slowly. 

What to do about it: You can't prevent sweating. Your body needs it to keep you cool, but if you're getting drenched every time you go outside on a warm day, try using a clinical-strength antiperspirant deodorant that blocks sweating and prevents body odour. You can also wear lightweight natural fabrics to help stay dry.

Sweat trigger 2: Hard workouts

Exercising turns up your body's internal heating system. As you pump your arms and legs, your body temperature rises. Sweating is your body's way of getting rid of that extra heat.

What to do about it: Exercise indoors in a cool place so you don't sweat so much. If you prefer to exercise outdoors, do it in the morning or late afternoon when it's not so hot outside. Remember, when you sweat you're losing fluids. So drink plenty of water or a sports drink before, during, and after your exercise routine.

Sweat trigger 3: Strong feelings

Your emotions - from anger to love to stress - can make you sweat. Emotional sweating triggers the sweat glands on the palms of your hands, as well as under your arms and on the soles of your feet. That's why your palms get moist when you're really attracted to someone, or during a job interview.

What to do about it: A good antiperspirant deodorant can help keep your underarms dry during sticky situations. For sweating on the palms of your hands or soles of your feet, you can undergo a technique called iontophoresis. During this therapy your hands or feet are submerged in water that is charged with a mild electrical current, or moist electrode pads are applied to the skin.

Sweat trigger 4: Hot and spicy food

Spicy foods trigger the same receptors in your skin that respond to heat, which is why you have to dab your forehead and upper lip when you eat an extra-hot curry.

The beer you drink with that curry could also make you sweat by widening blood vessels in your skin. Even your morning coffee can cause you to sweat, because caffeine stimulates the sweat glands as well.

What to do about it: The simplest thing to do is to stop eating spicy foods, but sweating while you eat may also be a side effect of salivary gland or neck surgery, which botulinum toxin injections can sometimes treat. If alcohol is making you sweat and you can't stop drinking on your own, ask your doctor about help cutting back.

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