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Don't sweat it

Tips to help you cope with heavy sweating
WebMD Feature
Medically Reviewed by Dr Rob Hicks

Sweating - we all do it, but when the heat is on or emotions are high it can turn into an embarrassing problem.

Sweating is a natural bodily function. We do it to control our body temperature either when we are exercising or in hot surroundings. We also sweat when we feel anxious.

If you’re worried about how much you are sweating it’s crucial to seek medical advice to rule out whether your sweating is normal or due to some underlying cause like a medical condition, hormone imbalance or reaction to a medication.

"If the sweating is bad enough to interfere with your work or social activities, you should ask your GP for treatment advice," according to Kimberley Carter from the British Association of Dermatologists.

Once anything serious has been ruled out, there are simple steps to help reduce sweating and feel more comfortable.

Here are ways to cope with heavy sweating at the gym, at work and everywhere you go.

Stopping heavy sweating

Here are some tips for stopping your heavy sweating:

Switch to higher-strength deodorants and antiperspirants

Antiperspirants keep you from sweating and deodorants make you smell nice when you sweat. Try antiperspirants that are labelled as "clinical strength". Aluminium chloride is the usual active ingredient in over-the-counter antiperspirants.

"Stronger preparations of aluminium chloride can be prescribed for excessive sweating and they should be applied twice daily for best results," says Kimberley Carter.

Apply antiperspirants at the best time

"These specialist antiperspirants, when applied at night, should be washed off in the morning," according to specialist nurse Julie Halford who runs a hyperhidrosis support group in the UK.

Follow the instructions given on the particular antiperspirant or aluminium chloride solution that you are prescribed.

Slow down

Try to avoid the situations which you find trigger your sweating, such as hot places or rushing about too much.

Sweating during exercise

Dress to beat sweat. Choose lightweight, breathable fabrics such as cottons.

Try special sportswear. There are clothes on the market these days designed specifically to lock away sweat, with new breathable fabrics designed for exercise and sport.

Wear it then wash it. Don’t put on a t-shirt or bike shorts that are soaked with sweat. You need to start out dry to stay dry. You will smell nicer too.

Change footwear often. If sweaty feet are a particular problem, be sure to change your socks at least once a day and try not to live in the same shoes every day.

Dust away sweat. Use powders meant for the feet to keep foot moisture and sweat to a minimum.

Sweating at work

To cope with sweating at work, experts recommend these steps:

Carry a deodorant or antiperspirant at all times. Reapply them in the middle of the day or before a stressful meeting. You will feel less anxious about wet stains and body odour.

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