Tips to conquer nervous sweat, flop sweat, and stress sweat.

So, you think you sweat more than normal? A lot of people worry about whether they perspire a “normal” amount. We get it.

Excessive sweat is embarrassing and can throw a wrench into any social situation. Sweating is good and certainly has its benefits (like preventing heat stroke). But it also comes with a host of humiliating side effects (sweaty pits, sweaty handshakes, sweaty feet, sweaty face, etc…)

Wondering why you might be sweating more than normal? You’re in luck, we’ve compiled a list of the most common sweat triggers and how to avoid them.

8 Things That Can Trigger Unwanted Sweat:

  • 1. Stress
  • 2. Crazy Hormones
  • 3. Your Choice of Food
  • 4. Not Eating Enough Food
  • 5. Your Mood (Excited, Happy, Scared)
  • 6. Social Anxiety
  • 7. Being Physically Fit or Overweight
  • 8. Medications

A lot of different things can cause excessive sweating. But there’s always a reason. Sure, you might have a medical condition, such as primary hyperhidrosis, a sweating disorder that makes you perspire more than the average person. But that’s not as likely as you might think. Hyperhidrosis affects less than 5% of the population. There’s a good chance you just have a random sweat trigger you didn’t know about.

1. You’re Really Stressed Out

What do you do if you randomly start sweating for no apparent reason? Freak out? Yeah, a lot of people do. Well, did you know that freaking out about sweating is probably just making you sweat more?

That’s right. Stress is a HUGE sweat trigger.

If you notice that you’re sweating at a random time, quickly do a mental stress check.

  • Is something upsetting you?
  • Have you been brooding about something for most of the day?
  • Are you worried about something?

If you answered, “yes” to any of these questions, your stress may be to blame for your random bout of nervous sweating.

2. Your Hormones Are In Overdrive

Pregnancy and menopause can really mess with a woman’s hormones. In fact, this hormonal rioting can cause mood swings, odd cravings and … overactive sweat glands.

Have you ever heard a pregnant woman complain about night sweats or hot flashes? Yeah, those mini sweat sessions happen because your hormones are out of whack.

Unfortunately, there’s not a lot you can do to prevent this kind of hormonal sweating (aside from delivering your baby or magically skipping menopause).

Fortunately, both pregnancy and menopause are temporary life phases. When they leave, your hormones will chill out and sweating can return to normal.

Pregnancy and menopause aren’t the only things that screw with your hormones. Puberty and overactive thyroid issues can also lead to belligerent hormones and excessive sweating — especially underarm sweating.

3. You’re Eating Foods That Promote Sweating

The food you eat — and what you drink — could be causing you to sweat excessively. This usually happens when you eat food that’s hard to digest because your body has to work a bit harder, which increases your heart rate and sends signals to your sweat glands telling them to get to work.

Which Foods Cause Severe Sweating?

Red meat can be really hard for your body to digest, so if you’re worried about perspiring a lot during (or right after) a meal, you might want to stay away from burgers and steaks. Instead, choose chicken or fish. And of course, vegetables are always a great option. You should also avoid eating fatty fast foods, white bread, and chocolate. These foods lack the enzymes needed for smooth digestion, which means your body works harder to process them.

This probably doesn’t come as a big shock, but if you’re concerned about profuse sweating you should also avoid spicy, hot food. Yeah, those chili fries you love that are topped with jalapeno peppers are a MAJOR sweat trigger. Spicy foods contain capsaicin — a chemical that tricks your body into thinking your core temperature is rising, causing your sweat glands to kick into action, which causes you to perspire.

If you’ve been cursed with body odor that smells a bit fishy, you might have a condition called trimethylaminuria. It’s a genetic condition that makes it difficult for your body to break down trimethylamine — a chemical compound produced when you digest certain foods such as legumes, eggs, and fish. If this is the case, you should eliminate those foods from your diet and talk to your doctor.

4. You Need to Eat More

Are you hangry? If so, your blood sugar is probably a bit low. And one of the symptoms of low blood sugar is excessive sweat or cold sweats. In particular, the sweat glands along your hairline are affected by low blood sugar. So if you’re feeling a bit moody and sweaty, you really might need to grab a Snickers bar like the commercial says. Other symptoms of low blood sugar include:

  • Dizziness
  • Shakiness
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Blurred vision
  • Slight nausea

5. Your Mood (Extremely happy or scared out of your mind)

Did you know that when you’re happy or scared you sweat? This also happens when you’re doing something that you’re really passionate about (and no we aren’t just talking about sex).

You might have noticed that when you engage in activity that you’re passionate about, your body is all of the sudden covered in a thin layer of glistening sweat. That’s because all of these emotions — happiness, fear, and love — are associated with a slight increase in your body temperature. And of course, when your body temperature rises, your sweat glands go to work.

6. You Have Social Anxiety

If you get nervous before events that require you to socialize with others, you’ve probably noticed that your sweaty spurts also happen about the same time. That’s totally normal if you have social anxiety.

It’s common for people with social anxiety to constantly battle excessive hand sweating. But you can use relaxing techniques to help get you through overly stressful situations or talk to your doctor. There’s a good chance your doctor may be able to prescribe an anti-anxiety medication to help you control nervous bouts of sweating. Another great way to combat nervous sweat is by using a clinical strength antiperspirant like SweatBlock. If you’ve got excessive hand sweating or super sweaty feet, you can try a hand or foot antiperspirant to reduce unwanted sweating. We recommend this one.

7. You’re Really Fit or Overweight

Your physical fitness levels can determine the amount of sweat your body produces. For example, if you’re slightly plump around the middle, your body works harder carrying the excess weight. This causes your heart rate to increase and you to perspire. But people who are really, really fit often sweat a lot too. This is typically caused by sweating a lot when exercising. See, if you exercise regularly, your body gets really good at sweating so it does it more often. Of course, that doesn’t mean you should stop working out. Instead, use a clinical-strength antiperspirant, such as SweatBlock, to control the amount of sweat your body produces.

8. Your Medications Are Causing You to Sweat (Diaphoresis)

Diaphoresis is the medical term used to describe excessive sweating caused by certain medications. Some of the more common culprits include SSRIs, heart medications, and painkillers. But they aren’t the only medications that can make you sweat. So if you’re taking a new prescription and it’s causing heavy sweating randomly, you might want to have a chat with your doctor.

What to Do If Sweat Becomes Excessive

It’s important to remember that perspiration is a normal process. In fact, it’s even good for you to sweat. But if you sweat excessively, you should consider using a clinical-strength antiperspirant or talk to your doctor about treatment options.

How Does Sweating Help the Body?

You have approximately 2.5 million sweat glands on your body (some people have up to 4 million). So what you probably don’t realize is that you’re actually sweating all the time. You just don’t normally notice the sweat because it evaporates quickly. If your body produces sweat faster than it evaporates, it’s noticeable. That’s when excessive sweating can become embarrassing.

But sweating is actually good for you — at least in normal amounts. We sweat to regulate our body temperature. So if you didn’t sweat at all, your body would overheat — and no one wants to have heat stroke. If you think you sweat more than “normal,” you might be right. In this case, you might want to consult your doctor to determine whether you have hyperhidrosis or you have sweat triggers that you don’t know about. Even if you don’t have hyperhidrosis, your doctor will be able to help you determine the best way to keep your sweating in check.

How to Stop Sweating

Remember, you don’t want to stop sweating completely. But you may want to stop sweating in specific areas of your body. For example, if you sweat when you’re nervous, you probably have clammy hands. That can be embarrassing when you meet someone new or you’re on a date and you want to hold hands. If that’s the case, you should be looking for ways to stop sweating on your hands.

Who Treats Excessive Sweating?

If clinical-strength antiperspirants and other home remedies don’t keep you from sweating profusely, you should consult your doctor to see if you have hyperhidrosis. Your primary care doctor can discuss treatment options that can reduce sweating, such as prescription creams and medication, with you, but if the problem is severe, you might be referred to a dermatologist. A dermatologist is a doctor who treats skin conditions specifically. So he or she may discuss more elaborate treatment options, such as Botox, with you.

Ultimately, it’s important to remember that everyone sweats. Because everyone is different, there really isn’t a “normal” amount of sweat your body should produce. But if excessive sweating becomes a problem, makes you feel self-conscious, or keeps you from attending normal social events, you should talk to your doctor or see a dermatologist.

Sweating is natural. It serves an important purpose. But sometimes sweating can be bad or indicate that bad things are happening. Here are nine sweaty questions. The answers are important to anyone concerned about sweat.

  • Do I have primary hyperhidrosis?
  • Do I have secondary hyperhidrosis?
  • What about night sweats?
  • What causes my sweat to smell bad?
  • Why do I sweat when I eat?
  • Is my medicine making me sweat a lot?
  • Is it bad to sweat when I’m nervous and stressed?
  • Is sweat bad for my hair and scalp?
  • Is sweat bad for my skin?

Good Sweat vs. Bad Sweat

As a normal bodily function, sweating is natural and helps to regulate body temperature. When body temperature rises due to exercise or a hot environment, your nervous system signals the sweat glands and they secrete sweat to the skin’s surface. There, the moisture evaporates and cools the body. That’s good.

Unfortunately, sweating can also occur when we’re nervous or stressed. That’s normal too. But nervous sweat is bad sweat. And it’s annoying and embarrassing.

Not all sweating is normal. Abnormal or excessive sweating, when not needed to regulate body temperature, signals that something is wrong. Let’s take a closer look at some of those “bad sweat” situations.

Is it bad to sweat a lot?

You were born with somewhere between two and four million sweat glands located all over your body. Everyone is different and the number you have will influence, in part, how much you sweat.

Women have more sweat glands than men. Men’s sweat glands are normally more active and produce more sweat. No surprise there. You may have discovered this yourself the last time you rode in a crowded subway car or bus with a bunch of burly guys. Why can’t more men use deodorant?

There are also two different types of sweat glands, apocrine glands and eccrine. Eccrine glands are all over your body. Apocrine glands are located on the scalp, armpits and genital area. There’s no such thing as a bad sweat gland.

As your body temperature rises, your automatic nervous system triggers these glands to release salty liquid, mostly water, to the skin’s surface for evaporative cooling. Sweating cannot be consciously controlled. That’s the problem. And, as we all know, anxiety, fear, anger and embarrassment can signal the sweat glands to work overtime. The result is bad sweat.

Let’s take a closer look at the situations when sweating is bad.

Do I have primary hyperhidrosis?

Profuse sweating or excessive sweating is hyperhidrosis. The word “hyperhidrosis” means too much (hyper) sweating (hidrosis). If you suffer from hyperhidrosis you produce four to five times more sweat than normal. That’s bad sweat, but you probably already knew that.

Primary hyperhidrosis (also known as focal hyperhidrosis) is a physiological problem. Those who suffer from it will confess that it also messes up their quality of life – psychologically, emotionally and socially. It’s a silent handicap. Almost half of those with hyperhidrosis suffer in silence for years before seeking help.

Hyperhidrosis affects nearly 15 million people in the United States. It affects men and women equally. 65% experience excessive sweating of the underarms (axillary hyperhidrosis). Other areas of the body often affected by hyperhidrosis are the hands (palmar hyperhidrosis), the feet (plantar hyperhidrosis), and face/forehead (craniofacial hyperhidrosis). Cold, clammy handshakes, sweaty feet and sweat cascading in torrents from the forehead are all equally unpleasant and emotionally distressing.

Now the good news. While there is no known cure, there are several effective treatments for primary hyperhidrosis. The simplest, least expensive and often the most effective is applying a clinical strength antiperspirant like Sweatblock. Because it’s applied using a towelette, it can be used anywhere on the body. Normally one application will last four to seven days. Antiperspirants block secretion of the targeted sweat glands.

Other treatments include topical creams, nerve-blocking medications, Botox injections, and invasive surgeries and procedures. These are reserved for extreme cases when simpler remedies are not effective. Some have serious side effects. Injections, microwave treatments and surgeries are all expensive and may not be covered by health insurance.

Do I have secondary hyperhidrosis?

The second type of hyperhidrosis is secondary hyperhidrosis, also known as generalized hyperhidrosis. Sufferers from this type of profuse sweating experience bad sweating all over the body as opposed to excessive sweating in a specific area.

Secondary hyperhidrosis is caused by another, usually unrelated, medical condition or side effect of a medication. Once the underlying problem is discovered and treated, the sweating stops. Conditions or diseases that can cause secondary hyperhidrosis include diabetes, gout, heart failure, cancer and obesity.

If you are experiencing excessive sweating over large areas of your body and also have one of these conditions, you likely have secondary hyperhidrosis.

What about night sweats?

What are night sweats? It’s not uncommon for us to experience night sweats when we’re sick or during hot summer nights. Changing body temperature during the night is a normal part of the sleep cycle and can cause temporary sweating. Removing a blanket or shedding those flannel pajamas can cure this kind of night sweats.

But severe and chronic night sweats, the kind when you wake-up with wet sheets and your body drenched with sweat, are not part of normal sleep. This is another sign of secondary hyperhidrosis and probably caused by an unrelated condition. Or, it could be a sign of a side effect caused by a prescription drug? Here are some of the probable suspects.

Some of the common drugs that have been associated with night sweats are:

  • Antidepressants such as Protriptyline and Nortriptyline
  • Anti-inflammatory drugs, the nonsteroidal type
  • Blood pressure medicines
  • Medicines that treat dry mouth like Pilocarpine
  • Some cancer treatments
  • Oral diabetes medicines and prescription insulin

Some dietary supplements such as zinc and iron have been known to be the culprits behind night sweats too.

Medical conditions that can cause night sweats include:

  • Menopause and pregnancy. The hormonal changes that assault women as they experience menopause can cause hot flashes and heavy sweating at night. Carrying the additional weight of a developing baby can make night sweats an unwanted side effect of pregnancy.
  • Infections. Abnormal night sweats can be caused by infections such as tuberculosis, HIV and bacterial infections.
  • Cancer. People who have undiagnosed cancer often complain of symptoms including fever and excessive sweating. The most common type of cancer known to produce these problems is lymphoma, a cancer of the blood.
  • Hyperthyroidism. An overactive thyroid gland can case nocturnal sweating.
  • Hormone disorders. There are other hormonal disorders (other than menopause) that can cause night sweats. These include carcinoid syndrome and pheochromocytoma.
  • Neurologic conditions. Stroke and neuropathy are among the neurologic conditions that can cause nocturnal sweating.
  • Alcoholism. Alcohol consumption increases your heart rate and expands the blood vessels in the skin, which can trigger unwanted sweating. Night sweating is a common symptom of alcohol withdrawal.

Again, the key to overcoming nocturnal bad sweat is to identify what’s really going on.

What causes my sweat to smell bad?

We’ve all been victims. Some of us have been perpetrators. In some way, we’ve all experienced bad body odor. At times the stench is overwhelming and we ask ourselves, “Why does my sweat smell so bad?” Well, all sweat doesn’t. But when combined with just the right ingredients and conditions, bad sweat becomes a powerful deterrent to positive social interaction. Whew!

Here are some of the most common causes and contributing factors to bad body odor.

Human nature. As mentioned previously, the naturally occurring apocrine glands in the skin are clustered in the groin, armpits, genitals and to a lesser extent, the rest of the skin. These sweat glands are chiefly responsible for body odor because the sweat they produce contains high levels of protein. Once sweat reaches the surface, bacteria begin breaking down these proteins. And, that’s what causes sweat to smell so bad. If you suffer from hyperhidrosis, the abundance of excess sweat makes matters that much worse.

What causes smelly feet? Now there’s a universal experience. Have you ever asked, “Why do my feet sweat so bad?” Unless you live in the tropics, you probably wear shoes and socks. Encasing our feet in fabric and leather (or canvass) makes it difficult for sweat to evaporate. So, the ever-present bacteria have much more to work with. It’s a veritable bacteria buffet. This jungle-like environment also raises the possibility of fungi which can also give off more bad smelling stuff.

Foods. If you share an office space with someone who eats a lot of exotic or spicy foods, you know the meaning of bad sweat. You can smell today what they ate yesterday. Foods like onions, garlic, curry and other pungent spices are exuded through the pores in the skin and can make sweat smell even more, shall we say… fragrant? And it can take days for the unwanted odors to subside.

Do you like fries with that? If so that could be making things worse too. Oils used in fried foods and baked goods can easily go rancid. That causes poor digestion and can add to the bad smelling sweat problem.

Your sweet-tooth. Bacteria are as addicted to sugar as we are. Eating and drinking lots of sugary treats can cause an overgrowth of yeast. Yeast turns sugar into alcohol and alcohol can make you smell like a bouquet of stinkweed. Add flatulence from eating too much sugar into the mix and that makes for a potent weapon.

Fishy smelling sweat. Some people have difficulty metabolizing large amounts of choline. The result is fishy smelling body odor that can be a real turn-off. Foods containing large amounts of choline are liver, salmon, eggs, grass-fed beef, turkey, navy beans and chickpeas.

Another fishy body odor problem is called Fish Odor Syndrome. It’s rare and its only symptom is an offensive body odor that smells like rotting fish. It’s caused by excessive secretion of trimethylaminuria into the sweat, urine and breath of those who suffer from this medical condition. Diet restrictions, acid lotions and soaps, antibiotics and other medicines are the treatments.

That great-looking new shirt or blouse. No one likes working out in polyester. Natural fabrics like cotton, linen and even wool wick sweat away from your skin and allow it to evaporate. On the other hand, manmade fibers like polyester, nylon and rayon look great, but they repel moisture allowing it to pool where you don’t want it to. The buildup of unwanted sweat promotes and amplifies the bad body odor process and stains your clothing. Bad sweat loves artificial fibers.

Why do I sweat when I eat?

Spicy foods. Tell me if this sounds familiar. You’re eating a bowl of 5-alarm chili or maybe a jalapeño pepper-laced Mexican dish. You suddenly break out in a hot profuse sweat around your temples and forehead. This is gustatory sweating and it’s totally normal when eating hot, spicy foods.

Gustatory hyperhidrosis. But, there are some people who sweat excessively when eating any food, even ice cream. Some sweat profusely just thinking about food. It’s called gustatory hyperhidrosis or Frey’s Syndrome. It’s extremely embarrassing. Those who suffer from this malady may shun social functions involving food to avoid emotional trauma.

Many cases of gustatory sweating occur as a result of surgery or damage to a parotid gland. Most of us have a pair of parotid glands with one located on each side of the face just below and in front of our ears. These are the largest salivary glands. When we eat or when we prepare to eat, these glands spring into action.

If one of these glands is damaged due to surgery, disease or infection, nearby nerves can be affected. As these nerves regenerate they can become mixed up and confused. When this happens, a person can begin sweating instead of salivating. This is Frey’s Syndrome and it usually affects just one side of the face.

Abnormal sweating when eating can also occur for no known reason or can be a result of secondary hyperhidrosis. Diabetes, chronic headaches, shingles, herpes and Parkinson’s have all been known to cause gustatory sweating.

There are treatments that can help. Clinical strength antiperspirants like Sweatblock can provide significant relief. Botox injections can provide relief for a couple of months. Botox has not been approved by the FDA for treatment of Frey’s Syndrome so its use is considered “off label.”

Is my medicine making me sweat a lot?

Excessive sweating as a side effect of taking prescription medicines is not uncommon. Several hundred prescription drugs have been identified that can cause unwanted sweating.

These include:

  • Analgesic pain medicines. The most common analgesics known to cause excessive sweating are Celebrex, Vicodin, prescription Aleve, Midol, Vioxx, Ultram, OxyContin, Methadone and fentanyl-based drugs. There are many, many more.
  • Cardiovascular drugs. Certain cardiovascular drugs can cause sweating in some patients. The list is far too long to note here, but some of the more prevalent are Bumex, Cardura, Zestril and Altace. Several NIFEdipine and verapamil drugs also make the list.
  • Antidepressants. Many commonly prescribed antidepressant drugs note excessive sweating as a side effect. These come in two major categories– Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs).
  • SSRI drugs that can cause excessive sweating, by brand name, are Celexa, Luvox, Lexapro, Prozac, Zoloft and Paxil. The SNRI antidepressants are Cymbalta and Effexor. Norpramin, a neuropsychiatric drug, can cause sweating in a high number of patients taking it.
  • Hormonal drugs. Secondary hyperhidrosis is sometimes caused by hormonal imbalances. Certain drugs given to patients to balance hormonal levels may also lead to profuse sweating. These include epinephrine-based medications, thyroid medicines, some birth control pills, testosterone drugs and vasopressins.

Is it bad to sweat when I’m nervous and stressed?

There is nothing more common than nervous sweating. It’s a natural fight or flight response. It happens to all of us whether we suffer from hyperhidrosis or not.

It happens when we go on first date or when we speak in front of a group. It happens when we’re summoned to a meeting with the boss. It can happen when we’re late and stuck in traffic. There are a thousand other situations that lead to bad sweat caused by nervous anxiety.

We’re all in the same boat. We all want to stop nervous and anxious sweating. Whether you suffer from hyperhidrosis or you’re a normal sweater, there are things you can do to curb that nervous sweat.

Tips to reduce anxious sweating.

  • Relax. Let your hands and arms breath. Unclench your fists. Take a few deep, cleansing breaths. Avoid things that stress you out if possible.
  • Meditate. Use meditation to calm your mind and overcome irrational fears. If you can trick your mind into not “fighting or flying” when you’re in potentially stressful situation, you can reduce a lot of nervous sweat.
  • Watch your weight. Body weight plays an important role in your sweating response. People who struggle with their weight have a higher core temperature.
  • Exercise. Physical exercise is an effective anti-anxiety trick. It releases endorphins which act to calm your mood and make you less prone to nervous feelings. Exercise causes sweat, so don’t exercise just prior to something you’re doing that you want to be free of sweat.
  • Wear breathable clothing. Natural fabrics like cotton and wool will allow your body to “breathe” and help dissipate sweat. Artificial fabrics like polyester, nylon and rayon will make you feel hotter. They repel sweat and make evaporation difficult. Choose your wardrobe wisely.
  • Clinical Strength Antiperspirant. A strong antiperspirant like Sweatblock can help reduce excessive sweat due to anxiety and stress. Antiperspirants are some of the safest and most effective ways to combat sweat. Other excessive sweating treatments can be more costly, invasive, and bring a whole host of nasty side effects.

Is sweat bad for my hair and scalp?

Lots of sweat can be bad for your scalp and hair. It can lead to hair loss.
There are studies that indicate that when lactic acid in sweat mixes with keratin in the hair, it can lead to damaged hair and hair loss. Even worse, if there is an accumulation of bacteria on the scalp, excessive head sweating can lead to fungal infections. Yuk. Wash your hair often.

Is sweat bad for my skin?

Bad sweat can be bad for your skin. People who suffer from excessive sweating, especially on the face and forehead, can be more prone to skin infections. Chronically moist skin promotes the growth of bacteria that cause skin infections.

  • Athlete’s foot is a fungal infection that occurs when foot sweating is excessive. It usually starts between the toes.
  • Jock itch (tinea cruris) is a cousin to athlete’s foot and is a fungal infection. It thrives in moist environments. Sweating doesn’t help.
  • Maceration is the scientific terms for the wet, mushy appearance your skin can have when it’s perpetually moist. The general skin breakdown can promote other unwanted skin conditions.

The bottom line

Let’s circle back to the question at hand:

Can sweating be bad for you? Not usually, but when it becomes excessive, abnormal, or socially destructive – YES, it’s bad.

Excessive sweating causes a multitude of problems. Untreated hyperhidrosis causes stress, embarrassment, social seclusion, and anxiety. These are just the emotional and social problems associated with bad sweat.

Abnormal sweating can also be a companion to other diseases or disorders. It might be a sign that you’re eating or drinking things you shouldn’t. It could be a side effect of medication. Whatever the cause, there is hope.

There are treatments that can reduce or eliminate bad sweat. Find one that works for you.

Do you sweat when you’re nervous, stressed or anxious?

Does internal panic ensue at the slightest sign of sweat on your brow or the palms of your hands?

Do you melt with perspiration just thinking about your next social interaction?

It may not make you feel any better, but a lot of people experience this same kind of extreme, anxious sweating.

Some sweat is good… in fact, it’s critical to your health. But marathon-like sweating during a job interview or after a simple handshake is NOT good… EVER!

You should only sweat like you’ve just run a marathon… after running a marathon. Right?!

The truth is nervous sweat is a major distraction to living the life you want. It can negatively affect your career, social life, and relationships.

We think it’s unfair. Why should some people sweat more than others? Why does a pair of sweaty armpits get to dictate how you feel about yourself and how others feel about you?

If nervous sweat is a constant thorn in your side, here’s a few tips that might help calm your nerves and curb the sweat.

Quick Tips: 7 Ways to Stop Nervous Sweating

1. Don’t Panic

Don’t panic at the first drop of sweat. The fear of sweat is often the reason we end up sweating like a cold can of soda on sweltering day. The key is to prevent your body from switching into “fight or flight” mode. This survival mechanism will ultimately lead to increased breathing, blood flow, and sweating.

It may take some jedi mind trickery, but you need to FORGET the SWEAT. Convince yourself that sweat is no big deal and that your current situation (first date, job interview, etc…) doesn’t require you to run or fight for your life. Stay calm and don’t panic.

2. Relaxation + Meditation

When you feel a bit worked up, try a relaxation techniques to help you stay calm such as focusing on your breathing. Take slow, deep breaths, hold the breath in for a few seconds, and then, release it. Repeat the process until you feel calm again. Deep breathing slows down your heart rate, which in turn, helps prevent anxious sweating. Also, consider adding meditation sessions to your normal routine to help keep any unwanted stress at bay.

3. Exercise + Weight Loss

Regular exercise can help manage sweat-inducing stress. Less stress can result in less sweating. Another benefit of exercise is potential weight loss and increased confidence. The more confidence you have, the better you can handle potentially stressful situations.

4. Know your Sweat Triggers

Certain things can trigger excess sweat. Knowing these triggers can help you avoid sweaty situations and prepare for the unavoidable ones. Common sweat triggers include job interviews, dates and speaking in public. Some not-so-obvious triggers include caffeine, alcohol, spicy foods, and processed junk food. Medications, your clothes … even your very thoughts can trigger abnormal sweating. Know your sweat triggers and avoid them if possible.

5. Stay Hydrated

Drink plenty of H2O to keep your body temperature cool. This will reduce the amount of heat your body has to release in the form of sweat on your skin.

6. Be Prepared, Arm Yourself with a Strong Antiperspirant

Life happens. You can’t avoid every potentially stressful situation and you can’t live the rest of your days out in a cave. One way to combat nervous sweating is by using a clinical strength antiperspirant like SweatBlock. Unlike deodorants that simply mask odor, antiperspirants have the ability to block sweat. Arm yourself with a strong antiperspirant to reduce sweat and boost confidence.

7. Dress Strategically

The strategy here is to dress in a way that doesn’t produce more sweat and doesn’t promote nervous sweat. Wear light, breathable fabrics that keep you cool. Wear patterns, darks, blacks or light jackets to hide sweat. Don’t promote your sweaty armpits by wearing solid colors, grays, and light blues. For sweaty hands and face, keep a handkerchief handy. You can quickly wipe away sweat before it compounds into extreme sweat.

Why We Sweat When We’re Nervous

Any type of excessive sweating can be embarrassing, but nervous sweating is probably the worst. Just think about it for a minute.

Have you ever…

• Dealt with clammy hands on a first date?

• Had beads of sweat appear all over your forehead before giving an important presentation at work?

• Felt really anxious about something, and then, noticed that your feet are suddenly sliding around in puddles of sweat?

It’s not fun. But you don’t have to stop living your life to the fullest because of it either. Instead, learn more about why you’re prone to nervous sweating and how to deal with it once and for all.

Can Being Nervous Cause Sweating?

When you’re nervous it activates your stress hormones. And when activated, those hormones cause your body temperature and heart rate to increase slightly. This sends a message to your sweat glands telling them it’s time to produce sweat to cool your body off a bit.

Unfortunately, this isn’t a process that you can control. The best thing you can do to avoid nervous sweating completely is to practice different stress and anxiety-relieving techniques, such as deep breathing, to keep yourself as calm as possible. If you do this every time you start to feel nervous, stressed, or anxious, there’s a good chance you can prevent nervous sweating altogether. But if it doesn’t work, there are plenty of other things you can try too.

What Causes Nervous Sweating?

When it comes to being nervous, anxious, or stressed, everyone has their own triggers. You might become really nervous before an important meeting or before you have to give a big speech, while others may be really nervous when they meet someone for the first time or any time they go on a date. Of course, if you’re in a situation that makes you nervous, the last thing you want to do is start sweating profusely.

Unfortunately, all of these feelings send red flags to your body telling it that you’re on the brink of overheating. So your body starts producing extra sweat in an effort to stay cool. It’s a completely natural process that’s totally annoying and embarrassing.

When you know you’ll be faced with a circumstance that’s a trigger for you, do everything you can to remain calm. The calmer you stay, the less likely you are to start sweating. We know this can be hard to do. To help, wipe your problem areas down with a SweatBlock towelette in advance if possible. This will reduce the amount of sweat your body produces, giving you one less thing to be stressed about.

Which Nervous System Controls Sweating?

The sympathetic nervous system controls sweating. It’s part of the autonomic nervous system, which controls your body functions that you don’t consciously direct such as your heartbeat and breathing.

The sympathetic nervous system is the portion of the autonomic nervous system that triggers your body’s fight-or-flight response. So any time you’re nervous, scared, anxious, or stressed, it tells your sweat glands to start working so that you don’t overheat internally. Basically, this system works to protect you from the inside out.

How to Treat Nervous Sweating

There are several ways to treat nervous sweating, but there isn’t one treatment or remedy that works for everyone. So it’s important to try different types of treatments until you find one that works for your body. For most people, it’s a combination of home remedies or antiperspirants and prevention techniques.

How to Calm Nervous Sweating

The key to calming nervous sweating is calming yourself. You can’t control the amount of sweat your body produces, but you can control the way you feel — to an extent. There are two ways you should approach this problem.

First, you should try to work on the reason you’re nervous in certain situations. For example, if you get so nervous during dates that you get really sweaty hands, you might want to try working on your confidence. Consider making it a point to talk to strangers casually as much as possible. Eventually, you’ll start feeling comfortable and confident holding conversations with people you don’t know well. The added confidence you gain can help stay calm on your next date. The same technique can be used if you’re nervous about speaking in front of an audience. Practice your speeches at home, in front of friends and family members, and work your way up to speaking in front of larger crowds.

In addition to working on the main causes of your nervousness, you should practice calming techniques. These can help calm you down any time you find yourself in a situation that makes you feel nervous.

Take slow, deep breaths until you feel yourself calm down.

Remove yourself from the situation for a few minutes to give yourself time to calm down.

Practice mindfulness meditation to focus on the present. This allows you to focus on the moment realistically, instead of focusing on your fears or expectations surrounding the moment. To do this, focus on specific sights or sounds nearby. This brings you back into the present moment and gets you out of your head.

How to Stop Nervous Sweating Naturally

To stop nervous sweating naturally, the best thing to do is work on your mindset. You get nervous because you have specific thoughts, expectations, or fears surrounding certain tasks or events. For example, if you constantly think that other people are judging you or have a bad perception of you, it may make you nervous to speak in front of groups or meet new people. It’s thoughts like these that are rooted in your anxiety. If you make a conscious effort to flip the negative thoughts into positive ones, you’ll start to feel more confident and are less likely to become nervous.

Additionally, you can try different home remedies designed to keep you calm such as:

Eat more fish. Omega-3 fatty acids work to protect against depression and anxiety.

Eat a protein-filled breakfast every day. Low levels of choline are associated with increased anxiety, and eating protein at breakfast helps regulate your levels throughout the day.

Grab a snack. Anxiety and nervousness often set in when your blood sugar levels are a bit low, so grab a quick snack.

Exercise regularly. When you exercise on a regular basis it helps eliminate lingering depression and anxiety. It makes you feel healthier, which automatically boosts your self-esteem.

Use a clinical-strength antiperspirant, such as SweatBlock, to keep the sweat at bay.

Preventing Nervous Sweating on the Face

When your nervous sweat appears on your head, face, or neck, it’s hard to hide — which of course, makes it even more embarrassing. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to help prevent nervous sweating on your face.

Our top recommendation for head, face, and neck sweating is using SweatBlock — and no we aren’t just tooting our own horn. It actually does work. Before you go to bed at night, wipe down your face and neck with a SweatBlock towelette. Then, go to sleep and let SweatBlock work its magic. When you’re sleeping, your sweat glands aren’t as active. So the clinical-strength antiperspirant on the towelette can easily get into your pores. While one nighttime treatment is enough to reduce the amount of sweat you produce for between four and seven days, you can also carry a SweatBlock towelette with you — just in case.

Speaking of towelettes, you can also carry alcohol wipes with you to use in the event of an emergency. If a situation arises that makes you nervous, quickly wiping down your face with an alcohol wipe will close your pores so excessive amounts of sweat can’t escape. If you wear makeup, consider wiping your face down with an alcohol wipe before applying your makeup to close your pores. Keep in mind though, alcohol is very drying. You might want to also use a lightweight moisturizer to keep your skin hydrated properly.

You should also drink plenty of water throughout the day to stay hydrated. When your body is properly hydrated, your body temperature doesn’t rise as easily. And because you produce sweat when your body temperature starts to rise, it’s important to keep your internal temperature as cool as possible to prevent sweating. Also, avoid eating food that’s spicy, hot, or filled with sodium. They automatically make your body temperature rise a bit.

If you can’t find a natural remedy for nervous sweating on your head, neck, or face, you might consider getting botox treatments. When used to treat excessive sweating, botox treatments are done a bit differently than they are when they are used to get rid of wrinkles and age lines. The botox gets injected at specific points, numbing the nerves in the area completely. This way, when your brain tries to signal the nerves to produce sweat, it doesn’t work.

Dealing with Sweaty Hands

It’s common for people struggling with nervous sweating to get clammy hands regularly. This can make a simple handshake practically unbearable. Unfortunately, if the thought of shaking someone’s hand makes you panic, you automatically produce more sweat. And because there are more sweat glands in the palms of your hands than other areas of your body, your hands can get sweaty real quick.

Basically, it’s a Catch-22. The more you worry about your clammy hands, the more they sweat. So what do you do? Well, you don’t have let the thought of having sweaty hands deter you. Instead, follow these tips to reduce the amount of sweat your hands produce.

1. Carry Alcohol Wipes

Wipe your hands with alcohol wipes to dry out your hands before important social interactions. It’s a very temporary fix, but it may just help you avoid some akward handshakes and handholding. Alcohol based hand sanitizers can also work.

2. Use a Hand Antiperspirant

Want a more effective treatment for sweaty hands? Try a strong topical antiperspirant for hands. We recommend Carpe hand antiperspirant.

3. Use Baby Powder to Absorb Hand Sweat

If you feel like your hands are starting to get clammy, rub a bit of baby powder between them to absorb any excess moisture. Consider carrying a travel-size bottle with you or keeping one in your desk at work to use as needed.

4. Soak your hands in vinegar

Soak your hands in a mixture of warm water and white vinegar two to three times per week for about 20 minutes. The warm water opens your pores, allowing the white vinegar to work its way into them. When you remove your hands from the mixture, run them under cold water for about 20 seconds to close your pores back up. The white vinegar helps reduce the amount of sweat your palms produce and closing up the pores when you’re done, prevent sweat from seeping out of them. This is also a good option for anyone with excessively sweaty feet.

How to Combat Nervous Sweating in Public

If you’re worried about nervous sweating in public situations, it’s important to do whatever you can to reduce the amount of sweat your body produces before you leave your home. The more prepared you are, the easier it is to avoid profuse sweating in public, and if it does happen, you won’t need to worry because you’ve already prepared yourself to hide it.

Wear an undershirt beneath your clothing to trap excess sweat before it can stain your outer layer of clothing. This helps prevent embarrassing pit stains or sweat stains on other parts of your clothes.

Wear sweat guards underneath your clothes. Sweat guards are made to sit in the armpit area of your shirt. They absorb excess sweat so that it doesn’t stain your clothing and isn’t noticeable to people around you.

Use clinical-strength antiperspirant. You can purchase a deodorant that includes a clinical-strength antiperspirant to use on your underarm area. Or you can purchase antiperspirant wipes, such as SweatBlock, to use on other areas of your body.

Do your best to stay out of the heat and sun. The cooler you are, the less sweat your body produces. So you don’t want to do anything that causes you to sweat more.

Discuss Nervous Sweating With Your Doctor

It’s common for people battling nervous sweating to avoid talking to others about it because they are embarrassed or feel alone. But the condition is actually really common, and your doctor may be able to help you with the problem.

In most cases, doctors and dermatologists suggest that their patients try different remedies before they prescribe medication. But if you’ve already exhausted every home remedy you know and clinical-strength antiperspirant isn’t working, it might be time for a prescription.

Because your excessive sweating is caused by your nervousness, your doctor may suggest an anti-depressant or anti-anxiety medication to help regulate your moods.

There are also oral prescription medications that reduce the amount of sweat you produce, but your doctor may feel that a topical prescription medication is the better option for you.

Topical prescription meds come in cream form and can be applied as needed. So before you go into a situation that you know will make you nervous, simply apply the cream to the areas of your body that sweat the most. The cream works in the same way as an alcohol wipe or SweatBlock towelettes. It closes the pores and dries up the area to keep it sweat free. The only difference is that instead of being clinical strength, the medication is prescription strength, which is why it’s typically used only when other options aren’t working.

Ultimately, the key to combating nervous sweating is to do whatever you can to remain as calm as possible. If that’s not possible, you should try a combination of natural treatments to combat your excessive sweating. And if all else fails, consult your doctor. He or she may be able to prescribe medication that helps prevent you from sweating so much.

Being nervous is one thing, sweating your guts out at the same time only compounds the stress you’re feeling at that moment. Many situations can trigger your nerves and sweat glands. You can identify such situations easily, just think about what makes you sweat more–-scary movies? Parties? Meetings? Public Speaking? Antique shopping? Dates? Whatever it is that gets your glands going, that’s what you’re going to be focusing on here.

To beat nervous sweat, you need to understand it. Nervous sweat is the result of your body fooling itself into thinking it’s in danger. In many instances (holding hands with opposite sex, job interviews, etc…) it’s quite the opposite. Managing those sweat-inducing stressors is key to conquering your nervous sweat.

To manage your specific stressors, you’re going to trick your body into thinking they’re no big deal. It’s not difficult, the body’s easy to trick. You’ll actually be de-tricking it out of panic mode. To accomplish this de-trickery, follow these four steps when you find yourself under pressure:

1. PREPARE

When you know ahead of time that you’re going to be in a stressful situation (i.e. going on a date, attending a party, delivering a presentation), you have the advantage. Study your thoughts regarding the situation–ask yourself what you have to be nervous about. Don’t answer “the meeting” or “failure”, be specific. Become aware of what it is you’re truly worried about, then write it down. You will find that establishing the source of your stress and putting it in words will provide the clarity you need to manage the situation instead of fretting over it. Once you’ve established the source of your stress, practice the meditation techniques described above to prepare your mind for the situation.

2. BREATHE

Tell yourself to breathe. Your body usually takes care of this one automatically, but in the midst of an adrenaline rush you may find yourself breathing harder and faster. Taking a slow, deep breath tells your body that it’s not in any sort of danger, that you are calm and relaxed. To get the most out of this exercise, inhale deeply and slowly through your nose, hold the breath for three seconds, then exhale slowly through your mouth. Repeat this ten times.

3. FOCUS ON THE MOMENT

Don’t get caught up in all the worst-case scenarios and “what if…” moments that stress puts you through. If you do, you’ll end up sweating over those instead of the situation itself. Keep your focus where it belongs, on the task at hand. Chances are, the task itself isn’t nearly as stressful without all those hypothetical disasters that come to mind while you do it.

4. DON’T SWEAT… THE SWEAT

If you start to sweat, don’t worry about it. You don’t need to add another layer of worry to the worry-cake which induced the sweating in the first place. Push the sweat from your mind for the time being–not doing so is likely to result in more sweat so do your best to focus on anything else (bonus points for focusing on your breathing!) while you calm down.