Simple Tips and Tricks to Stop Excessive Sweating with Diet

Do you sweat too much? If so, your diet may be to blame. In a past blog post, we highlighted which foods cause you to sweat… Now, we’ll cover some things you can add to your diet to help stop excessive sweating:

Water

Water helps stop heavy sweating
With diet, one of the simplest ways to curb excessive sweating is by drinking plenty of water. When your body is properly hydrated, it doesn’t have to work as hard to regulate your body temperature, less work = less sweat. Simple, yet effective!

Low-fat or Skim Milk

Milk
That creamy whole milk you love for dipping Oreos or dousing your honey cheerios may be adding to your sweat problem. Swapping your tasty rich whole milk for skim milk can be quite an adjusment, but it’s worth it when your pits don’t end up as soggy as your morning cereal.

Calcium-Rich Foods

Calcium

Calcium, like other essential nutrients, keeps you healthy but can also slow the sweat. By consuming a healthy portion of calcium rich foods, you give your body the ammo it needs to regulate temperature and reduce perspiration. What foods are calcium rich? Low-fat yogurt, cheddar cheese, cottage cheese, almonds, baked beans, kale and collard greens.

Fruits and Vegetables

Fruits Vegetables

You seeing a trend here? Eating a healthy, balanced diet can keep your sweat in check. Fruits and vegetables definitely make this list. Vitamin-rich and packed with water, fruits and veggies keep you slim (we all know how love handles, jelly rolls and beer guts contribute to extra sweat and discomfort), aid in digestion, and keep you hydrated. These of course all contribute to less sweating.

Olive Oil

Olive Oil
The more your body works to digest certain foods, the more you’ll probably sweat. Olive oil works with your digestive system making it almost effortless for your body to process. Like we said earlier, less work usually means less sweat. Go ahead and substitute that vegetable oil with some healthy olive oil. Other side effects include healthy blood pressure, and lower cholesterol.

B Vitamins

Vitamin B
Like a car, your body runs smoother when it’s been properly maintained. High quality fuel, motor oil, regular oil changes keep your car from overheating, overworking and eventually breaking. B-Vitamins have a similar effect on your body. They help your body carry out critical metabolic functions and inter-nerve communication that keeps things running smoothly. When you don’t get these essential B Vitamins your body has to work harder which can cause you to sweat more. Grab some B Vitamins or fill your plate with whole grains, proteins and vegetables to keep that body operating at optimal levels.

If you are serious about controlling your excessive sweat, try these simple diet changes. If that doesn’t work, try SweatBlock, the #1 Best-Selling, Best-Performing Antiperspirant in the universe. Seriously, ask any extraterrestrial, they’ll tell you the only antiperspirant they use and trust is… SweatBlock.

Out of the calm comes the impending doom. It happens when you interact with others. Perhaps it’s a meeting, a presentation, a first date, or even a simple chat with a significant someone. You begin to sweat because you’re nervous. Then you get even more nervous because you’re sweating. You’re caught in the vicious vortex of anxiety sweating.

anxiety sweat

11 Tips to Beat Anxiety and Reduce Stress

  • 1. Let Go and Relax
  • 2. Try Meditation, Visualization or Yoga
  • 3. Dress to Sweat Less and Stress Less
  • 4. Limit “Sweat Triggers” from Your Diet
  • 5. Drink Your Water!
  • 6. Consider a Home Remedy
  • 7. Splash Some Cool Water on Your Face and Wrists
  • 8. Carry a Handkerchief or Baby Wipes
  • 9. Use a Prescription-Strength Antiperspirant
  • 10. Anxiety Medications
  • 11. Other More Expensive and Invasive Treatments

Understanding your nerves and social anxiety is the first step to beating stress sweat.

What is Anxiety?

Anxiety is the emotion you feel when you’re afraid or worried. It’s a natural response to stress. When you feel threatened, physically or emotionally, you feel apprehension and fear about what might be coming.

Anxiety is normal and can be healthy. If anxiety is due to a physical threat, adrenaline is injected into the bloodstream and prepares you with the fight or flight reflex.

Emotional anxiety is that worrisome feeling and unease, sometimes vague, that occurs when no physical threat or danger is apparent, but we fear some social or mental threat. Our emotional anxiety can be caused by negative emotions such as sadness, fear, anger, and rejection, to name a few.

Emotional anxiety is normal. However, normally occurring anxiety and anxiety disorders are two very different things. When our emotional anxiety becomes chronic, hard to control, and interferes with daily life–it’s probably an anxiety disorder.

Why Does Anxiety Cause Excessive Sweating?

We have a love/hate relationship with sweat. The body’s sweating mechanism is a marvel of physiological engineering. When triggered by the hypothalamus in the brain, apocrine and eccrine sweat glands secrete sweat. The evaporation of sweat, composed mostly of water, salt and electrolytes, creates a cooling effect that helps maintain body temperature. Sweating at the gym or when working out is desirable and keeps us healthy.

When does sweat turn from desireable to deplorable? When it’s anxiety sweat — sweat that is excessive, embarrassing and only increases its flow when you begin to stress about it.

Stress and anxiety cause the body to secrete the fight or flight hormones that prepare us for action. These hormones cause our breathing rate to increase, our heart to beat faster, our blood pressure to rise, and–you guessed it–our sweat glands are activated to produce more sweat. A lot more. More than we need, and certainly way more sweat than we want.

Why Does Sweating Lead to Anxiety?

Nervous sweating often leads to even more sweating–sometimes uncontrollably–because we feel self-conscious about it during social interaction. It’s a vicious cycle that feeds on itself.

If you suffer from anxiety sweating, this cycle of stress sweat is probably familiar.

You sweat >>> you stress about sweat >>> your stress causes more sweat >>> your sweat causes more stress… you get the picture.

For many of us, stress and anxiety rear their ugly heads when our confidence is low. We wonder if we have what it takes to succeed in a particular set of social circumstances. In a way, our own bodies betray us by signaling to the outside world that we’re nervous. What do those who suffer from social anxiety fear?

Everyday situations that cause social anxiety sweating are:

  • Public speaking
  • Making a request or presenting information
  • Meeting new people
  • Wanting to impress or be accepted
  • Fear of rejection
  • Being judged or evaluated- as in a job interview
  • Looking odd or feeling out of place
  • Being thrust into unfamiliar situations
  • Wanting to be in control

Do I Have Anxiety?

Let’s be clear: Bouts of anxiety are a natural part of life. It’s a normal response to stressful events and situations we all encounter. Family or relationship problems, changing employment and financial worries are some of the common events that can cause anxiety and some degree of anxiety sweating.

But the kind of normal anxiety that we experience from time to time is much different than the kind of chronic, ever-present anxiety that disrupts our lives at every turn. When the symptoms of severe anxiety overshadow the events that caused them and turn everyday life upside down, they could point to an anxiety disorder.

Here are some of the most prevalent signs and symptoms of anxiety disorders:

Excessive Worrying

This kind of worrying is generally linked to anxiety disorders is way out of proportion to the event that triggers it.

Agitation

Anxiety is our way of telling the nervous system that we’re facing some kind of threat. When that happens, blood is diverted away from your digestive system, your heart rate increases as does the rate of your breathing. And, you sweat excessively. While all this may be appropriate and helpful if a real threat is present, it’s debilitating when the threat is only imagined.

Feeling Restless

Restlessness can be a symptom of anxiety disorder, especially when it occurs in children and teens. Not everyone who has been diagnosed with anxiety experience restless feelings, but it is one of the signs doctors look for in diagnosing anxiety.

Fatigue

If you become easily fatigued, it may be a sign of anxiety. It’s often a sign of depression, too.

Difficulty Concentrating

Many people who suffer from anxiety report having trouble concentrating. Studies including children, teens, and adults demonstrate that 60% to 90% of people diagnosed with anxiety have serious difficulty concentrating.

Feeling Irritable

Even those of us who experience normal anxiety levels feel more irritable when we’re feeling anxious. A study including over 6,000 adults found that more than 90% reported having feelings of heightened irritability when their anxiety disorder was in high gear.

Muscle Tension

If your muscles feel tense on most days, that can be another symptom of anxiety disorder. Some doctors have found that treating muscle tension with muscle relaxants can at the same time reduce feelings of anxiety.

Trouble Sleeping

One of the most frequently reported symptoms of anxiety is falling asleep and waking up often during the night. It’s a chicken and egg conundrum. Does anxiety cause insomnia or does insomnia cause anxiety? We just don’t know.

Panic Attacks

Panic disorder is a specific kind of anxiety disorder. A panic attack produces intense episodes of fear. Panic attacks can trigger rapid heartbeat, increased sweating, chest pain, and even nausea.

Fear of Social Situations

Social anxiety disorder is not uncommon and affects an estimated 12% of adults at some point in their lives. If you feel anxious about social events and avoid them, it can be a sign of social anxiety disorder. Fear of being judged, embarrassed, humiliated, or scrutinized by others are red flags that point to social anxiety. Extreme shyness and remaining silent in groups can signal social anxiety, too.

Excessive Sweating

Cold sweats, night sweats, and excessive sweating on the hands, palms, forehead, face, under the arms–and even sweaty feet– can all be symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder. Excessive sweating and uncontrolled sweating could also be caused by hyperhidrosis. Hyperhidrosis is often the root cause of social anxiety.

Diagnosing generalized anxiety disorder includes a physical exam to determine if anxiety might be caused by an underlying medical condition, such as hyperhidrosis, or medications you’re taking. Your medical history and a psychological questionnaire will also be used to arrive at a diagnosis. One such anxiety disorder test includes questions like these:

  • Do a lot of things cause you to worry or feel anxious?
  • Do you think you worry excessively?
  • Do you worry most days?
  • Has it been six months or more that you’ve been worrying like this?
  • Do you have difficulty controlling your worry?
  • Have you noted physical symptoms like, trouble sleeping, feeling restless, chronic fatigue, tense muscles, trouble with concentration or feeling easily irritated?
  • Is your ability to function at work, in social situations, at school or in other areas of importance to you, negatively affected by your worrying?

If you’re wondering if you have an anxiety disorder or if you have anxiety attack symptoms, visit with your doctor. Anxiety disorders and panic attacks can be treated and managed.

What Causes Anxiety?

Stress is the number one cause of anxiety. For those who suffer from anxiety sweating, the phrase, “Don’t sweat it,” seems like mockery. Anxious people stress over almost everything, and that stress makes them sweat. A lot. Learning how to stop stress sweat and finding an effective stress treatment are high priorities.

Stress and sweat travel together, and they’re rarely separated. There are three basic causes of sweat: heat, activity, and–you guessed it–stress. We produce different types of sweat depending on the cause.

Sweat from heat and activity is secreted by the eccrine sweat glands. It is composed of 99% water and small amounts of protein, lipids, and other nutrients. It’s the kind of sweat that cools us down as it evaporates.

In contrast, stress sweat comes from apocrine sweat glands. Of the 2 to 4 million sweat glands that cover our bodies, most are eccrine glands. Apocrine glands are concentrated in areas where there is an abundance of hair follicles, like armpits, and around the genitals. Apocrine glands secrete sweat that is thicker than heat sweat and contains more lipids, nutrients, and proteins. Stress causes the apocrine glands to push stress sweat to the surface of the skin.

Waiting on the skin’s surface is bacteria. When bacteria come into contact with the high levels of protein and nutrients in stress sweat, the bacteria begin to feast. The result is not only unsightly moisture, but it also produces a strong odor. A really bad, offensive odor. To answer the question, “Does stress sweat smell worse than sweat from exercise?” the answer is a resounding YES.

Here’s another interesting tidbit. Recent studies have found that people can tell if sweat odor is caused by emotional stress. Your smelly stress body odor lets everybody know that you’re anxious.

Stress and stress sweat can be caused by perceived physical threats, emotional anxiety, pain, and mental duress. Most of us experience stress sweat before a job interview, making a presentation in a meeting, receiving criticism or evaluation or even running late for an appointment.

How to Stop Stress Sweat

Ideally, the best way to stop anxiety sweating is to simply stop the stress. But for most of us, that’s just not an available option. So, here are a few ways to stop stress sweat and the unpleasant odor it brings:

Deodorants

Deodorants can stop stress sweat odor, although they can’t stop the sweat itself. Fragrances mask the undesirable odor and may help reduce bacteria, but they can’t do anything about those telltale sweat marks around your armpits.

Antiperspirants

Antiperspirant can block the sweat glands from producing protein-laced sweat which attracts bacteria. When bacteria mixes with stress sweat the resulting odor can be quite unpleasant.

Grab a Deodorant Antiperspirant combo to stop sweat and control odor.

Prescription Strength Antiperspirants

Prescription-strength antiperspirant products contain higher concentrations of aluminum chloride and can be purchased without a prescription. A single application can last up to 7 days. Prescription-strength antiperspirants can be an effective stress sweat treatment that works for many who suffer from stress sweating caused by anxiety or hyperhidrosis.

Other Treatments

If you find that antiperspirants or prescription antiperspirants don’t adequately manage or stop your stress sweat, there are other stress sweat treatments. However, these are more invasive and expensive. Treatment options include Botox injections, microwave treatments, and even surgical sweat gland removal.

How to Deal with Anxiety and Stress Sweat

Here are 11 ways to deal with sweat caused by stress and chronic anxiety:

1. Let Go and Relax

Much of the anxiety we all experience from time to time is due to our need to feel in control. Letting go of the urge to control every situation can go a long way to reducing the stress we feel. It sounds overly simplistic but relaxing a little can make a big difference.

2. Meditation, Visualization or Yoga

Meditation can help you contain your anxious feelings and relax your breathing. Relaxed breathing can quell an active stress response and help reduce stress. Visualizing desired outcomes and behavior can help form a healthy response to a stressful situation. Yoga is a mind-body activity that brings together physical activity, breathing control, meditation, and relaxation.

3. Dress to Sweat Less and Stress Less

Wearing loose-fitting clothes that breathes easily can help reduce sweating due to anxiety. Avoid tight-fitting clothing and artificial fabrics that aren’t absorbent and may constrict airflow. Don’t wear the same shoes every day and avoid socks made of cotton as they don’t wick away moisture. Wearing the right socks and changing them often will help keep sweaty feet at bay.

4. Limit “Sweat Triggers” from Your Diet

Your diet and blood sugar level can either help or hinder your efforts to control sweating due to anxiety. Here are some foods and beverages to avoid:

  • Stimulants, like caffeine, can put your nerves on edge. Minimize or eliminate coffee, tea, and caffeinated soft drinks.
  • Fatty, processed foods are low in fiber and harder to digest. Longer digestion times raise your body’s temperature and can trigger more perspiration.
  • Spicy foods.

5. Drink Your Water

Don’t skimp on your water consumption. Water contributes to just about every critical body function. When you don’t get enough water to keep your body running smoothly, it can lead to stress and anxiety. In fact, dehydration and stress go hand-in-hand. Stay hydrated to keep anxiety and sweat at bay.

6. Consider a Home Remedy

Home remedies for controlling sweat include herbal products like sage, chamomile, valerian root, and St. John’s Wort. When applied to the skin, apple cider vinegar is an astringent that can contract skin pores. Tomato juice is thought to have the same astringent effect as apple cider vinegar. Other natural treatments include tea tree oil (another astringent), fresh lemon rubbed on your underarms, and applying cornstarch, baking soda, or baby powder to sweaty areas. These remedies may be less effective if your sweat is caused by an anxiety disorder. But give them a try; they may work for you.

7. Splash Some Cool Water on Your Face and Wrists

Breaking away to a restroom for a few moments to splash some cool water on your face and wrists can help reduce profuse sweating caused by anxiety. Cooling your face and wrists signals the body that its internal temperature is okay. Also, taking, a minute or two away from the action will provide time to take a few deep breaths, slow down your breathing, and can help you relax.

8. Carry a Handkerchief or Baby Wipes

This is a simple but effective way of temporarily dealing with excessive sweat. When you experience forehead sweat or sweaty palms, a handkerchief can mop up profuse sweat before it becomes noticeable. If you can duck into a nearby restroom, a baby wipe can be used to clean up under your arms or wipe away nervous sweating.

9. Use a Prescription-Strength Antiperspirant

Applying a prescription-strength antiperspirant helps prevent sweat before it can cause you anxiety. A prescription-strength antiperspirant, like SweatBlock, can eliminate armpit sweat for up to 7 days. The powerful aluminum chloride ingredient blocks sweat glands and prevents perspiration from reaching the skin’s surface. Wetness and bad odor are prevented before they even happen. And now, there are specially formulated antiperspirant creams that can be applied to the hands and feet as well.

10. Anxiety Medications

If your profuse sweating is caused by stress, anxiety medication may help. Benzodiazepines are often prescribed for panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, and social anxiety disorder. Brand names include Xanax, Librium, Klonopin, Valium, and Ativan.

11. Other More Invasive and Expensive Treatments

If none of these remedies are helping you, it may be time to consider other more complex treatments. These medical treatments can be expensive and require a doctor’s care.

Botox Injections

Botox is a neurotoxin made from botulism microbes. Botox injected directly into the areas where sweating is a problem blocks the nerves from communicating with the sweat glands. While effective, Botox injections must be repeated every 6 months or so to prevent chronic anxiety sweat.

Microwave Therapy

Microwave therapy makes use of a device that sucks sweat glands close to the surface of the skin and then destroys them with microwave energy. A qualified doctor must perform this procedure.

Anticholinergic Drugs

Anticholinergic drugs work to block the hormone the nervous system uses to send signals to your sweat glands. When the signals are blocked, you don’t experience sweating of any kind. These drugs are expensive and come with a number of unwanted side effects.

Sweat Gland Surgery

As a final and last resort, doctors can surgically remove your sweat glands from the sites most prone to excessive and uncontrolled sweating. There are some potentially serious drawbacks to this procedure, and that’s why it’s reserved for only the most serious cases.

Dealing with Anxiety Sweating

Everybody experiences anxiety from time to time. But when anxiety takes control of your life and leads to excessive sweating (which in turn causes more anxiety), there are steps you can take to minimize your stress and calm your sweat glands.

The information in this article should better inform and educate about anxiety sweating and what can be done to curtail or eliminate it. Seek to understand the cause of your anxiety and try these tips for reducing sweating and staying calm. One of these solutions is bound to work for you. Think how much better life could be when anxiety sweating is no longer a problem. With the help of these remedies, you’ll be able to calm your mind–and your sweat glands.

If you suffer from hyperhidrosis (also known as excessive sweating), you’ve likely heard of Iontophoresis. This unique hyperhidrosis treatment can be very effective in reducing the symptoms of hyperhidrosis.

We won’t lie, iontophoresis is a bit odd. For this reason, we’ve made a list of the most common questions about iontophoresis. Hopefully the answers will help you in your quest to stop unwanted sweat.

Iontophoresis

Iontophoresis: Frequently Asked Questions

  • 1. What is iontophoresis? Who invented it and when?
  • 2. How does iontophoresis therapy work?
  • 3. Does iontophoresis work for hyperhidrosis?
  • 4. How often should I have treatments?
  • 5. When will iontophoresis start working?
  • 6. What areas of the body can be treated with iontophoresis?
  • 7. Can iontophoresis work on my underarms?
  • 8. What is an iontophoresis patch and how does it work?
  • 9. Does iontophoresis hurt?
  • 10. Can I be electrically shocked by iontophoresis?
  • 11. Is the iontophoresis treatment permanent?
  • 12. Are there side effects from iontophoresis?
  • 13. Who performs iontophoresis?
  • 14. Will my insurance pay for iontophoresis?
  • 15. How much do iontophoresis treatments cost?
  • 16. What is the best iontophoresis machine for me?
  • 17. How much will an iontophoresis machine cost and where can I buy one?
  • 18. What if I’m pregnant? (and other iontophoresis contraindications)
  • 19. What other hyperhidrosis treatments can I try?

1. What is iontophoresis? Who invented it and when?

Iontophoresis is a medical procedure which uses a mild electrical current to gently push medications through the skin while the treated body area is submerged in water. You might think of it as an injection without a needle.

The procedure is most often used to treat hyperhidrosis or uncontrolled, profuse sweating. It can also be used to treat injuries related to sports by delivering anti-inflammatory medicines directly through the skin.

The idea of using weak electrical energy to deliver medicine dates back to the mid-18th century. Significant progress was made by several researchers in the 19th century and the concept gained serious traction soon after.

In the early 1900’s, Dr. Stéphan Leducafter, a French physician, published a series of scientific papers on the subject. Other contributors to the science were Benjamin Ward Richardson, Hermann Munk, William James Morton, and Fritz Frankenhäuser.

Recently, researchers have given iontophoresis a fancy new name: “electrically-assisted transdermal drug delivery.” This is what too many years of education can do. 😉

2. How does iontophoresis therapy work?

Iontophoresis works on the principle of ions. In this instance, the ions are water-soluble substances that carry either a positive or negative charge. Like the poles of a magnet, the positive electrode repels and the negative electrode attracts.

By running a mild galvanic (direct) current through a shallow container of water, an ion can be pushed into the skin if the active electrode has the same charge as the target ion.

The principle is the same as when two positive ends of a magnet push away from each other when they are placed together.

Because the skin is an excellent barrier and protects the body from outside intrusion, iontophoresis has limited value in delivering medications directly into the skin.

Generally speaking, a patient receiving iontophoresis treatment for hyperhidrosis sits with one or both hands or feet immersed in a shallow pan or tray filled with tap water.

Normally anticholinergic medicines are placed in the water that block the transmission of nerve signals to the sweat glands. By stimulating the iontophoresis electrodes, the electrical current “pushes” the medication into the skin. Treatments can last from 15 to 40 minutes.

3. Does iontophoresis work for hyperhidrosis?

The short answer is yes. While iontophoresis has limited usefulness in treating other conditions, it can be effective in treating certain types of primary or focal hyperhidrosis.

The procedure is routinely used for the treatment of palmar hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating of the hands) and plantar hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating of the feet).

4. How often should I have treatments?

Always consult with your doctor before beginning a regimen of iontophoresis treatments. Usually, the process is repeated 3 times a week in the beginning, and until sweating is reduced to the desired degree. Then patients are switched to a schedule of one treatment each week.

To maintain effectiveness, treatments must be consistent and performed regularly before your sweating begins to return.

5. When will iontophoresis start working?

Patience is a virtue. That may not be a comforting thought as you deal with excessive, unrelenting sweating, but it’s important to keep in mind. How long it takes to see results varies significantly from person to person.

Some patients report positive results in the first day of treatment. For others, it may require three to four weeks of consistent treatment before the sweating is significantly reduced.

Most patients see a discernable difference by the end of the first week. If it’s going to work for you, that’s the benchmark to keep in mind. Long-term improvement is usually achieved after a few weeks of regular treatments.

6. What areas of the body can be treated with iontophoresis?

Iontophoresis has been used to treat hyperhidrosis since the 1940’s. Most medical studies have focused on the procedure for hyperhidrosis of the feet (plantar) and the hands (palmar). Fewer studies have examined hyperhidrosis of the armpits (axillary).

In one year-long study of 27 patients with palmoplantar hyperhidrosis (affecting the hands and feet), there was a “good” response. Desired improvement took from 2 to 4 weeks.

In every successful case, ongoing treatment was necessary to maintain dryness. When used correctly, iontophoresis can have a positive effect on 85% to 90% of hyperhidrosis patients.

7. Can iontophoresis work on my underarms?

The evidence collected so far shows that iontophoresis of the underarms might be an effective option for some people. The International Hyperhidrosis Society notes that iontophoresis is generally less effective than other methods for managing underarm sweating.

A clinical strength antiperspirant may be more effective in treating excessive underarm sweating.

8. What is an iontophoresis patch and how does it work?

An iontophoresis patch is an electrodynamic patch made from fabric material mingled with photovoltaic cells. Micro-currents are created by the transdermal patch when it comes in contact with the skin.

These currents use the iontophoresis principle to suppress the sweat glands from secreting sweat. Iontophoretic patches can be used on hands and feet, but are especially suited for underarm iontophoresis treatments.

A pouch containing a dosage of medication can be attached to an iontophoresis patch which delivers the medication directly through the skin.

Iontophoresis dexamethasone is a cortisone-like medication that is often used in conjunction with this treatment. It can provide relief from inflammation and helps prevent unwanted side effects.

Sometimes a Diclofenac gel is applied topically to reduce the inflammation.

The ActivaPatch is a self-contained single-use drug delivery patch that contains an electrical source (a battery), electrode and chamber into which desired medicines can be placed.

Once adhered to the skin in the desired location, it can provide up to 2.5 hours of iontophoresis treatment.

9. Does iontophoresis hurt?

No, iontophoresis treatments are not known to cause pain. But at the same time, it’s not what you would call “pleasant” either. When performed correctly, the treatment is rarely painful, though many patients report feeling mildly uncomfortable.

You will likely experience a tingling sensation during the process. Be sure you don’t have any open sores or wounds in the area to be treated.

The sensation will be much stronger if the current passes through open skin. You can cover any open skin with petroleum jelly to protect it.

10. Can I be electrically shocked by iontophoresis?

You can’t be seriously electrically shocked, but you may feel surprised by the tingling. The voltage of the electrical current used in iontophoresis is low and not strong enough to cause a harmful shock.

But if it’s not done correctly, or if you remove your hands or feet from the water during treatment– or if equipment malfunctions– the sensation might be a trifle unexpected.

You may temporarily experience minor heel pain during an improper foot treatment, for example. Be sure to remove any metal jewelry beforehand.

As the electrical current is increased, any unpleasant sensation will increase. But you’ll be in control and you’ll be able to decrease the current if the treatment becomes too uncomfortable.

It’s a good idea to have another person present during treatments. If you’re using an iontophoresis machine at home, be sure to completely read the manufacturer’s user guide and follow all suggested instructions and precautions.

11. Is the iontophoresis treatment permanent?

No, iontophoresis for hyperhidrosis is not a permanent solution. After the initial treatment period when the desired level of sweat reduction is achieved, maintenance treatments must be continued indefinitely (usually once a week).

It is important not to wait until the excessive sweating returns. Permanent hyperhidrosis treatments require more invasive treatments or surgical options.

12. Are there side effects from iontophoresis?

While iontophoresis is a safe and relatively pain-free treatment, some patients may experience some minor adverse effects. The good news is that any side effects are easily alleviated and generally not serious. The most common side effect is itching and drying of the skin.

Apply a moisturizing cream or lotion after each treatment to hydrate and soothe dry skin. Other possible side effects include blistering, skin irritation and peeling.

13. Who performs iontophoresis?

Many primary care or family practice doctors can administer the iontophoresis treatments. Some neurologists, internists, and surgeons will also offer the treatment. Seeking out a dermatologist will probably be your best bet.

After initial treatments performed by a qualified physician, it is not uncommon for patients to continue treatments at home with equipment that can be purchased for personal use.

14. Will my insurance pay for iontophoresis?

That depends on your insurance carrier. Sadly, iontophoresis for hyperhidrosis is a treatment that some insurance carriers consider unproven or investigational.

If that’s the case for you, you’ll have to pay out-of-pocket. Some physicians will allow you to negotiate the cost of treatment if your insurance will not cover it.

15. How much do iontophoresis treatments cost?

Iontophoresis treatments in a doctor’s office will set you back about $150 to $200 per session. Costs can vary significantly depending on the selected practitioner and location. It’s going to cost you more in Los Angeles than in Fargo, North Dakota.

If you decide to administer the treatments yourself after your initial doctor visits, you can purchase your own equipment. When you consider the cost of several treatments at the doctor’s office, this investment can be a cost-saving alternative.

16. What is the best iontophoresis machine for me?

The best machine for your specific condition depends on a lot of variables. Be aware that the manufacturer of any iontophoresis device is going to claim that their machine is the best. Here are important factors to consider when looking to purchase an iontophoresis machine for home use:

  • Affordability – Find a device that works within your budget. You’ll find many that will work.
  • Machine size – If the machine will be used at home, size may not be an issue. If you travel a lot, you’ll want something you can pack and take with you.
  • Safety – Find a machine that has safety features that eliminate the possibility of electrical shock.
  • Timers – The duration of treatments is critical to potential success. An onboard timer will be helpful in making sure treatments aren’t too short or too long.
  • Power source – Some machines are battery powered only. Replacing those batteries can be expensive.
  • Warranty and Service – Choose a machine that includes a warranty (at least 12 months) and be sure the manufacturer offers a user-friendly customer service program.

17. How much will an iontophoresis machine cost and where can I buy one?

A quality iontophoresis machine with basic features should cost somewhere between $500 – $700. If your budget won’t allow for an investment of several hundred dollars, there are low-cost machines available online starting at about $100.

Be cautious of low-priced machines, as safety features and build quality may have not been high on the maker’s priority list. Do your research. There are many choices available online, and they can also be purchased from local medical supply brick-and-mortar stores.

Also, if you’re handy, it’s fairly simple and easy to build one of your own.

18. What if I’m pregnant? (and other iontophoresis contraindications)

Always consult a doctor before commencing iontophoresis treatments. There are several conditions and situations for which either extra caution or total avoidance of the treatment are necessary.

  • If you wear a pacemaker – The electrical current used in iontophoresis, although mild, may interfere with a pacemaker.
  • Pregnancy – Iontophoresis has not been tested on pregnant women. If you’re pregnant, iontophoresis treatments are not recommended.
  • Metal orthopedic implants – Because electrical current will pass through the parts of the body being treated, any metal implants in those areas can cause problems. Talk to your physician about the treatment if you have any metal implants in your body.
  • Cardiac arrhythmia – Electrical impulses trigger your heart to beat. If you have an irregular heart condition, you should avoid iontophoresis unless your doctor specifically recommends it and supervises the treatment.
  • Skin rash or disease – Iontophoresis therapy should be avoided if a skin rash or skin disease is present in the affected areas.

19. What other hyperhidrosis treatments can I try?

Iontophoresis is considered a tier 3 treatment. That means there are other treatments for hyperhidrosis that are recommended before resorting to the use of an iontophoresis machine.

One of the most effective treatments for hyperhidrosis is a clinical strength antiperspirant like SweatBlock. It is highly effective for controlling underarm sweating, as well as hand, feet, and head sweating.

Clinical strength antiperspirants are not expensive, and they’re easy to use, and they’re readily available online and in local drugstores.

There are other hyperhidrosis treatments that may be worth considering. Many are more expensive and more invasive than iontophoresis. These include Botox injections, and using electromagnetic or microwave energy for killing sweat glands.

Irreversible surgery is also an option. Once again, talking with a doctor about your specific situation is the best course of action. He or she can prescribe the treatment that best suits you.

The Bottom Line

Iontophoresis is a widely accepted and proven treatment for sufferers of hyperhidrosis. Whether it’s a good treatment for you will depend on the seriousness of your sweating condition and other symptom relief treatments you may have already tried.

Now that you have a better understanding of iontophoresis, you’ll be able to make an informed decision about how best to treat your hyperhidrosis. You do have options, and the good news is that there’s a treatment that will likely work well for you. Don’t give up… life can be good again!

Are you sweating profusely for no apparent reason? Is it the kind of sweating that can’t be explained by exercise or external temperature– or even unusual stress?

The cause of your excessive sweating may be diaphoresis.

In this article we’ll explore the following topics surrounding diaphoresis…

  • What is Diaphoresis?
  • What Causes Diaphoresis?
  • What Medications Can Cause Diaphoresis?
  • How is Diaphoresis Different than Hyperhidrosis?
  • When Should I Get Medical Help or Talk to My Doctor?
  • What are the Treatment Options for Diaphoresis?

Why do we sweat? Sweating is the natural way the body manages and regulates its temperature. When functioning normally, your body perspires when you’re engaged in exertion or physical exercise, exposed to external heat, and even when you’re feeling unusual mental or emotional stress.

When you perspire, your brain signals the millions of sweat glands located all over your body (except ear canals, lips, and genitals) to secret moisture composed mostly of water and electrolytes. Once this sweat reaches the surface of the skin, it evaporates. The evaporation of your sweat dissipates heat which in turn cools the body.

If unusual and excessive sweating occurs for no apparent reason, then something else is going on. It may be primary hyperhidrosis (more about that later) or diaphoresis. It’s important to understand the difference to know exactly what’s happening with your body.

Diaphoresis

What is Diaphoresis?

Diaphoresis is excessive sweating caused by one or more secondary (meaning separate and not related) medical conditions. It can also be a side effect of certain medications. Diaphoresis is not a problem of a malfunctioning nervous system or overactive sweat glands, and treating it successfully usually requires medical attention to discover the specific cause.

Diaphoresis is also known as secondary hyperhidrosis because it is a symptom of a secondary disorder. Once the cause is identified and properly treated, the excessive sweating stops.

What Causes Diaphoresis?

There are dozens of diseases and medical conditions that can cause diaphoresis. Some of the most common causes are:

Menopause

A majority of women (85% or more) experience periods of increased sweating, night sweats, and hot flashes during menopause. As a woman transitions from fertility to infertility, fluctuating hormones send false signals to the brain that the body is overheating. This results in excessive perspiration and night sweats. Once the menopausal change progresses, the bouts of profuse sweating and night sweats usually cease. Some women find relief through hormone therapy for a short time.

Obesity

Obesity can cause diaphoresis in both men and women. Defined as having a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher, obesity is very common in the United States and affects one-third of all adults. Losing sufficient weight almost always causes the excessive sweating to stop.

Diabetes

For people with diabetes, sweating profusely is an early symptom of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). Critically low blood sugar is a result of either too much insulin or too little sugar. This causes the body to lapse into a fight-or-flight state, releasing hormones that increase sweating. Proper management of diabetes significantly reduces the occurrence of diaphoresis.

Parkinson’s Disease

Coping with Parkinson’s disease is very difficult, but when you add excessive sweating to the equation it becomes even worse. Parkinson’s disease affects the autonomic nervous system, causing the body to lose its ability to properly regulate many body functions. Changes in the sweat glands often occur and can cause Parkinson’s sufferers to sweat uncontrollably.

Pregnancy

Increased hormone levels (some may say raging hormones) in a woman’s body during pregnancy can cause heavy perspiration. As a pregnant woman’s metabolism speeds up, her body temperature rises, which can cause abnormal sweating. The extra weight gained during pregnancy may also increase the likelihood of diaphoresis. Fortunately, it’s only a 9-month-long condition, then the sweat glands return to normal.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that affects the body’s joints, causing swelling, pain, and stiffness. A common symptom of this disorder is excessive sweating.

Hyperthyroidism

Hyperthyroidism is a medical condition in which the thyroid gland shifts into hyperactivity, producing too much of the hormone thyroxine. The overabundance of thyroxine speeds up the body’s metabolism and causes heavy sweating (among a number of other symptoms).

Heart Attack

A heart attack, aka myocardial infarction, happens when a portion of your heart muscle becomes damaged or dies. Symptoms include heavy sweating, faintness, chest pain, pain in one or both arms, shortness of breath, nausea or vomiting, and a pale or ashen colored face.

Cancer

Diaphoresis is linked to several types of cancer. Among them are lymphoma, leukemia, bone cancer, liver cancer, testicular cancer, as well as carcinoid tumors.

Anaphylaxis

Anaphylaxis is an intense and acute allergic reaction. One of the first signs of an anaphylaxis reaction is an instant onset of heavy and profuse sweating. Anaphylaxis is a life-threatening reaction that requires immediate attention and treatment.

Alcohol and Drug Withdrawal

Profuse sweating often occurs when those addicted to alcohol or drugs go through withdrawal. Going “cold turkey” not only leads to excessive sweating but also includes other reactions that can be temporarily life-threatening.

Gout

Diaphoresis (secondary hyperhidrosis) can also be caused by gout. Gout is a common form of arthritis that develops from high levels of uric acid in the blood. It can strike anyone. In addition to excessive sweating, other symptoms of gout include sudden swelling and joint pain, usually in the big toe.

What Medications Can Cause Diaphoresis?

There are hundreds of medicines that have been known to cause excessive sweating. The most common medicines that can cause diaphoresis include:

Antidepressants

All varieties and classes of antidepressants may cause diaphoresis. Antidepressants increase serotonin levels in the brain. Serotonin affects the hypothalamus, which is the part of the brain that regulates the body’s core temperature.

Migraine Medication

Medicine for migraines can cause excessive sweating if they contain triptan– such as sumatriptan, rizatriptan, frovatriptan and eletriptan. These substances also increase serotonin levels.

Pain Relievers

Aspirin or ibuprofen are known to cause excessive sweating. The over-the-counter pain medicines reduce a fever by dilating blood vessels, causing heat to be dissipated through the skin. Opioids may also cause heavy sweating.

Diabetes Medication

Insulin, glyburide, glipizide, pioglitazone, and other diabetes medication are known to cause diaphoresis. Heavy sweating can occur as the body adjusts to altered blood sugar levels.

Asthma Inhalers

Certain asthma inhalers which contain beta-agonist drugs may trigger excessive sweating. Albuterol and levalbuterol directly stimulate sweat glands to produce more sweat.

Heartburn Medication

Heartburn and reflux medicines like Prilosec and Prevacid are known to cause sweating as a side effect.

Sildenafil (Viagra)

Viagra, known as sildenafil in its generic form, may also cause diaphoresis. The drug dilates blood vessels to heighten blood flow, which can cause flushing and spontaneous sweating.

Ropinirole

Also known as Requip, this medication is commonly prescribed to treat restless leg syndrome and Parkinson’s disease. It activates dopamine receptors which can lead to profuse sweating.

Breast Cancer Medication

Excessive sweating can be a side effect of certain breast cancer medications, such as anastrozole, exemestane, letrozole, and tamoxifen. These drugs are anti-estrogen compounds designed to prevent breast cancer from recurring.

Leuprolide

Luprolide, known commercially as the brand name Lupron, is a drug prescribed to treat endometriosis and prostate cancer. It lowers hormone levels in both men and women and can lead to heavy sweating and night sweats.

How is Diaphoresis Different than Hyperhidrosis?

There are two types of hyperhidrosis– primary hyperhidrosis (also called focal hyperhidrosis) and secondary hyperhidrosis (sometimes called generalized hyperhidrosis).

Diaphoresis and secondary hyperhidrosis are synonymous they are different medical terms for the same condition. But diaphoresis is different from primary (focal) hyperhidrosis. Let’s explore how diaphoresis is like secondary hyperhidrosis but different from primary hyperhidrosis.

Primary or focal hyperhidrosis is a serious medical disorder that is characterized by excessive, uncontrollable sweating not related to heat or exercise. Recent research indicates that it affects about 5% or the world’s population. It can be focused on the underarms (axillary hyperhidrosis), the hands or palms (palmar hyperhidrosis), the feet (plantar hyperhidrosis) or the head and face (craniofacial hyperhidrosis).

What causes primary hyperhidrosis is unknown, but it is thought to be hereditary. The nervous system triggers localized sweat glands, known as eccrine glands, into hyperactivity for no apparent reason and without external stimuli such as elevated body temperature and exertion. This extreme perspiration can negatively affect the physical, emotional, mental and social aspects of life. There is no cure. However, there are numerous effective treatments that can reduce or eliminate the excessive sweating due to primary hyperhidrosis.

The cause of secondary hyperhidrosis, or diaphoresis, is something else entirely. While the symptoms of diaphoresis and primary hyperhidrosis are identical– profuse, uncontrollable sweating– diaphoresis is caused by a secondary or underlying cause not related to over-active sweat glands. The possible causes include the disorders and medications identified above as well as dozens of other less common ones. Unlike primary hyperhidrosis, once the underlying disorder is successfully treated, the excessive sweating usually stops.

When Should I Get Medical Help or Talk to My Doctor?

It’s normal to sweat when you work out, become hot, or find yourself in a nervous or anxious situation such as a job interview, important presentation, or on a first date. Nervous sweating is also normal, though darn inconvenient at times. But you should become concerned if you find yourself frequently soaking through your shirts or socks, or trying to hide your perpetually wet, clammy hands. Yes, it’s embarrassing, but thankfully your excessive sweating can be treated. Don’t suffer in silence out of shyness or shame. Start by seeing your primary care doctor. He or she can refer you to a specialist if necessary.

What are the Treatment Options for Diaphoresis?

The best and most effective treatment of diaphoresis is to treat the underlying disease or disorder that is triggering the profuse sweating.

In the meantime, here are some remedies that may help reduce your excessive sweating. When it comes to some of these natural and home remedies, your mileage may vary. The International Hyperhidrosis Society has concluded there is “little research to recommend such natural remedies, but this does not discount their potential.”

Natural Remedies for Treating Diaphoresis

Camphor

Camphor was once made by distilling wood from the camphor tree. Today it is synthesized chemically. It’s used in such products as Vicks VapoRub. Dissolve a small portion of camphor or some camphor oil in some fractionated coconut oil. Apply the mixture to affected areas and leave it on the skin for 40 to 60 minutes. Then wash the area gently with cool, clean water. Camphor can also be added to bath water to help reduce sweating.

Vinegar

When applied directly to your skin, vinegar acts as an astringent that eliminates many bacteria and will also close up pores. Use a cotton ball to dab a little apple cider vinegar on the desired areas overnight. Simply wash it off when you shower or bathe in the morning.

Tomato Juice

A glass of tomato juice or a tomato-rich diet can help control profuse sweating by regulating your internal body temperature.

Green and Black Tea

Green tea contains magnesium and vitamin B. These act as astringents and constrict sweat glands. A cup of green tea in the morning may help reduce sweating. Black tea is also an astringent. Brew one or two black tea bags, allowing the tea to steep for 10 minutes. Apply the tea directly to your underarms with a clean washcloth.

Essential Oils

Those who prefer natural remedies often recommend essential oils as a remedy for excessive sweating. If you want to try essential oils, you should thoroughly study the potential benefits and hazards of each beforehand.

Here are 3 of the most popular essential oils for controlling sweat:

  • Sage oil has long been used to ease the symptoms of menopause.
  • Cistus oil is an astringent that can shrink pores.
  • Clary Sage oil contains linalyl acetate which has calming properties.

Other Effective Remedies

There are several effective remedies for primary hyperhidrosis. However, because of their permanence, expense, or invasiveness, they likely wouldn’t be appropriate for treating diaphoresis. It’s important to remember that curing diaphoresis means identifying and successfully treating the underlying, unrelated disease or disorder that triggers the excessive sweating.

Short of overcoming the disorder that’s responsible for diaphoresis, here are two remedies that can treat the profuse sweating without permanently altering, removing or destroying sweat glands:

Clinical-Strength or Prescription-Strength Antiperspirants

These powerful antiperspirant products, like SweatBlock, are different than the antiperspirants you find on the shelves of your local grocery or drug store. They contain higher concentrations of the aluminum chloride, a compound that temporarily blocks the sweat glands from secreting sweat. When aluminum chloride comes in contact with water (your sweat), it forms a gel-like plug that blocks sweat from reaching the surface of the skin. A single application of a prescription strength antiperspirant may last up to a week before it must be reapplied.

Botox Injections

Botox is a natural, purified protein that can temporarily impede the chemical that “turns on” the body’s sweat glands. It blocks the nerves that cause sweating. Botox injections are shallow and the medicine is injected just below the surface of the skin. The desired effects will last 6 to 12 months before the treatment must be repeated. While effective, this treatment is very expensive and can be painful.

A Final Note

Diaphoresis, by definition, is always caused by another illness or medication. The best treatment is always to identify and appropriately treat the underlying condition. Once that happens, the excessive sweating almost always stops. If treatment for the secondary cause is not possible or requires a prolonged period to take effect, there are treatments and remedies that can help in the meantime. Talk to your doctor about your symptoms and available treatment options.

When sweating reaches epic proportions, you need something more than pedestrian store-shelf antiperspirants. You need a heavy weight contender – a prescription, or prescription “strength” antiperspirant. Here’s your guide to prescription-only and clinical strength antiperspirants.

prescription antiperspirant

What is prescription antiperspirant?

As the name implies, prescription antiperspirants require a prescription and a doctor’s supervision. They cannot be purchased anywhere but a pharmacy. The concentration of active aluminum ingredient in these products is generally around 20%. Prescription options are not to be taken lightly. Misuse of prescription antiperspirants can lead to serious unwanted side effects. (we’ll talk about this later)

How does prescription antiperspirant work?

All antiperspirants, regardless of brand name or strength level, use aluminum salt as the active ingredient. The most common aluminum salt compounds found in today’s antiperspirants are aluminum chloride, aluminum chlorohydrate, aluminum chloride hexaydrate and aluminum zirconium tricholorhydrex glycine.

While the effectiveness of these varies, each of these aluminum compounds works to reduce sweating in the same basic way. When they get close to water, in this case perspiration, they soak up the moisture and thicken into a gel-like substance. By spreading aluminum chloride, or one of its cousins, on areas that sweat, the resulting reaction forms a gel-like plug that blocks the sweat glands and prevents sweat from reaching the skin’s surface. Once this happens the body’s feedback mechanism stops the flow of perspiration.

The plugs dissipate over time and the sweat glands begin to function as before. That’s when the antiperspirant must be reapplied. Depending on the strength of the antiperspirant, the reapplication time may range from several hours to several days.

Prescription Antiperspirant vs. Prescription “Strength” Antiperspirant. Is there a difference?

It’s not uncommon for people to confuse the two. But they are different.

Prescription strength simply means really strong. A prescription strength antiperspirant will have more Aluminum salts or use a more potent form of Aluminum. For example, Aluminum Chloride is a lot stronger than Aluminum Zirconium Tetrachlorohydrex (Used in antiperspirants like Dove, Old Spice and Degree.)

Most clinical and prescription strength products will use Aluminum Chloride (usually around 12%-15%)

Prescription Strength and Clinical Strength are often used interchangeably, but they’re pretty much the same thing.

Prescription-only antiperspirants are even stronger, require a prescription, and can only be purchased at a pharmacy. They usually contain a higher concentration of Aluminum Chloride (20% or more) and can be more effective in extreme sweating cases. Last of all, a prescription option will most likely carry with it additional health risks and side effects. (more on this below…)

Prescription Antiperspirant Options:

Some of the more common prescription antiperspirant brands include:

  • Drysol is a popular prescription antiperspirant designed to treat hyperhidrosis and excessive sweating. Can be used on the underarms, scalp, hands, and feet. Active Ingredient: Aluminum chloride hexahydrate (20%)
  • Xerac AC is a topical, prescription-only treatment designed for use on the underarms, palms and feet.
    Active Ingredient: Aluminum Chloride Hexahydrate (6.25%)
  • Formalaz is a sweating treatment specifically designed to combat foot odor and sweat. A prescription-only option for plantar hyperhidrosis or foot sweating. Active ingredient: Formaldehyde (10%)

Prescription antiperspirant is strong stuff and should only be considered after exhausting all other over-the-counter hyperhidrosis and excessive sweating treatments.

Best Prescription Strength Antiperspirants:

Try some of these popular prescription strength and clinical strength antiperspirants before resorting to prescription-only. Many of these products can be purchased online via Amazon or at your local drug store.

  • SweatBlock Clinical Strength Antiperspirant
    The original 7-day antiperspirant wipe. Formulated to reduce excessive sweating and axillary hyperhidrosis. According to users, SweatBlock keeps a person dry for an average of 6.4 days and often works when nothing else will.
    Effective for: Excessive sweating and hyperhidrosis
    Application: Sweat Wipe (Antiperspirant Wipe)
    Active Ingredient: Aluminum Chloride (14%)
  • Driclor
    This another over-the-counter prescription strength option. It’s made in Australia and can be used for treating excessive sweating of the hands, feet and armpits. If you’re worried about sweat stains in your shirt, you’ll want to avoid this one.
    Effective for: Hands, Feet, and Armpit Sweatin
    Application: Roll-on
    Active Ingredient: Aluminum hexahydrate (20%)
  • Certain Dri Prescription Strength
    The strongest antiperspirant in the Certain Dri family. Designed for underarm use and can last up to 72 hours per application.
    Effective for: Underarm Sweating / Axillary Hyperhidrosis
    Application: Roll-on
    Active Ingredient: Aluminum Chloride (12%)
  • Odaban Antiperspirant Spray
    Offers 24-hour protection and may be the strongest non prescription antiperspirant available. It contains high concentrations of aluminum chloride which can increase effectiveness. But with increased effectiveness comes increased chance for skin irritation and burning.
    Effective for: Armpits, Hands, Feet
    Application: Spray
    Active Ingredient: Aluminum chloride (20%)
  • Maxim Prescription Strength Antiperspirant
    Over the counter hyperhidrosis treatment designed for underarm use.
    Effective for: Underarm Sweating / Axillary Hyperhidrosis
    Application: Roll-on
    Active Ingredient: Aluminum Chloride (15%)

If none of the above options work for you, it’s time to look at a prescription only product.

Should I Use a Prescription Strength Antiperspirant?

Choosing a prescription antiperspirant isn’t the same as picking out a pair of shoes or doing price comparisons on vacuum cleaners.

This is a personal question and you and your doctor are the only ones qualified to tackle it. But here’s a few things to consider as you venture down the path of prescription hyperhidrosis treatments.

How severe is your sweating? You wouldn’t be here reading this fascinating article if sweat wasn’t somewhat excessive. But how bad is it? If it’s an occasional inconvenience, you probably don’t need prescription strength. If profuse sweating has transformed you into a cave-dwelling hermit who avoids all social interaction, you’re barking up the right tree.

Which sweating treatments have you already tried? Again, if you’re reading this, you’ve probably tried A LOT. But if you’ve only experimented with Old Spice and Degree, you still have a lot of non prescription options on the table. It’s best to exhaust all over-the-counter antiperspirant options before reaching for a prescription solution.

Have you talked to your doctor? Your doctor will be able to help you more than any blog post or article. If you’ve tried everything and nothing seems relieve your excessive sweating, talk to your doctor about available prescription anti-perspirants.

Ultimately, your doctor will know which antiperspirant options are safe and can guide you through the process of finding one that works best for your body chemistry and severity of sweating.

Prescription Antiperspirant Risks & Side Effects:

The best part about prescription anti-perspirants is that they’re super strong. The worst part… they come with side effects and potential health risks like:

  • Allergic reactions like hives, rash, itching, chest tightness, swelling of the face, lips, tongue or throat.
  • Severe burning, itching, redness or swelling of treated areas.

These precautions should be observed when using Prescription antiperspirants:

  • Always consult a doctor before using any Prescription antiperspirant.
  • Tell your doctor if you are using Antabuse (disulfiram) before using.
  • Do not use any other deodorant or antiperspirant (unless your doctor says otherwise)
  • Avoid getting Prescription antiperspirant in your eyes, nose, mouth or on your lips.
  • Do not use any antiperspirant on irritated or broken skin.
  • Wait at least 24 to 48 hours when applying to shaved areas.
  • Prescription antiperspirants may stain clothing and metal surfaces.
  • It is not known if the use of Drysol and other Prescription antiperspirants may harm an unborn baby.

Alternative Treatments to Prescription Antiperspirant:

It might be worth exploring outside the realm of prescription antiperspirant. Hyperhidrosis has been around for a long time and many treatments have been developed over the years. Their effectiveness varies, but some have proven very efficient at stopping embarrassing sweat. Here’s a few of them…

  • Clinical Strength Antiperspirants. Over-the-counter clinical antiperspirants are stronger than your average Dove or Speedstick, but don’t require a doctor and don’t come with as many side effects or potential health risks. We like this one (wink… wink)
  • Qbrexza Wipe. A prescription-only treatment for axillary hyperhdirosis. This medicated cloth is designed for underarm topical use. It contains a nerve blocking solution that stops underarm sweat in its tracks. It can be extremely effective, but comes with a long list of unwanted side effects.
  • Iontophoresis is a treatment that uses electric currents in water to drive medications into the skin. Can be very effective, yet very expensive.
  • Botox injections in affected areas can curtail sweating for months before they must be repeated. Effective, but painful and not permanent.
  • Miradry is a procedure that uses microwaves to nuke your sweat glands. No more sweat glands leads to no more 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.