Get a handle on your sweat
By Karen Kwan
Sweating is a healthy part of being, well, alive; it’s how your body cools itself down. Factors including your gender, age, health and physical fitness affect how much you sweat. So while you may soak your gym gear during a hard workout, your partner may just barely perspire no matter what the circumstance, whereas another buddy may drench his business suit just sitting at his desk. No matter what your situation, here are some solutions to help you get your sweaty issues under control.
Apply antiperspirant at nighttime
Antiperspirants commonly feature an aluminum chloride base, which works by blocking the sweat ducts (this prevents sweat from reaching the surface of the skin). Putting on your antiperspirant at night is a good idea because your sweat ducts are less active in the evenings. Your p.m. application will give the active ingredients in the product more time to absorb and clog those ducts than it does if you swipe it on in the morning.
Avoid spicy food
Spicy food may not only make your sweat more pungent, but it can also trigger your body to produce sweat. So if you love spicy food, you may need to lay off it (or eat it only occasionally) if dealing with your sweating is a priority.
Zap-stop your sweat
“The problem with aluminum chloride-based products is that they can be irritating to the skin, so people often abandon using them,” says Toronto-based dermatologist Dr. Julia Carroll. If you tend to have sweaty hands and feet but also have sensitive skin, an alternative method, iontophoresis, may be the route for you. It involves sending a mild electric current through water and through the skin to lessen your sweat production. You can find physiotherapists who offer the treatment, and there are devices you can use at home as well.
Practise alternative methods for reducing stress
If you find that a big meeting at work or the anxiety of going on a first date makes you a big sweaty mess, start practising methods that allow you to manage your stress levels, such as deep breathing techniques or meditation; this may help you stay drier in the future.
Botox your pits
Excessive sweating is an actual medical condition called hyperhidrosis. “For some people, it can be all-consuming,” says Dr. Carroll. She most commonly treats patients who are concerned about their excessive sweating with Botox injections. Botox helps by blocking the neurotransmitters that trigger the sweat glands. It starts at about $600 per treatment (check your health insurance; some plans cover a portion of the cost). “It’s done with tiny injections of medical Botox in each armpit, which takes about five minutes each side, and most people don’t sweat excessively for the next nine to 12 months,” says Dr. Carroll.
KAREN KWAN is a freelance health, travel and lifestyle writer based in Toronto. Follow her on Twitter at @healthswellness and on Instagram at @healthandswellness.