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Sweating is a normal human response when we get too hot, but what happens when it gets out of control? While it’s common to perspire in the summer heat or during exercise, it can start to feel out of control when you’re sitting in an air-conditioned room and still have sweaty pits. If you want to beat the heat, or need some control over heavy sweating, try the following tips.
Why is Sweating Important for Humans?
Unlike dogs and other mammals that cool down by panting, humans have sweat glands throughout the body that expel water to regulate their internal temperature. While sweating can be annoying because it soaks our clothing and sometimes makes us smell bad, we’d die without this function. Sweat is generally a good thing, but excessive sweating could be due to illness, anxiety, or heat exhaustion. Hyperhidrosis is another common, non-fatal cause of sweating.
When Does Sweating Become “Excessive”?
Since we come in different shapes and sizes, excessive sweating isn’t easily detected. You’ll usually have a feeling that you’re sweating more than the average person when you compare someone else’s shirt sweat after a run or how quickly the heat can bring on perspiration. If you sweat while at a desk in a room-temperature climate, you probably sweat excessively. Some excessive sweat causes are incurable (hyperhidrosis) but manageable through medical intervention.
How to Reduce Excessive Sweating
Have a Strong or Medically Backed Antiperspirant
A clinical strength antiperspirant, like Duradry, can reduce excessive sweating significantly for hyperhidrosis sufferers. If you don’t have hyperhidrosis but want to reduce the amount you sweat during the summer, switch to an antiperspirant that contains aluminum salts as this ingredient plugs your pores to prevent further perspiration. Deodorants only mask the smell, so avoid these if you want to keep your underarms sweat-free for the whole day.
Wear Lighter Clothing
The clothing you wear can play a big part in how much you sweat. While it’s common sense to remove layers for a hot day, that may not be enough to keep you comfortable. You can either wear as little clothing as possible (aka shorts, shirt, sandals) or choose a fabric, like cotton, that keeps you cool. Avoid wearing dark colors because they absorb thermal energy and create a heat blanket. Stay cool by wearing loose-fitting clothing to allow for better ventilation.
Avoid Spicy Foods
Spicy foods are the bane of a heavy sweater’s existence. Not only will spicy food make your sweat smell worse than average, but it can also make you perspire more. Even foods that most people feel aren’t spicy, like onions and garlic, can also give you smelly pits. It’s best to keep spicy foods for a literal rainy day or as a winter treat. If you’re a guest for dinner, neutralize the heat in spicy foods by adding alkaline oil because it offsets the cooking acids.
Shave Your Armpits/Body
While it’s commonplace for women to shave their armpits, men often hold on to that excess hair, but it may be time to start grooming. Hair holds moisture, and underarm hair is no exception to that rule. If you already sweat excessively, you should shave immediately. However, if you’re also someone who has excess odor in the armpits, even with deodorant, shaving could eliminate it. Hair can sometimes lead to uneven antiperspirant stick or lotion application.
Avoiding spicy foods is pretty easy for the average person, but cutting out smoking and coffee is a whole other issue. They’re addicting and can be difficult to stop cold-turkey. Both substances stimulate your body and raise its internal temperature and make your sweat gland work overtime. While coffee is generally harmless, smoking should be eliminated entirely to avoid other hygiene issues like bad breath and stained teeth. You will also reduce your cancer risk.