Excessive Sweating: Exploring A Sticky Topic

Excessive Sweating: Exploring A Sticky Topic

excessive-sweating-article2When you workout on the treadmill, take a hot yoga class or barely survive a boot camp, you will notice several things happen to your body. Your heart will beat quicker, breathing will be heavier and you will most likely begin to sweat. The human body will sweat in a response to keep itself cool and safe when our internal temperature increases above 98 degrees.

Sweating during exercise is a sign of an efficient cooler and this mechanism is extremely vital for avoiding heat illness such as heat exhaustion, muscle cramping and the most dangerous of all, heat stroke. While fit people produce more sweat than sedentary folks, they can also lose less sodium because more of it is reabsorbed by the body; the result is a more efficient cooler. It is extremely vital that when we exercise we need to replace lost fluids from our body. Water or electrolyte drinks such as Gatorade are both very good choices.

Some people suffer from a condition where they experience frequent or constant excessive sweating; this is called Hyperhidrosis or “Excessive Sweating”. For most people, sweating is both a healthy and very natural response by the body. In contrast, Hyperhidrosis is the secretion of sweat in amounts greater than needed to cool the body. This condition usually affects the palms of the hands, bottoms of the feet and underarms. Besides disrupting normal daily activities, hyperhidrosis can cause social anxiety or embarrassment. Fortunately, there are several options available to help treat sufferers of hyperhidrosis.

In severe cases, surgical procedures can be very effective at stopping hyperhidrosis. The following are some tips that can be helpful if the condition is mild.

  1. If you find that soaps irritate the affected skin, use a bland soap substitute such as an emollient (moisturizer) ointment or cream.
  2. If possible, avoid triggers which can make things worse such as heat or spicy food.

If you have armpit sweating:

  • Try using ‘normal’ antiperspirants regularly. (Note: there is a difference between antiperspirants and deodorants. Antiperspirants reduce the release of sweat, deodorants mask unpleasant smells. Sweat does not have a smell. It is only sweaty clothes that are not changed that may become smelly.)
  • Avoid clothes that more easily show up sweat marks. As a rule, white and black colored clothes are less noticeable when wet than other colors.
  • Wear loose clothing under the armpits. Avoid clothes made with man-made fibers such as Lycra® and nylon.
  • Consider using dress shields (also known as armpit or sweat shields) to absorb excess sweat and protect delicate or expensive clothing.

Vancouver Health Coach