As the temperature rises and the days get longer, it becomes crucial to maintain a fresh feeling during the summer months. If you find yourself concerned about the negative impacts of sweating and facing difficulties in staying cool, here is a comprehensive guide on excessive sweating and effective ways to minimise it.

Why do we sweat?

Sweating is a natural response of the body to cool down, triggered by factors such as hot weather, intense physical activity, hormonal changes, and emotions. It plays a vital role in regulating body temperature by evaporating perspiration.

Sweat primarily consists of water, making up about 99% of its composition. However, it also contains small amounts of electrolytes like sodium chloride, potassium, bicarbonate, calcium, magnesium, ammonia, and urea.

There are two main types of sweat glands: eccrine and apocrine glands. Eccrine glands, which are widespread across the body, produce sweat that is mostly water. The presence of excess salt and proteins gives eccrine sweat a salty taste. Sweat tends to be more concentrated on the soles of the feet, forehead, and palms.

Apocrine glands, found in areas like the armpits, groyne, and chest, are responsible for body odour and the release of pheromones. These glands secrete oily substances that are deposited through hair follicles, which explains their presence in hairier regions. Since bacteria and odour can get trapped in hair follicles, these areas often have a stronger scent.

Sweat glands are crucial for maintaining a constant core body temperature, typically around 36 to 37 degrees Celsius. When the body becomes excessively hot, the natural heat regulation process can be overwhelmed, leading to hyperthermia, which is the opposite of hypothermia.

What is excessive sweating a sign of?

Excessive sweating, night sweats, and heat intolerance can be associated with certain medical conditions, including hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid), diabetes, hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), and hyperhidrosis. Obesity and alcoholism can also contribute to episodes of heavy sweating.

What are the main causes of excessive sweating?

  1. anxiety.
  2. infections.
  3. certain medications.
  4. low blood sugar (hypoglycaemia)
  5. pregnancy or the menopause.
  6. an overactive thyroid gland (hyperthyroidism)

How to stop excessive sweating?

While there is no cure for heavy sweating, there are professional and natural methods available to manage excessive sweating effectively.

To naturally reduce sweating, it is advisable to opt for breathable and lightweight fabrics like cotton and linen, avoiding tight synthetic materials such as nylon. Paying attention to footwear is crucial, especially for sweaty feet associated with hyperhidrosis. Open-toed shoes and mesh-based footwear can aid in reducing bacteria, odour, and sweat buildup. Wearing absorbent socks and choosing white or black clothing can also help conceal the effects of heavy sweating, providing temporary comfort.

Incorporating certain lifestyle changes can also help minimise sweating. Switching from deodorant to antiperspirant is recommended, as antiperspirants offer protection against both odor and wetness. These products contain active ingredients like aluminium chlorohydrate and aluminium zirconium, which temporarily block sweat glands.

For those seeking natural remedies, acidic foods like lemon and apple cider vinegar can be used topically on affected areas to eliminate bacteria and close pores. It’s worth noting that spicy foods, alcohol, and caffeine may exacerbate sweating, so avoiding these items can potentially reduce adverse effects. These foods stimulate the adrenal glands, leading to increased body temperature and triggering the body’s heat regulation response, resulting in sweat production. Sweat shields can also be used to conceal excessive sweating, providing a physical barrier to hide sweat stains and dampness.


Antidepressants: Some antidepressant medications, such as certain selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), can help manage excessive sweating as a side effect. These medications can regulate the neurotransmitters involved in sweat production, thereby reducing sweating in some individuals.

Botulinum toxin injections: Botulinum toxin, commonly known as Botox, can be injected into specific areas affected by excessive sweating, such as the underarms, palms, or soles of the feet. The toxin blocks the nerve signals responsible for activating the sweat glands, effectively reducing sweat production in the treated area.

Prescription antiperspirant: Prescription-strength antiperspirants contain higher concentrations of active ingredients, such as aluminum chloride, than over-the-counter options. These stronger antiperspirants can be applied to the affected areas to temporarily block sweat ducts, reducing excessive sweating.

Prescription creams and wipes: Certain prescription creams and wipes containing anticholinergic agents, such as glycopyrrolate, can be used topically to inhibit sweat gland activity. These products can help control sweating when applied to specific areas prone to excessive perspiration.

Nerve-blocking medications: Medications like anticholinergics or beta blockers can be prescribed to block the nerve signals that trigger sweat gland activation. By interrupting these signals, nerve-blocking medications can help reduce excessive sweating.


Q1: Are there any natural remedies for excessive sweating?

Ans: Natural remedies include using lemon or apple cider vinegar topically and avoiding spicy foods and caffeine.

Q2: Can prescription antiperspirants help with excessive sweating?

Ans: Yes, prescription antiperspirants containing higher concentrations of active ingredients can be effective.

Q3: How do botulinum toxin injections work for excessive sweating?

Ans: Botulinum toxin injections block nerve signals to sweat glands, reducing sweat production in treated areas.

Q4: Do antidepressants help with excessive sweating?

Ans: Certain antidepressants can indirectly reduce excessive sweating as a side effect.

By anupam

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