Sweat is the clear salty fluid that is secreted by the sudoriferous glands present in the skin. Sweating is a natural process of thermoregulation and cooling down, wherein a comfortable temperature is maintained by the body. The armpits, palms, feet, and scalp are most prone to sweating. The mixture of bacteria with sweat is what presents it with that peculiar odor.
Causes of excessive sweating
People tend to sweat due to increased stress or anxiety; when outdoors in hot weather; during workouts; and when suffering from high body temperature or fever. Excessive sweating may be experienced by many women as they reach the menopausal stage.
Increased sweating without any underlying causes is considered as abnormal. Increased perspiration when not performing any physical activity or during normal environmental temperatures, etc., is a medical condition referred to as hyperhidrosis. The cooling system of the body in people with hyperhidrosis tends to be overactive, thereby causing secretion of nearly 4 time the normal sweat.
Hyperhidrosis can be classified into two types, i.e., primary hyperhidrosis and secondary hyperhidrosis. The former generally occurs because of hereditary reasons and begins during teens. Primary hyperhidrosiscan worsen due to varied causes and conditions, including anxiety, nervousness, nicotine and caffeine use, certain odors, and intake of some kinds of foods.Secondary hyperhidrosis is caused due to disorders like gout, thyroid gland dysfunction, menopause, diabetes mellitus, pituitary gland diseases, low levels of blood sugar, and use of varied medications.
Both types can also get trigger because of wearing tight apparels or those made from silk, nylon and other non-porous fabrics. Such clothing prevent the body from breathing, thereby causing excessive perspiration, especially under the arms.
How to sweat less: Medical and home remedies
Excessive sweating caused due to genetic problems cannot be cured, but the severity of symptoms can be lowered. Most cases of increased perspiration can be treated with home remedies; if sweat problem persists even after 3 weeks of home treatment, then patients need to consult a doctor for treatment.
Some of the common home remedies for increased sweating are listed below:
- Luxuriously apply some tomato pulp under the arms and let it remain for 10 to 15 minutes. Then wash thoroughly with water. Sweating of the armpits will lessen significantly in around 2 weeks.
- Vinegar, particularly apple cider vinegar, can also be applied in the armpits for sweating less. Apply the vinegar on affected areas and wash after 15 minutes.
- Application of lemon juice is one of the best remedies to sweat less. You may apply it on affected areas like the underarms and wash after 15 minutes. You may also leave it overnight. Lemon juice not only reduces excessive sweating, but also removes bad odor.
- Underarm perspiration can be controlled via daily intake of a cup of sage tea.
- Make a paste of eucalyptus and walnut leaves and apply on sweaty areas of the body. Wash after 5 to 10 minutes to get rid of odor and increased perspiration.
- Mix ethyl alcohol and aluminum chloride in equal parts to make a solution. Apply it on armpits before bedtime on a daily basis to treat excessive sweating.
- Avoid caffeinated beverages and spicy foods till you start to sweat less.
- Add some baking soda and some drops of lavender essential oil to water and spray on sweaty body areas on a daily basis. Baking soda helps absorb moisture and sweat, thereby alleviating sweating.
- Wearing cotton clothes allow the armpits and other skin areas to breathe freely, thereby naturally getting rid of excessive sweating.
Doctors may suggest the following treatments for increased perspiration:
- Antiperspirants: Patients may use antiperspirants, especially those containing the chloride hexahydrate chemical, for significant reduction of sweating. Antiperspirants work by entering the pores and blocking the sweat glands, thereby causing people to sweat less. Use them at night for best results. They are available in varied forms including as a stick, glide, roll on, and spray. Choose one of good quality and not a substandard one.
- Oral medicines: Doctors may prescribe anticholinergics like rubinol to sweat less. However, prolonged use of these types of drugs can result in blurred vision and dry mouth.
- Iontophoresis:This treatment procedure is marked by use of water as a conductor to pass mild electric current onto the skin. It does not cause any pain. The therapy works by stopping the abnormal functioning of the sweat glands and restoring it to normalcy. Just a few sessions of iontophoresis will yield positive results. Each session lasts for 20 minutes.Doctors will usually advise an average of 2 to 4 sessions per week, as per the severity of the sweating problem.
- Liposuction: It is used for sweat glands removal, in a specific area like the underarms. Even though the success rate is very high, patients need to consult a doctor about the possible side effects before undergoing the procedure.
- Botox: Botox injections work by blocking the pores. The injections can be very painful and effective treatment for increased sweating may need 20 kinds of injections per session. Also, the treatment needs to be repeated after every 4 months.
- Thoracis sympathectomy: It is a surgical procedure involving destruction tiny sections of the sympathetic nerves that connect to the sweat glands. It is a very risky procedure with numerous side effects such as permanent nerve damage, breathing problems, etc. Hence, consult a doctor before opting for this treatment to sweat less.