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When You Sweat Too Much

Experts share tips to help you cope with heavy sweating.
By
WebMD Feature
Reviewed by Kimball Johnson, MD

When the heat is on or emotions are high, sweating can be a problem and a source of embarrassment.

If you think you sweat too much, you can ask your doctor whether your sweating is normal. If it's due to some underlying cause, such as a medical condition or drug side effect, that can be corrected or changed, says Dee Anna Glaser, MD, a dermatology professor at St. Louis University.

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Once that's done, there are simple steps to help reduce sweating and boost your comfort level. Here are ways to cope with heavy sweating at the gym, on the job, and everywhere you go.

Stopping Heavy Sweating

Here are some tips for stopping your heavy sweating:

Switch to higher-strength deodorants and antiperspirants. Some are prescription only, but you can also get higher strength products over the counter, Glaser says.

Apply deodorants at the best time. "Most of these will work best at night," Glaser says. The active ingredient has to go down into the sweat duct and clog it. If you apply it in the morning, when sweat volume is typically higher, it washes off.

Save your skin. Applying deodorant at night also reduces the chance of skin irritations, Glaser says, and will keep you using it more faithfully.

Sweating During Exercise

There are several ways to deal with sweating during exercise:

Dress to thwart sweat. Choose lightweight, breathable fabrics, such as cottons, Glaser says.

Splurge on athletic clothes. In recent years, clothing for athletes has improved, with new breathable fabrics, Glaser says. Look for those that wick away moisture. The labels typically feature the fabric characteristics prominently.

Wear it once. Don't put on a t-shirt or bike shorts that are soaked with sweat. You need to start out dry to stay dry. Your skin will thank you, too.

Change footwear often. If sweaty feet are a particular problem, be sure to change your shoes and socks often. 

Dust away sweat. Use powders meant for the feet to keep foot moisture and sweat at a minimum.

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What bothers you most about heavy sweating?