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Keeping Cool with Hyperhidrosis

Updated on June 19, 2021
Medically reviewed by
Kevin Berman, M.D., Ph.D.
Article written by
Annie Keller
Article written by
Laurie Berger

The excessive sweating of hyperhidrosis can be even worse in hot weather. Sweat is usually most visible on the underarms, hands, and face, and warmer temperatures can make heavy sweating even more noticeable. The International Hyperhidrosis Society lists physical exercise, stress, and hormones as factors that can cause sweating. Spicy foods and high body temperature are also sweat triggers.

Why Do People Sweat?

The body sweats to remove excess heat. If a person doesn’t sweat enough, or at all, the body has no means to cool itself down and is subject to overheating. Heatstroke — when the body cannot cool down and body temperature is at 104 F or above — can also result. When the body creates more sweat than is needed to cool off, this is hyperhidrosis. Most of the time, hyperhidrosis doesn’t have a known cause, although certain medicines and medical conditions can cause it.

How Does Excessive Sweating Affect Members?

Excessive sweating is physically uncomfortable and can cause MyHyperhidrosisTeam members to feel self-conscious in social situations. The symptoms of hyperhidrosis can also affect daily activities and overall well-being. Sweaty hands can make trouble when holding a computer mouse or opening a door, or cause embarrassment when shaking hands or touching paper. Skin folds can become infected when moisture is trapped there, as fungus and yeast can grow in moist environments.

Members of MyHyperhidrosisTeam talk about ways they cope with wetness throughout the seasons. Sharing tips to keep cool has helped many members improve quality of life with hyperhidrosis.

Tips for Dealing With Hot Weather

The International Hyperhidrosis Society has specific tips to keep cool in the summer. Some of these include:

  • Drink lots of fluids. When you are properly hydrated, your body is cooler and you’ll sweat less.
  • Use a vaporizer or atomizer indoors to cover your body with a cool spray.
  • Avoid spicy foods and caffeinated beverages —they increase sweating.
  • Work out early in the morning or later in the day, when it’s cooler.
  • Sprinkle baking soda on sweaty clothing to reduce odor.
  • Keep anxiety under control — stress makes sweat worse. Deep breathing can help.

Cool Clothing for Hyperhidrosis

Lightweight, loose clothing and bandanas or scarves (particularly ones that can be wetted and put in the freezer) are hyperhidrosis basics for many members. Other sweat-catching strategies shared by members of MyHyperhidrosisTeam include:

  • Carry a change of clothing or two. “I keep a spare pair of trousers in my bag at all times,” said one member.
  • Choose clothes with a pattern or in black. “They don’t show the sweat 😓,” one woman shared.
  • Wear sweat-wicking fabrics. “I soak through a regular T-shirt every 20 minutes or less,” said one man. “With bamboo T-shirts, I'm dry for six hours.”
  • Use sleeves, not sweaters. Available in sporting goods stores or uniform shops, sleeves are an alternative for cooler nights. One woman wears them with T-shirts instead of sweaters. “They’re white, elastic, and cover mid-arm to wrist,” she said. “Once indoors, I peel them off and put in my purse. Works great.”
  • Try bathing suit tops. “Just discovered a life saver,” one woman wrote. “I’ve been wearing [full-length bathing suit tops] — with built-in bras and no underwire — as shirts. They’re very comfortable, dry quickly, and super absorbent. Most importantly, they don’t show wetness at all!!”

Mayo Clinic recommends people with hyperhidrosis wear breathable fabrics made of natural materials like wool, cotton, and silk. Other recommendations include removable, absorbent insoles for shoes.

Fans, Ice, and Other Sweat-Stoppers

MyHyperhidrosisTeam members often share recommendations for fans, ice packs, and other tricks to beat the summer heat.

Hand-Held Fans

Mopping up sweat with face cloths can get messy and cumbersome. Many members say fans are more convenient and effective. “I buy [paper or plastic] accordian fans to keep cool while I shop,” said one woman. “They help tremendously and are fashionable!”

Mini Battery-Operated Fans

One MyHyperhidrosisTeam member wears fans around his neck. “Ever since discovering them, they’ve become a part of my wardrobe. I wear them from sunup till I hit the sack. They help with sweating quite a bit and are quiet!”

CamelBak Hydration Packs

Used by bicyclists and hikers, these portable “hydration systems” fit on your back. “I wear mine when cleaning or doing yard work,” one member explained.

Ice Packs and Ice Chips

One MyHyperhidrosisTeam member puts a large ice pack on her chair at work. Another totes a cooler bag filled with ice packs wrapped with face cloths. “I place one on the back of my neck, another under my bra, and one on each thigh. I still sweat, but I'm fresher and not sticky.” One member said, “I take ice chips everywhere I go in summer and winter to eat while I’m driving or shopping.”

If these tips do not help you manage excessive sweating, consult a dermatologist to discuss possible causes and treatments.

On MyHyperhidrosisTeam, the social network and online support group for those living with excessive sweating, members talk about a range of personal experiences — including staying cool.

How do you keep cool in the warmer months? Do you have another topic you'd like to discuss or explore? Comment below or go to MyHyperhidrosisTeam today and start the conversation. You'll be surprised how many others share similar stories.

A MyHyperhidrosisTeam Member said:

E too I hate it

posted 3 months ago

hug (1)

Kevin Berman, M.D., Ph.D. is a dermatologist at the Atlanta Center for Dermatologic Disease, Atlanta, GA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Learn more about him here.
Annie Keller specializes in writing about medicine, medical devices, and biotech. Learn more about her here.
Laurie Berger has been a health care writer, reporter, and editor for the past 14 years. Learn more about her here.

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