Look, everybody sweats. It’s the body’s way of cooling itself down. But if you sweat a lot, it can become an annoying (and even embarrassing) situation. The good news is that there is plenty you can do. Read on for ideas you can start trying today.
You’re probably familiar with the causes of sweat – exercise, heat, anxiety, and even some foods. But how do you know if your level of sweating is normal or excessive? You may one of the 2.8% of Americans who sweat excessively if:1
- You see visible beads of sweat on your skin when you are not exerting yourself.
- You sweat while you are sitting.
- Your level of sweat interferes with your daily life.
- Your skin stays wet for long periods of time.
- Some of your skin turns soft and white from being soaked in sweat.
- Your excess sweat causes other conditions, like Athlete’s foot, to occur on areas where you sweat.2
Why Does It Affect The Face And Hands?
Excessive facial sweating is known as craniofacial hyperhidrosis. The reason why you may sweat excessively on your face and hands comes down to your body’s eccrine sweat glands.
The human body has approximately 4 million sweat glands. About 3 million of these glands are called eccrine glands. Eccrine glands are part of the nervous system. These glands are responsible for primary hyperhidrosis. (The other types of glands are called apocrine and apoeccrine, and they are related to hormones).
While eccrine glands are spread out all over the body, they are most densely packed on the forehead, soles of the feet, cheeks, and palms. If you are sweating excessively on your face and hands, overactive sweat glands in these areas may be to blame.3
Triggers For Excessive Sweating
While you may feel like everything makes you sweat, you’ve probably noticed that there are specific triggers that make you sweat more. Here are some of these potential triggers:
- Spicy foods
Potential Ways To Stop Excessive Face And Hand Sweating
Wear A Handkerchief
People with hyperhidrosis may want to carry a clean handkerchief in their pocket for an easy way to wipe away sweat throughout the day.
Carry A Portable Fan
If you find yourself sweating in even the slightest amount of heat, try a portable fan. Carrying a handheld fan may help keep your face cool and dry.
Change Your Eating Habits
Certain foods, like hot and spicy foods, can increase your core temperature and promote facial sweating.5 If you want to reduce extreme sweating, try to avoid foods like spicy ramen and buffalo wings.
Cut Down On Caffeine
Caffeine may encourage your body to produce adrenaline, which can cause your heart rate and blood pressure to shoot up. This can also cause you to sweat more.6
Drink More Water
Your body sweats in an attempt to cool you down. If you aren’t consuming enough water, your body has to work that much harder to bring your temperature down. Help yourself out and make sure you are drinking plenty of water throughout the day.
Cut Back On Alcohol
Drinking alcohol can increase your heart rate and dilate your blood vessels. This may increase your body temperature and encourage excessive sweating.7
Wear Breathable Clothing
To help reduce heavy sweating, make sure you’re dressing in a way that prevents you from overheating. Choose loose-fitting clothes made of natural fabrics, like cotton.
Reduce Stress And Anxiety
Stress and anxiety can cause you to sweat more. Making a plan to relax and relieve stress is one thing you can do to reduce excessive sweating. If you’re feeling stressed, remember to take deep breaths, focus on the present, and slow down.
Plan Your Exercise Sessions Strategically
If you tend to sweat for a long time after you work out, you may need to be strategic about when you exercise. Avoid hitting the gym before work or a social function. Plan to exercise at the end of the day when you can go home and take a cool shower right after.8
Botox May Help
Botulinum toxin injections (Botox) can help decrease the activity of the nerves controlling your sweat glands. If you think this option may help, speak with your doctor.9
Iontophoresis is a hyperhidrosis treatment that involves placing your hands in a shallow tub of water while a low electrical current is emitted. This may block sweat glands over time. Ask your doctor for details if this sounds right for you.10,11
Try Cornstarch And Baking Soda
Cornstarch and baking soda can both absorb moisture. Baking soda may also fight against bacteria. To use these ingredients to fight hand or face sweat, create a mixture of the two, and apply them to your high sweat areas. Let it sit for 30 minutes before rinsing off.12
Try Another Home Remedy
There are many different DIY natural sweat solutions that may help with excessive sweat. You likely already have the ingredients for some of these remedies in your pantry at home.
- Use witch hazel on the hands or face to close pores and stop constant sweating.
- Create a tea with sage leaves. Sage leaves are tannic and may constrict sweat glands.
- Make a tea with valerian root. This may reduce anxiety, which is a cause of excessive sweating.
- Apply a diluted mixture of apple cider vinegar and water directly to the skin. ACV may close pores and reduce sweating.
- Sip on a calming black or green tea to relax and potentially ease sweating. If you often sweat due to heat, you may want to try an iced tea.
- Apply cucumber slices directly to your face for a cooling, anti-sweating effect.
- Rub ice cubes on your face to tighten your skin and cool down.13
Complications That May Occur From Excessive Sweating
- Skin maceration
- Stinging eyes
- Heat rash
- Body odor
- Reduced effectiveness at work
- Emotional impact, such as reduced confidence and feeling unhappy
- Psychological distress, such as worry over clothes getting stained and fear of people’s reactions14,15
Signs You Should See Your Doctor
Some people who deal with excessive facial and foot sweating report that it negatively impacts their life.16 If you find that excessive sweating is causing your quality of life to suffer, it may be time to call your doctor or dermatologist. They can set you up with a personal plan that addresses the issue.