Say goodbye to sweat stains on your clothes because Laurel House from YourTango has some tips to fix the problem.
As written by a woman who's been there.
For years, I was embarrassed by my excessive sweating and often wondered, "Why do I sweat so much?" Luckily, a turning point came when I finally realised I was living with hyperhidrosis.
What is hyperhidrosis?
Hyperhidrosis is defined as a physical health condition that causes "excessive sweating that's not necessarily related to heat or exercise."
It means I profusely sweat from my hands, armpits, face, and body, especially when feeling even the slightest bit anxious, like when I'm on a TV show giving a speech or in an important meeting.
As an adult, I've fortunately found effective ways to sweat less and keeping my hyperhidrosis in check, but as a kid, it was a challenging condition to grow up with.
When I was in school, I was afraid to engage in class, terrified that my raised hand would reveal the expanding circle of armpit sweat I constantly kept hidden by squeezing my arms against my sides.
While this practice might've hidden the sweat (assuming that it hadn't expanded beyond the width of my arms), the physical and emotional pressure of constantly feeling the need to press my arms against my sides actually caused more perspiration to accumulate.
I would try to hide in plain sight, avoiding one-on-one interactions because they would make me extremely nervous. My face would turn beet red, accompanied by sweating from every pore on my cheeks, upper lip, chin, and forehead. It took just minutes for my face to look like an oil slick with sweat literally streaming down my skin, enough to drip off my chin and leave droplets on my shirt.
Of course, I always had a handkerchief in my purse for this exact purpose, but sometimes that just wasn't enough.
When I entered the workforce and had to start going to meetings, shaking hands, and being introduced to new people, my fears of being viewed as disgusting, insecure, or nervous were heightened. I wore black or strategically styled tops to hide my armpits and became a hugger instead of a handshaker.
My sweat was always on my mind, minimizing my social interactions, making me feel self-conscious.
I continually wondered how to stop sweating excessively and needed to figure out what was "wrong" with me, so I went on Google. For me, information makes me feel safe and calm, as opposed to overwhelmed. And I didn't have to dig too deep to find similar sweat-soaked stories on the internet.
Almost instantly, I discovered a name (hyperhidrosis), a description (excessive sweating that causes sweaty hands and armpits, head sweats, and profuse sweating in other areas of the body), and learned about hyperhidrosis treatments to help my condition.
More importantly, I realised I wasn't alone. In fact, I was one of the millions in the US who live with hyperhidrosis.
Understanding that there wasn't anything actually "wrong" with me immediately helped me feel more calm, which actually helps minimize the condition! And with that knowledge, I was able to come to grips with and confidently communicate what I had and why I was sweating so much.
If you've been wondering "Why do I sweat so much?" here are three tips for how to stop excessive sweating from hyperhidrosis, based on my personal experience.
1. Accept It
I had to admit that I have the condition, that I was one of the millions of people in the US who have it, and that there is nothing wrong with me because of it.
Just like any physical illness, hyperhidrosis doesn't discriminate against anyone. I had to stop wrapping my self-worth in the condition that I happened to have.
2. Manage It
I found Certain Dri, which is a clinical-strength, over-the-counter roll-on antiperspirant for excessive sweating. In my experience, when used as directed, it keeps my armpits totally dry.
In addition to that magical antiperspirant, I wear clothes in colours that hide sweat, like black and navy, and even some shades of red, blue, and green, but only certain hues. Lace is great, too!
I also carry around a small hand towel to wipe my hands when necessary, finish my makeup with face powder, and choose nongreasy, fully absorbent lotions.
3. Embrace a Confident Vulnerability
This is the most important step in dealing with hyperhidrosis. I stopped being ashamed, insecure, and feeling less than just because I sweat a lot. Instead, I adopted an attitude of "here I am."
In other words, I am able to say to myself, "This is me, and I'm OK with me. I have a condition called hyperhidrosis. Not to worry — I won't give it to you. But if we hold hands, you will likely feel some of my sweat."
By adopting an attitude of confident vulnerability, my emotional sweat trigger was minimized because I no longer had the intense fear of someone finding out and feeling my skin or seeing my sweat fade in from beneath my clothes.
By speaking my fear and insecurity, I removed some of its hold on me and took back control of my emotional response, regaining my confidence.
Having a plan helped to minimize my insecurities, allowed me to talk openly about my condition, and enabled me to stop hiding from social interactions because of my excessive sweating.
Had I come to these conclusions in my 20s, I would have saved myself years of insecurity, fear, and social anxiety. Though I may never be completely in control of my sweating, I now have the resources to manage my hyperhidrosis. And knowing that allows me to feel I have control over my body and, ultimately, reach a place of self-love.
Laurel House is an international celebrity Dating and Relationship Coach, a dating coach on E!'s "Famously Single," a Dating Coach for Three Day Rule Matchmaking, and a 5-time published Lifestyle Author.
Check out more great stories from YourTango:
- 5 Expert-Approved Methods For How To Stop Sweating So Damn Much
- 13 Reasons You're Always So Hot And Sweaty
- 20 Best Deodorants That Kill Sweat Instantly