Changing behaviour & medication

In some mild cases, changes in behaviour and lifestyle habits may make a difference to sweating; these include:

  • Avoiding triggers, for example cutting out spicy food if it makes you sweat more.
  • Wearing loose, light clothing and avoiding clothing that is tight or made from man-made fibres.
  • Wearing antiperspirant, rather than deodorant.
  • Avoiding wearing shoes made of synthetic materials.
  • Reducing alcohol intake.
  • Wear pads to absorb excess moisture.

If you do suffer from excessive sweating, it is important that you see your doctor, as they will be able to help you and offer advice about treatments and more seriously, diagnosis whether there is an underlying condition responsible for the excess sweating, such as diabetes or cancer.

In some cases, doctors may prescribe medication, but this is not usually the case and there is some debate surrounding the efficacy and side effects of some drugs. The most commonly described types of drug for hyperhidrosis include drugs that block the action of nerves which stimulate the sweat glands and beta-blockers, as beta-blockers decrease the effect of adrenaline and noradrenaline. Mild surgery to cut into the sympathetic nerve chain can also be used to stop excessive sweating, but again can come with side effects and can also cause the body to sweat excessively from somewhere else, which is called compensatory sweating.

Treatment such as this should only be chosen if you are in great distress due to your condition and once other forms of prevention have been explored and found to be ineffective.