Perspiration Problem? Don't Sweat It!


An old work colleague of mine recently sought my council for some on advice on a problem his oldest son was having. The issue was excessive sweating. My advice at the time, based on my own personal experience, was to trim his body hair. Years ago when I worked in the bank I would only ever wear white shirts to work due to my fear of being embarrassed by the little puddles of water that would form around my armpits whenever the pressure was on. Shaving my pits worked for me but I promised to do a little bit of research on the subject and report back with something a little more in-depth than "tell him to trim his pits".


Sweat is inevitable. Regardless of how stoic one might be when faced with adversity, we all sweat. Not only is sweat inevitable, but it's also quite useful. Sweating is the body's built-in heat-regulation system. As the mercury rises, your heart rate increases, so your body cools itself down by pumping out water. If you didn't sweat, you'd probably die! But fear not – reducing your sweat to a more comfortable level isn't a death sentence and frankly, if your sweat levels are causing embarrassment then it's essential to know how to stem the tide.


Given that the issue I was asked to look into was volume, the majority of these tips are related to that. However, if odour is the issue, things like your diet or your microbiome (the genetic makeup of your body' bacteria) could be causing the issue. The glands in your body secrete a substance, which bacteria then break down resulting in the pong. Specialist antiperspirants will help, as will a cleaner diet but I'll cover both of these in more depth later in this article.


Dress Appropriately


Not exactly an expert tip but as we should all be aware, hot weather can lead to increased sweating which can lead to a number of skin care problems. If sweat is trapped against fabric you can develop issues with body acne or folliculitis. So the starting point in the war on perspiration is your wardrobe. Switch up your fabrics and try using a thin cotton vest to keep the sweat off your skin. A sweat-wicking base layer might be a more stylish alternative to the vest but it will also cost you a lot more.


Cut Down On The Coffee


We all know someone who claims that they can't function without coffee, but if that person also finds themselves inexplicably sweating a lot then chances are it's something to do with their biochemistry. Simply put, caffeine sets your nervous system to beast mode. Your body thinks it's under threat and you sweat more as a result. One cup in the morning won't do any harm but any more than that is potentially opening the floodgates (literally).


Don't Spice Things Up


While we're on the subject of things you put in your mouth (easy now), try to eat less spicy foods. The compound in chillies that gives them their kick has a very similar effect to that of caffeine but also ups your metabolism. Which is why you might find yourself drenched in sweat while eating a particularly potent curry. If you can't give up your beloved takeaways then opt for a curry high in coconut or regular cream, which will reduce the effect of the chillies.


Grease Is Not The Word


Certain hair products, waxes in particular, can cause sweat and the development of acne on the forehead, especially if the hair rubs at this site. So if you're still rocking the Dax Wax then bin it and upgrade to a light cream or styling clay, or powder. Also, try to use a less greasy moisturiser during the warmer months because as I've said many times before, it's important to switch up your skincare based on the weather.


BO Has To Go


If your work colleagues run to the other end of the office to escape the stench of your armpits whenever you try to talk to them, then you either need to start your own business or sort out your BO problem. First, get rid of any cream-based antiperspirants you have as these can clog up your glands and make the problem worse. Next, pick up an aluminium-free deodorant which not only lets your pits breathe but your co-workers too. If you need something a little stronger then keep an eye out for Driclor which is specifically formulated to combat excessive sweating.


Trim It To Win It


Simply put, if you have a lot of body hair and a serious problem with sweat, then get manscaping Chewbacca. Pay particular attention to your armpits and your nether regions. Double down by applying talcum powder to the shaven havens afterwards.


The Next Level


If all this sounds a like simplistic or you've already tried these tips and your excessive perspiration persists, then there are more extreme options. Botox can be used in the armpits and other areas that are prone to excessive sweating to stem hyperhidrosis. It's relatively inexpensive but you'll need to top it up every few months. A more permanent fix would be laser treatment. This stops you from secreting so much grease. It's worth considering if you've got a particularly bad perspiration problem. 

Patrick McLoughney