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Antiperspirant
Hyperhidrosis Basics
Hyperhidrosis Treatments
Lifestyle
Top Articles
How to Control Sweating
Written by Katie Crissman
October 01 2020

Around the world, an estimated 365 million people suffer from hyperhidrosis. Hyperhidrosis is a condition that causes a person to sweat excessively for no apparent reason. Do you know how to tell if you have hyperhidrosis? [1]

A person without hyperhidrosis will sweat in reaction to environmental stimuli in order to regulate their body’s temperature. However, for people who have hyperhidrosis the underlying genetic (Primary Hyperhidrosis) or medical (Secondary Hyperhidrosis) circumstances that cause hyperhidrosis cause them to create an excessive amount of sweat. In most cases hyperhidrosis is not bad for your health, but symptoms can range in severity from simply uncomfortable to medically invasive. From sweaty hands that lead to embarrassing handshakes, to profuse sweating on the feet that can cause serious infections, hyperhidrosis poses a significant problem to individuals across all ages.[1]

Trying to figure out how to control sweating on your hands, feet, or other body parts? Although hyperhidrosis cannot be completely cured, several treatment options exist to help you control sweat caused by hyperhidrosis. For years, hyperhidrosis was largely overlooked by both the research and clinical branches of the medical profession. However, there are currently several treatments, procedures, and even surgeries, that are a result of increased research and development that can provide individuals with much needed relief.

How to Control Sweat with a Doctor

Fortunately, dermatologists stand prepared with a myriad of treatment options to help you learn how to control sweating. Dermatologists are the best doctors for treating hyperhidrosis as they have more specific knowledge than general practitioners.

Prescriptions

As the first line of defense, your dermatologist may write you a prescription for a topical cream ​or a pill. Topical creams typically include a sweat-blocking aluminum solution like aluminum chloride or aluminum sesquichlorohydrate. These solutions will reduce the amount of sweat that can exit your pores when applied to the skin on a specific problem area. Additionally, your doctor may prescribe an oral medication for hyperhidrosis like a pill series of pills known as anticholinergics. Anticholinergics like glycopyrrolate or oxybutynin stop a chemical called acetylcholine from reaching certain nerve receptors that are connected to sweat glands.[2] When these nerve receptors are blocked sweat glands receive fewer messages from the brain telling them to produce sweat. This decreases the amount of sweat a person produces and helps them control sweat production (a.k.a. they make less sweat).[1]

Iontophoresis

Iontophoresis is a treatment for palmar (hand) and plantar (foot) hyperhidrosis that involves running a mild electrical current into the body that temporarily stops sweat glands from producing sweat. [3] During iontophoresis sessions, the affected part of the body is placed in a pan of water. A mild electrical current is administered through the water over a 20 to 40 minute period. Iontophoresis sessions must occur on a regular basis (typically weekly) for them to be effective. It may take up to ten sessions before sweating is noticeably reduced.[3] Iontophoresis really does work, and many people have gotten significant sweat control from treatment. Since the affected part of the body must be submerged in water, iontophoresis works best when it’s used to alleviate sweaty hands and feet. For some, the process of iontophoresis may need to be altered in order to make iontophoresis more effective.

Surgery

If you can’t figure out how to control sweating by using prescription medication or iontophoresis, your dermatologist may recommend a surgical treatment for primary focal hyperhidrosis to reduce your sweating. These procedures range from minimally invasive measures, like botox treatment for hyperhidrosis, to significantly more invasive procedures such as an endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy​ or an endoscopic lumbar sympathectomy. Although invasive surgical intervention should only be attempted after less invasive methods have failed, surgery can provide significant relief for people with certain kinds of serious hyperhidrosis. [1]

How to Control Sweating at Home

Over the Counter Topical Treatments

Before seeking a prescription medicine to control sweat, you may want to try an over-the-counter topical treatment for hyperhidrosis. Wondering whether you should use an antiperspirant or deodorant? If you have hyperhidrosis, then you should definitely be using antiperspirant to control sweat. There are several over-the-counter creams and solutions that contain lower percentages of the same ingredients found in prescription creams. These can be purchased both online and in retail settings. Antiperspirants have the ability to prevent sweat from reaching the surface of the skin, unlike deodorant. Some people have a difficult time choosing the right antiperspirant, as there are so many options on the market. Getting recommendations from a dermatologist and understanding the active ingredients in each product can help. Some rumors have gone around the internet questioning whether antiperspirant is safe and, to date, no studies have found that antiperspirant is bad for your health. [1]

Iontophoresis Sessions at Home

Although iontophoresis sessions may be performed at a doctor’s office, many people opt to purchase their own iontophoresis machines and conduct iontophoresis treatments at home. [1]

The upfront cost of an iontophoresis machine is hundreds of dollars, but there are advantages to this method. These advantages include convenience, time saved, and eventual savings in cost from avoiding the pay-per-session model of doing iontophoresis in a doctor’s office.

Controlling Sweat with Non-Medical Methods

In addition to traditional medical approaches, there are ways to manage hyperhidrosis via alternative methods. People can ​make changes to their exercise routines, choice in clothing, and daily habits to reduce their sweat production.​ Athletic approaches, like yoga, can help alleviate sweat by relaxing the body. There are also anxiety reduction techniques that can be used to calm the nervous system and control sweat. Selecting clothing that is best for people who sweat excessively can make getting through the day more comfortable. This means choosing clothing that allows the body to breathe, always wearing dry socks, and alternating various pairs of shoes can help curb the effects of excessive sweat. It is also important to establish a consistent routine of applying antiperspirants at the same time each day.[4]

Use Clothing to Conceal and Control Sweat

What you wear can really make a difference! Wearing breathable fabrics can reduce sweating and allow for ventilation when it inevitably does occur. Clothes with good ventilation are made from cotton and natural fibers that are lightweight and airy. It can also be helpful to wear moisture-wicking workout clothes when appropriate. Make use of the wide array of products available on the market today. How you dress can make a big difference to your overall quality of life, especially during certain seasons. Here is how to dress in the summer for hyperhidrosis.

Use the color of your clothing to mask sweat throughout the day. This means wearing darker colors and bold patterns so that sweat stains are less visible. Specifically, colors like black, charcoal, pale pink and navy blue are all solid choices. Avoid wearing colors like light gray that make sweat stains more obvious. Bold patterns will also diffuse the appearance of sweat stains so try a plaid or floral design.

TThe shape of your clothing can prevent or greatly minimize outward stains. For women, think about wearing shirts with loose fitting armpits and flowy blouses. These are comfortable and will make it harder for moisture to reach your clothing. For men, consider wearing an absorbent undershirt to soak up moisture before it reaches the outer layer of your clothes. For all over sweating, loose clothing that does not cling to the skin is a must - think flowy dresses for women and loose-fit pants or shorts for men.

If you find that you are soaking through clothes daily then there is another solution available to control sweat. There are pads specifically made to soak up underarm sweat. These conveniently adhere to garments and can be used in cases where you know other measures may just not be enough. You can also use special powders on your feet to prevent moisture build up and irritation.

Sometimes sweat is just going to happen, so bring back up clothes! If you know you are going to be in a situation where sweating is inevitable, bring a change of clothes to keep in your car or bag. You can also keep a stash of helpful products like absorbent pads, antiperspirants, and a towel.

Protect Your Feet

Feet are the foundation of your body so it is essential to keep them dry and well cared for. There are several ways to stop excessive foot sweating . Try wearing shoes made of fabric as these are more breathable and less stifling. You should also invest in sock material that is good for sweaty feet, like moisture wicking socks that are lightweight, especially when working out![5] For those times when you must wear shoes that make you sweat you can try special sole inserts that soak up extra sweat and reduce slipping. Don’t let the skin on your feet become irritated as this can lead to wounds, infections, and many more preventable problems.[1]

Learn to Relax and Take Care of Your Body

Although hyperhidrosis is a physical condition, your emotional state can have an impact on how it affects you day to day. The more aroused your nervous system is the more likely you are to sweat excessively. There are a variety of techniques you can use to calm your mind and slow down your sweat. Some useful techniques include mindfulness, deep breathing, stretching, and exercises like yoga. All of these activities are grounding and give your mind and body a chance to slow down and reset. Relaxing activities can be used as both a preventative measure and as a way to control sweat once it’s begun.[4]

Another way you can control sweat is through your diet. What you eat and drink can help or hinder hyperhidrosis symptoms. Try to avoid triggers like spicy foods, fatty processed foods, alcohol, and caffeine. Spicy foods can trick your body into thinking your temperature is rising and highly processed foods are hard to digest and can increase sweating. Both alcohol and caffeine increase sweat production because of the way they work in the body. Also, it’s important to drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration and keep your body in a balanced state.[5]

Hyperhidrosis is manageable, and studies have found that hyperhidrosis is likely to get better with age, so find the things that make you feel better and enjoy your life. You are not alone and you can feel better!

Sources
  1. Pariser, D. M. (2014). Hyperhidrosis (4th ed., Vol. 32). Amsterdam: Elsevier Pub. Co., 2014. Retrieved from https://www.elsevier.com/books/hyperhidrosis-an-issue-of-dermatologic-clinics/pariser/978-0-323-32607-0
  2. Symposium on Anticholinergic Drug and Brain Functions in Animals,and Man. (1968). In Bradley P. B. (Ed.), Anticholinergic drugs and brain functions in animals and man Amsterdam, New York etc.] Elsevier Pub. Co., 1968. Retrieved from https://www.worldcat.org/title/anticholinergic-drugs-and-brain-functions-in-animals-and-man/oclc/681155628
  3. Scifers, James R, DScPT, PT, SCS,L.A.T., A.T.C., Lewandowski, Jeff, DPT, PT, SCS,A.T.C., M.T.C., O'Brien, Matthew, PhD, LAT, ATC, & Watts, Jay, RPh,F.A.C.A., F.A.C.V.P. (2013). Iontophoresis. Athletic Training & Sports Health Care, 5(3), 103-105. doi:http://dx.doi.org.proxy.lib.duke.edu/10.3928/19425864-20130509-03 Retrieved from https://www.healio.com/orthopedics/journals/atshc/2013-5-5-3
  4. Stress and Sweat: 10 Tips to Stay Cool Under Fire. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/stress#1
  5. Doheny, K. (n.d.). When You Sweat Too Much. Retrieved from https://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/features/dont-sweat-it#1
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Antiperspirant

What You Need to Know About Carpe Clinical Regimen

By Katie Crissman /

One of the newest clinical strength antiperspirants to hit the market is Carpe’s Clinical Grade Regimen - it combines several high performing products with a specific care routine to provide long term sweat reduction for even the heaviest sweaters. Read on to see if Carpe Clinical Regimen is right for you!

Antiperspirant is great - for most people. You apply it once a day and it stops your sweat! It’s easy. But, what if that’s not what happened? You bought it, read the label, and used it exactly as directed and, unfortunately, you’re still sweating - excessively. If this is you, then you’ve come to the right place. There are products specifically made for heavy sweaters who haven’t had luck with traditional antiperspirants. These products typically include the words “extra strength”, “clinical strength” or “prescription strength” and they are, thankfully, available over the counter without a doctor’s prescription. 


The difference between clinical strength products and their weaker counterparts are the active ingredients they use. Clinical strength lines typically use one of several newer types of metallic salt ingredients that are known to be both stronger and less irritating than aluminum chloride (which is the standard active ingredient in antiperspirants) [1]. While there are many clinical strength products on the market, we are going to focus on a new clinical strength regimen that combines a strong active ingredient with a specific care routine to get excessive sweating under control. 


Carpe Clinical Regimen -  What It Is and How It’s Different

One of the newest clinical strength antiperspirants to hit the market is Carpe’s Clinical Grade Regimen. It’s different from other prescription grade products because it combines several strong products with a specific care routine to ensure maximum product performance. It’s also different from Carpe’s other products because it uses a stronger active ingredient and delivery system. The system is geared toward people who experience intractable armpit sweating, but Carpe also makes products for people who struggle with other types of sweat. The Carpe Clinical Grade Underarm includes three specific products that, when used together, have been found to be highly effective at reducing sweat production. These products include:

  • Carpe Clinical Grade Underarm Antiperspirant 
  • Carpe Clinical Grade Exfoliating Wash
  • Carpe Clinical Grade Underarm Wipes[2]

Carpe Clinical Grade Regimen uses an active ingredient called Aluminum Zirconium Tetrachlorohydrex GLY (20%) combined with other soothing inactive ingredients to effectively stop sweat in its tracks while reducing skin irritation.[3] Aluminum Zirconium Tetrachlorohydrex is a newer generation metallic salt that stops sweat production and is known to be more effective than other types of active ingredients antiperspirants typically use. One study mentioned in the journal Dermatologic Clinics found that antiperspirants using Aluminum Zirconium Tetrachlorohydrex were, on average, 34% more effective than antiperspirants that used aluminum chloride as an active ingredient.[1] Carpe’s traditional products use an active ingredient called Aluminum Sesquichlorohydrate at 15% which is effective, but less potent than Aluminum Zirconium Tetrachlorohydrex.[4]


It’s important to note that Carpe’s Clinical Grade Regimen provides a long term impact on sweat reduction from making short term lifestyle changes. This is because the results build up over time and peak at about 4 weeks. It takes 4 weeks of using the Carpe clinical grade products once each morning and every other night to see the full effect of what they can do. This is typical of all antiperspirants as their effects tend to build up with consistent use. Consistently using antiperspirant products is especially important for those with hard to treat sweat problems because it can be the difference between treatment success or failure.[1][2] 


If you’re frustrated with the way your current antiperspirant is working or how it isn’t working, then consider giving Carpe’s Clinical Grade Regimen a try! It’s active ingredient is comparable to other prescription strength products on the market but it’s multistep system with easy to use wipes is completely unique! Remember, an easy to use, consistent antiperspirant routine is going to give you long term sweat reduction so it’s important to find a system that works for your lifestyle. 


Sources
  1. Pariser, D. M. (2014). Hyperhidrosis (4th ed., Vol. 32). Amsterdam: Elsevier Pub. Co., 2014. Retrieved from https://www.elsevier.com/books/hyperhidrosis-an-issue-of-dermatologic-clinics/pariser/978-0-323-32607-0>https://www.elsevier.com/books/hyperhidrosis-an-issue-of-dermatologic-clinics/pariser/978-0-323-32607-0
  2. How It Works (Clinical). Carpe. https://mycarpe.com/pages/how-it-works-clinical
  3. Clinical Underarm  PM Wipes. Carpe. https://mycarpe.com/products/clinical-grade-underarm-antiperspirant-wipes?variant=34814174724229
  4. Underarm Antiperspirant for Excessive Underarm Sweating. Carpe. https://mycarpe.com/products/underarm-antiperspirant-tube?variant=39247505358981
Antiperspirant

8 Random & Interesting Facts about Excessive Armpit Sweating

By Daniel McCarthy /

8 Random & Interesting Facts about Excessive Armpit Sweating

Our worries about shirt stains, sweaty underarms, and smelly armpits may dominate how we think about excessive armpit sweating. Hey, we may even avoid thinking about these all together. But guess what? There are some random and interesting facts that just may change how you think about excessive underarm sweating! Let’s take a look: 

Fact number 1: Sweat by itself ISN’T smelly

Sweat is often associated with smelliness. But by itself, it doesn’t smell AT ALL. The reason sweat can smell (in places like your armpit) isn’t really about sweat. It’s about the sweat glands (and hair)! Apocrine glands are the biggest of sweat-producing glands and are usually located near hair. It’s this combo that leads to smelly armpits.

Fact number 2: Excessive armpit sweating is as old as cavemen

Hang with me here. Excessive underarm sweating is connected to the fight-or-flight response ingrained in even the most ancient of human predecessors. This excessive armpit sweating response has helped humans survive for millenia. And yep, it means our cavemen ancestors likely had sweating armpits, too. Even though they didn’t have to worry about shirt stains like us, we have the benefit of products like carpe underarm and antiperspirant in general to help with our excessive armpit sweating.  

Fact number 3: Famous people worry about excessive armpit sweating too

Michael Gary Scott, fearless and deliciously cringeworthy leader of Dunder Mifflin Scranton on the show The Office, is perfectly played by actor Steve Carell. Carell seemed to play the role with such ease, comfort, and confidence that nobody would ever know he was worried about excessive underarm sweating due to his hyperhidrosis. Co-star Rainn Wilson (Dwight Schrute on the show) even pointed out that the set temperature was a cool 64 degrees to keep Carell’s sweaty underarms from becoming the focus of the scene. 

Even though Carell’s excessive armpit sweating wasn’t part of the show, I like to think Michael’s approach to sweat stains could be summed up by his famous line:  “I knew exactly what to do. But in a much more real sense, I had no idea what to do.” 

Fact number 4: Other celebrities combat hyperhidrosis too

Steve Carell is not the only notable person looking for the best sweat prevention. As a longtime vampire and real-life human with hyperhidrosis, Robert Pattinson is another actor who combats hyperhidrosis (and werewolves) on the regular. 

Like Pattinson and Carell, Halle Berry also has hyperhidrosis. Famously, Berry confidently showed her sweat stains on the Ellen Show back in 2010. So when you’re feeling a little self-conscious about your own excessive underarm sweating, remember you too can confidently move through your day like Berry barring her pits for the world. 

Fact number 5: Ventilation over here please!

If you’re still worried about how to get rid of pit stains, some ventilation could provide a brief respite. Because we sometimes get pesky pit stains, it can feel like our excessive underarm sweating is due to our pits proclivity to produce the most amount of sweat. Yet, this annoying issue is more commonly attributed to a lack of ventilation, although sweaty armpit causes cannot be narrowed to one thing. Still, a little ventilation and clinical strength antiperspirant can go a long way in dealing with pesky pit stains and excessive armpit sweating. 

Fact number 6: An underappreciated aspect of a non-meat diet

Sometimes even the best antiperspirant and deodorant may not feel like enough to help with excessive armpit sweating and underarm smell. That’s okay though because there are other interesting ways to approach this issue. A 2006 study showed that women found mens’ armpit odor “more attractive, more pleasant, and less intense” when these men ate a non-meat diet [1]. If you haven’t already thought about eating less meat, the improved aroma of your pits (and the kitchen) may be another reason to eat a non-meat diet. 

Fact number 7: Fashion matters

Choosing clothes is a fashion statement for many. And while fashion may matter more to some than others, there’s one interesting reason we can all get behind to choose our clothes. Our clothing choices can help deal with excessive underarm sweating. That’s right, there are clothes, materials, styles, and pads that all can help with excessive armpit sweating as well as excessive sweating and shirt stains in general. 

Fact number 8: You aren’t alone

An estimated 2-3% of the US population suffers from axillary hyperhidrosis (excessive underarm sweating). Even though this percentage may seem small, 3% of the US population is right around 10 million people. That’s like all of NYC combating excessive armpit sweating at the same time. It can be easy to feel isolated in dealing with hyperhidrosis, but there’s some comfort in knowing many others are dealing with the same worries. 

Sources

 

  1. Havlicek, J., & Lenochova, P. (2006). The Effect of Meat Consumption on Body Odor Attractiveness. Retrieved from https://academic.oup.com/chemse/article/31/8/747/364338
Antiperspirant

7 Effective Tips to Stop Sweaty Hands

By Daniel McCarthy /

7 Effective Tips to Stop Sweaty Hands 

Not sure how to stop sweaty hands and excessive sweating? You aren’t alone! Whether you’re working from home, gaming, or just trying to get your phone to recognize your thumbprint, it can get pretty dang annoying to constantly worry about how to stop having sweaty hands. In this article, we’ll cover 7 effective ways to help you stop sweaty hands:

    1. Reduce your stress
    2. Try (the right) antiperspirant
    3. Iontophoresis
    4. Check with your doctor about underlying conditions
    5. Medications
    6. Give a Botox shot 
    7. Take a more surgical approach

1.  Reduce your stress 

This one is often easier said than done - but it can help a lot. Research has shown that higher levels of anxiety cause sweat glands to become more active [1]. This is particularly true for hand sweating. 

Figuring out how to stop sweaty hands looks different for each person, but there are some relaxing activities that can either prevent sweat or help control it once it’s begun. Some possible activities to reduce your stress include listening to your favorite music, getting enough sleep, and exercising daily. Other helpful techniques include deep breathing and stretching. Everyone is different, so try some of these other tips to find what works best for you. 

2. Try (the right) antiperspirant

You’re relaxed, but maybe you’re still trying to work out how to stop having sweaty hands? While reducing stress is a beneficial home remedy, it should be combined with other easy-to-use remedies. Some home remedies, such as baking soda or apple cider vinegar, may help with hyperhidrosis, but the next best step is over-the-counter antiperspirant

Antiperspirants are great at preventing clam hands and often work better than deodorants to stop excessive sweating. Antiperspirants for hands are especially important in how to stop sweaty hands. Others prefer anti sweat wipes. Finding the right hand antiperspirant is an important step to combat sweaty hands. 

3. Iontophoresis

    Hate needles? Need to figure out how to stop sweaty hands? Iontophoresis may be for you. This method uses mild electrical currents to treat your hands while they’re submerged in water. And although iontophoresis sessions may be performed at a doctor’s office, some people choose to purchase their own iontophoresis machines for at-home treatment [2].  

    While this method can be a bit harder on the wallet, if you can pay upfront for a machine, you may save by avoiding paying for every visit to the doctors. However, if you don’t see progress after a few weeks, talk to your doctor to discuss how to stop your sweaty hands from affecting your daily life. 

    4. Check with your doctor about underlying conditions

    It can be easy to write off sweaty hands as a reaction to anxiety or nervousness. But sometimes sweaty hands can be caused by underlying conditions. These conditions might include diabetes, low blood sugar, overactive thyroid, infections, and other issues. To learn more on how to stop sweaty hands that may be connected to underlying conditions, it is best to talk to a medical professional about your hyperhidrosis needs. 

    5. Medications

    In addition to talking about your underlying conditions, a medical professional may also suggest a prescription to help with sweaty hands. More specifically, your dermatologist may prescribe an oral medication for hyperhidrosis like a series of pills known as anticholinergics, which help your body produce less sweat. Like pills, topical creams may also be prescribed to help reduce excessive sweating. These creams are made up of solutions that will decrease the amount of sweat released, including hand sweat. If medications don’t cut it for you, you may need to take one of the two steps below. 

    6. Give botox a shot

      You may be thinking, I’m not sure how to stop sweaty hands, so why are you recommending botox? While many may not associate botox with hyperhidrosis, it can significantly reduce excessive sweating, including in your hands [3] . While botox may solve how to stop having sweaty hands, this method can cause temporary pain or weakness of the hands, so it is crucial that you consult a medical professional for appropriate botox delivery. 

      7. Take a more surgical approach. This one is only for serious sweaters who have tried everything else.

      If you can’t figure out how to stop having sweaty hands after trying these first six tips, you might consider surgical treatment for primary focal hyperhidrosis. While botox is a less invasive surgery, significantly more invasive procedures include endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy​ or an endoscopic lumbar sympathectomy. These names may be hard to pronounce, but these surgeries can provide significant relief for people with certain kinds of severe hyperhidrosis. Of course, try less invasive options first, and talk to a medical professional before deciding to take a more surgical approach. 

      There may be no one-size-fits-all solution for how to stop sweaty hands, but hopefully one of, or a combo of these tips help you enjoy life a bit more and worry about sweat a bit less. 

      Sources

      1. Huddle, J. R. (2014). Hyperhidrosis: Causes, Treatment Options and Outcomes. New York, NY: Nova Science.
      2. Pariser, D. M. (2014). Hyperhidrosis (4th ed., Vol. 32). Amsterdam: Elsevier Pub. Co., 2014. Retrieved from <a href=https://www.elsevier.com/books/hyperhidrosis-an-issue-of-dermatologic-clinics/pariser/978-0-323-32607-0>https://www.elsevier.com/books/hyperhidrosis-an-issue-of-dermatologic-clinics/pariser/978-0-323-32607-0</a>
      3. Lakraj, A. A., Moghimi, N., & Jabbari, B. (2013). Hyperhidrosis: anatomy, pathophysiology and treatment with emphasis on the role of botulinum toxins. Toxins, 5(4), 821–840. https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins5040821
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