By Erum ILYAS, MD
When it comes to combating stress sweat the first thing to remember is to know what you are up against.
Sweat triggered by stress is not in your control. Sweat is triggered by your nervous system is truly a reflex. With that in mind, it’s not worth just hoping it won’t be an issue- you should be ready to handle it!
There are a number of tricks and tips and treatment options.
If you were really on top of things and talked to your dermatologist ahead of time then you probably have some great tools. If your sweat is localized to underarms, hands, etc, then using a prescription topical such as topical aluminum chloride or topical glycopyrrolate may already have your sweat well controlled.
If you sweat ‘all over’, then an oral medication called robinul (glycopyrrolate) can also help control sweating from head to toe.
Injections of botulinum toxin are extremely common for underarms and hands to control localized sweat for months. Remember to ask about insurance coverage as hyperhidrosis is considered a medical condition and we find that many insurances cover the treatment.
If you didn’t know to talk to your dermatologist or you are in a bind there are some tricks that people do...
One of the quickest things at our disposal these days is hand sanitizer. These are mostly alcohol based. If you can quickly rub some under your arms or on your hands, you can get some quick action drying effects. It won’t last too long but it can give a little relief.
In terms of lifestyle changes, avoiding spicy foods and caffeine can help for some people.
Choosing clothing made with fabrics that have high porosity- they breathe- or ones made with cooling crystals- they can cool your skin!
I would be cautious of natural deodorants if sweating is a major issue. These products only mask odor but do not stop or block sweating. I have many patients that just don’t realize this and feel like they must have something causing the sweat but don’t realize they have made a switch to a product that doesn’t work on sweating.
I cannot tell you how often a patient mentions this in passing and has no idea that we not only can help but we have very effective life changing options to help!
It’s also important to have an evaluation by your dermatologist simply because excess sweat can be secondary to other medical conditions, especially if it’s new onset. Underlying infections, cancers, and endocrine disorders have been known to trigger excess sweating as well.