Hyperhidrosis is a condition where a person has excess sweating, more than the body usually requires to keep optimal temperature. Excess sweat can affect your everyday living: people with hyperhidrosis may have difficulty working or enjoying activities with constantly sweaty hands, may withdraw from social situations because of being self-conscious, and may experience anxiety or embarrassment.
Living with hyperhidrosis doesn't have to be a burden. You can learn to cope. Here are some lifestyle tips for hyperhidrosis:
- Drink enough water. Because you're sweating a lot, you are losing water and electrolytes (minerals that help regulate the balance of fluids in your body, such as sodium, potassium, chloride, and magnesium) from your body. Make sure you drink enough and, if needed, drink sports drinks formulated to replenish electrolytes.
- Wear the right clothes.
- To allow air to circulate next to your skin, wear loose clothing. Also wear white, black, dark navy, or patterned clothing so sweat is less visible to others.
- Avoid clothing made of synthetic fibres, such as polyester, which restrict air flow and don't allow your skin to breathe. Choose clothing made from natural fibres so your skin can breathe: cotton and linen are good choices.
- For sweaty feet, wear cotton socks or athletic socks designed to wick away moisture.
- Wear dress/shirt shields and wetness-absorbing shoe insoles to help prevent sweating and reduce wetness.
- If you're working out, wear clothing made of high-tech fabric that can wick away sweat from your skin. Also ensure you have running shoes that are well ventilated.
- Take care of your clothes: Remove sweat stains by rinsing sweat spots on clothes with cold water as soon as possible after wearing them. When doing laundry, you can pre-treat stains with ammonia or white vinegar, then rinse.
- Wear antiperspirant. Regardless which type you use, you will get the most out of it if you apply it before you go to bed. That's when your body can absorb more antiperspirant into your skin.
- Cope with stress. Stress itself can trigger sweating even for people who don't have hyperhidrosis. Learn to cope with stress and anxiety so that you have one less sweat-trigger to worry about. Try these stress-coping tips:
- Identify the cause of your stress. Once you know what's triggering your stress, you can start to work on solutions.
- Talk to your friends and family about how you're feeling. Sometimes, you just need someone to listen to you vent!
- Exercise. Physical activity will help you relieve stress.
- Learn relaxation techniques such as biofeedback, meditation, or yoga.
- Find support. You don't have to cope with hyperhidrosis by yourself. In fact, you may want to consider joining a support group to connect with one of the 950,000 Canadians who suffer from hyperhidrosis. Talk to your family and friends and seek their support. You may also want to talk to your doctor for advice.