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Sweating in Social Situations

Sweating in Social Situations

How do you solve excessive sweating in social situations?

If you're at a summer barbecue or pool party, it's probably not that big a deal because everybody else is doing it too, but at a cocktail party it can really ruin your day. The combination of smell, sweat stains on clothing and visible moisture on your face or hands can make you feel like a complete social pariah.


So, how does one cope with sweating and perspiration in social situations?

First, of course, if you know you suffer from excessive sweating, especially if you do it when others don't, you may want to see a doctor to find out why. Excessive sweating can be caused by genetics, or by such diseases as diabetes, hyperthyroidism, and even some kinds of cancer. Don't get so caught up in trying to solve the problem with your friends that you ignore problems with your health.

Second, if you know why you suffer from excessive perspiration, bear in mind that there are several fixes available to you.

If your sweating is caused by pure nerves, you should take action to try and calm down in those situations. While it may be nervewracking to deal with people, you will have to find a way to overcome this anxiety if you want to solve the problem permanently. Meditation often helps, as does roleplaying stressful social situations with understanding friends before you have to face the real thing.

Group of students enjoying social interaction

You may have to work on these a while before you start to see results, so keep reading for immediate stop sweating fixes.

No matter where your sweating comes from, there are a few things you can do to keep it from affecting any given social situation.

Of course, antiperspirants on the areas in question often helps. While normal over-the-counter antiperspirants can help, your doctor may also be able to provide prescription antiperspirants for more critical problem areas. You should probably use these only in important situations, as frequent use of antiperspirants can wind up making the problem even worse. However, as a quick fix, these are invaluable.

For those visible areas in which antiperspirants aren't really an option, you may look into keeping a pocket bottle of hand sanitizer on you. These sanitizers require no water and no rinsing to work, and I've found them to be quite drying due to their high alcohol content. Of course, pure rubbing alcohol could be used as well, but its strong smell tends to be equally inappropriate. Another, more subtle option would be to use a witch hazel solution. Because witch hazel is an astringent, it also tends to dry out skin.

Ladies in particular suffer from excessive social sweating because of makeup. Even if nothing else were to draw attention to the perspiration, the effect of sweat on makeup inevitably does. In addition, nothing makes a lady feel worse than to find out she's been going about all evening with "raccoon eyes" because sweat made her mascara and eyeliner smear. To solve this and other problems with sweat in visible areas, I suggest a light coat of drying lotion such as calamine. If calamine doesn't work for you, there are other over-the-counter and prescription lotions that can.

Pay attention to physical factors that bring on excessive sweat and avoid them.  For example, some people sweat a lot when they eat spicy food, eat onions or drink alcohol. If you can find a link like this, you can then control it for those gatherings in which others will not understand.

Some foods or drinks, such as chamomile tea, can serve to reduce sweating. If you know you'll be attending a Christmas party and chamomile tea serves to get your perspiration under control, I'd suggest starting to drink it the day before. Be careful with this, as chamomile can be overly relaxing. Of course, chamomile is also just an example. Some people react well to sage tablets, tea, and so forth. Everybody's different, so experiment to find what works for you.

Of course, in the long term you should strive to find the root cause of your hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating) and actually get it treated. If you suffer from primary hyperhidrosis, which means it's genetically related, you'll only be able to manage it instead of curing it. However, if you suffer from hyperhidrosis from any other source, you should be able to get to the bottom of it and cure it for good.

Main write by Loni L. Ice, Editing and quality control D Urquhart.