We all sweat… it’s a natural reaction (and is actually our body’s way of keeping us cool).
But did you know that as guys, we sweat a lot more than women? source
And while this means that we’re actually able to cool down more easily than women… source I get it:
This extra (often seemingly excessive) sweat can be incredibly embarrassing, ruin your appearance (with sweat marks), and completely crush your confidence.
So… to help you prevent this I’m going to show you 5 extremely effective ways to control excessive sweating (so you can stay comfortable and confident, no matter what).
Your Ultimate Guide to Controlling Sweat
Knowing both why you sweat and what makes you sweat, is extremely helpful in controlling your sweat… but if you want to jump to the 5 ways to control it (or just want to jump to a specific section), you can use the table of contents below:
Why Do You Sweat, Scientifically Speaking?
Sweating is your body’s response to a core temperature rise (caused by things like heat, exercise, or illness (like a fever or infection)) and its goal is simple: cool down your body.
How does sweat cool down your body?
When you sweat, water is released from your pores… which then evaporates, cooling your skin and releasing heat. source 1, 2 And while sweating can be embarrassing, it’s actually a huge evolutionary advantage that most mammals don’t have.
So… where does sweat come from?
Sweat is produced by sweat glands found under your skin… and there are 2 types of sweat glands:
- Eccrine glands – are the major sweat glands, found all over your body. These glands secrete a clear, odorless fluid that helps your body regulate temperature.
- Apocrine glands – are special sweat glands, found mostly in your armpits and genital region. These glands secrete a thicker fluid, which when comes into contact with bacteria, causes body odor. source
4 Specific Things That Can Make You Sweat More
1. Specific Foods/Drinks – Gustatory sweating is when you heavily sweat after consuming certain food or drinks (reactions vary among individuals). source Some of these include:
- Caffeinated drinks – can increase your nervous system’s sensitivity (which in turn increases the activity of your sweat glands). source
- Alcoholic drinks – don’t actually increase your body’s core temperature, but trick your brain into thinking that it’s hotter (which of course makes you sweat). source
- Spicy foods – significantly increase your blood circulation (which causes your body temperature to rise and makes you sweat). source
2. Extreme Emotion and Stress – Heavy sweating during extreme emotions or stress is part of your body’s “flight or fight” response. It prepares your body to better react to that fight-or-flight situation (since increased sweating will increase the speed heat loss). source
3. Medical Condition – Certain medical conditions can cause you to heavily sweat. These conditions include fever, infection, chronic pain, and cancer. PS: because of this, if you frequently sweat when you shouldn’t be… it’s a good idea to talk with your doctor.
4. Medication – There are countless medications that can cause excessive sweating. The most common are antidepressants, blood pressure medication, diabetes medications, and anti-inflammatory medications.
If you’re on a first date or at a lunch meeting, you might consciously avoid alcohol/spicy food… but some of these, you obviously can’t avoid (for example: stress or medications). So… if you’re still sweating more than you want to, and you’re ready to take the next step, check these out:
5 Powerful Methods To Control Your Sweat
A few notes before we jump into these:
Here are the 5 powerful methods to control sweat:
Okay… so you learned above: your body sweats for a reason (it cools it down and helps prevent it from overheating).
But as we all know: excessive armpit sweat causes unsightly sweat marks and (more importantly) can be incredibly embarrassing. So… how do you allow your body to sweat, but stop embarrassing sweat marks?
Wear the technologically-advanced Thompson Tee undershirt. It’s completely sweat proof (see the image below)... and is uniquely designed to control your underarm sweat… without stopping your body from sweating (and cooling itself). Check it out:
Pretty cool, right? Here’s how it works:
- As you sweat, the Thompson Tee uses a patented, 3-layer Hydro-Shield techology (built into the underarm of every Thompson Tee) to absorb all the moisture from your underarms.
- After absorbing your sweat, the Hydro-Shield technology releases both your sweat and heat as a vapor (keeping your underarms dry).
Crazy, right? And here’s the best part of Thompson Tee:
They believe in their product, completely… and have a money-back guarantee to show this belief: for the first 30 days, if you’re at all unsatisfied with your Thompson Tee, you can return it (opened, worn, washed, etc.) for a complete refund. And really: if you want to control your excessive sweating, why wouldn’t you try it?
Note from the Editor, Kyle:
I sweat a lot… it runs in my family. And unfortunately, like you’ve probably experienced, this leads to embarrassing/unavoidable sweat marks. I do my best to hide them (keeping my arms down, avoiding certain colors, etc.)… but nothing (not even crazy-strong antiperspirants) have been able to prevent them for me.
So needless to say… I was intrigued when the guys from Thompson Tee reached out to show me their undershirts. They sent me a few to test (some of their slim-fit V necks + a few crew necks)… and I decided to wear them at a conference I had that week.
Guys… the difference they made was incredible: after wearing one under my suit for a full day (at a stressful conference) I had no sweat marks. Absolutely none… whatsoever. And what was so powerful about this wasn’t just the fact that I looked better… it was the confidence that this brought (I wasn’t worried if sweat marks were showing… I wasn’t worried about keeping my arms at my sides… I wasn’t worried if someone would notice… at all).
And that’s why for me, this is the way to deal with excessive sweating. No chemicals. No doctors. No surgery. Just put on an undershirt when I don’t want to deal with sweat… and I’m done. I wanted you guys to try it out for yourselves, to understand how awesome these shirts are… so I asked Thompson Tee to hook you guys up, and they agreed to give you a limited-time discount with the code KYLE15:
Here’s something every guy should know:
Antiperspirants and deodorants are completely different. We covered it in more depth here, but in short: antiperspirants prevent/reduce sweating, while deodorants focus on masking bad-smelling body odor.
If you’re looking for something to actually reduce the amount that you sweat, using an antiperspirant is a great first step. It’s incredibly easy to use, easy to get/relatively cheap, and has no long-term health risks. source 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Here’s how they work: antiperspirants have ingredients (usually aluminum salts) that when dissolved into your sweat, create a gel-like barrier that covers your armpits (and in turn, significantly reduces how much you sweat).
PS: for better results using your antiperspirants, apply at night before bed (this gives the antiperspirant more time to effectively create its barrier).
The other methods on this list are mainly for combating excessive armpit sweating… but what if you excessively sweat somewhere else?
If your problem area is either your hands or your feet, Iontophoresis is a great option. It has been used to treat excessive sweating on both the palms and the feet since 1940. source
And while there are different Iontophoresis treatments/devices available (be sure to check with your physician/device manual to understand their/its specific instructions)… here’s generally how it works:
- Place two targeted skin areas (both palms, both feet, or one of each) in a shallow pan of water.
- Next, a small electrical current will pass through the water.
- The current and minerals (in the water) react with each other and thicken your skin (which prevents sweat from coming out).
An easy way to think about Iontophoresis is that it’s like building a callus. The more you do it, the thicker (and more resistant) your callus gets. Because of this, users will often do multiple treatments a week (until they’re satisfied with the thickness of their skin). And ps: to maintain this thickness (and keep sweat glands at bay), periodic treatment is required.
But is it expensive?
Yes and no. The initial cost of buying the device can be a high (most devices cost between $500 and $1,000)… but the great thing is that having your own device (sometimes for years), and this allows you to do the treatment on your own (you won’t have to constantly go to a doctor for the treatment).
PS: you will usually need a doctor’s prescription to buy an FDA approved Iontophoresis device.
Microwave thermolysis significantly reduces sweating under the armpits (with some treatments, by up to 82%) source… and is completely non-invasive (unlike laser treatment (#5), it doesn’t require an incision).
Here’s how it works:
- A physician puts a microwave thermolysis device on top of your armpit
- Using microwave technology, the device heats up the area where the sweat glands are located (between the skin and outermost layer of fat)
- This destroys the sweat glands (meaning that the effects will last years, if not permanently)source
One of the most popular, FDA approved source microwave thermolysis treatments for excessive armpit sweating and osmidrosis (extremely foul-smelling sweat) is miraDry. Patients who have undergone miraDry treatments have experienced a significant reduction in sweat (an average of 82% sweat reduction) source
Unfortunately: the technology is only applicable for the armpits (there’s no conclusive evidence that it works well for other areas) and miraDry treatments aren’t covered under most insurance plans.
Laser technology is being used more and more frequently largely due to its power and precision (doctors can target a highly specific area, without damaging surrounding areas). And these two combined are what make it so effective in treating excessive sweat… here’s how it works:
- A physician makes a small incision in your armpit (the incision is often so small that it doesn’t need to be stitched up)
- A tiny laser device is passed underneath your skin
- The laser is then precisely targeted to heat and destroy your sweat glands (the process is considered permanent)
Sounds pretty easy, right? And not only does that the entire procedure (usually) take less than an hour… but it also has minimal side effects (like swelling, numbness, and bruising).
But here’s the problem with laser treatment: it’s a relatively new procedure, so equipment isn’t widely available and is expensive.
Sweat-Control Methods to Avoid
1. Botox Injections
Botox is an FDA approved treatment for excessive armpit sweating, that can almost completely stop sweating for 3-6 months.
The problem: Botox is a toxin (the same toxin that causes the fatal disease, Botulism) source and has a number of side effects (muscle weakness, eye problems, allergic reactions, and difficulty breathing) source What’s more, it’s way too expensive considering how long it lasts (one session of Botox can cost anywhere from $1,000 to $1,500).
2. Sympathectomy (Nerve-Removal Surgery)
Your sweat is controlled by your sympathetic nerve (which located along your spine, behind your lungs). source There’s a surgery called a sympathectomy, which cuts or clamps your sympatheic nerve (which effectively prevents your brain from sending the signals to ‘sweat’).
The problem: first, it’s a serious, invasive surgery. Depending on how the surgery is done, it requires nerve grafting to reverse. source Second, it can lead to compensatory sweating (which is when your body redirects sweat from the now-dry areas to new places (like you back, chest, legs, etc.)) source. Third, up to 10% of patients request a reversal. source
3. Anticholinergic Medications
The problem: first, the use of anticholinergics isn’t FDA approved treatment for hyperhidrosis. source Second, they stop almost all sweating, and can increase your risk of getting overheated, and even of getting heat stroke. source Third, a recent study found that long-term use of anticholinergics can increase your risk of dementia. source
Hyperhidrosis: What Is It and How to Determine If You Have It
Hyperhidrosis is a medical condition that affects nearly 3% of the American population. source
In (over) simplified terms, it’s when a person sweats more than is necessary. They might sweat when there’s no reason to sweat (like when they’re sitting on the couch), or they might sweat so much that it interferes with their life (like having palms to sweaty they can’t hold a pen… or armpits so sweaty that their shirt is nearly soaked).
Although it’s not life-threatening, it can greatly reduce your quality of life (it can be embarrassing, make simple tasks difficult, and even hurt your confidence). To determine if you have it, take a look at these 6 common signs of hyperhidrosis:
- Your excessive sweating is bilateral and symmetrical (it occurs on both armpits, both feet, and/or both arms)
- The sweat is so much that it gets in the way of your daily activities (your armpits feel extremely wet and sticky, your hands lose grip due to too much sweat, or your socks are constantly soggy)
- You experience excessive sweating at least once a week
- You experience excessive sweating before the age of 25
- It runs in your family
- You don’t excessively sweat while you sleep
If you have at least 2 of the above:
I highly suggest you talk to your doctor about whether you have hyperhidrosis (and which of the 5 above methods you should use if you do have it).
Excessive sweating (hyperhidrosis included) is embarrassing… but thankfully, there are things you can do about it.
If you’re ready to take control of your excessive sweating, pick the method that’s best suited for you and your life, from the 5 powerful options above.