Tips to Help You Stop Sweating So Much

Sweating it out at the gym feels good. After an intense workout, you don’t mind the sweat, even if you’re soaking wet from it. Interestingly, the average person has two to four million sweat glands working to protect the body from overheating. That’s a lot of potential sweat. And what if you find yourself excessively sweating even when you’re not at the gym?

It’s normal to sweat, but not to the point where your clothes are drenched. Don’t sweat it, though. Here are some tips to help keep you dry.

1. Avoid spicy foods and caffeine

man with deodorant

Spicy foods can make you sweat. | iStock.com

A very strong coffee or a burrito doused in hot sauce may do more than wake you up: It can also stimulate your sweat glands. Kelley Redbord, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist, tells Men’s Fitness, “Caffeine and spices can activate neurotransmitters, called acetylcholine, which are located in your brain. Anything that stimulates these neurotransmitters can sometimes affect the glands that cause sweating.”

2. Apply antiperspirant in the afternoon

Man in bathroom applying deodorant

Don’t just apply deodorant in the morning. | iStock.com

Sweat production is at its lowest at night, giving the active ingredients in antiperspirants a better chance to seep into your pores, blocking perspiration in the morning, says Dee Anna Glaser, M.D., president of the International Hyperhidrosis Society. Dr. Glaser points out: “It’s OK to reapply in the morning, but don’t worry about the product washing away in the shower because the ingredients have already penetrated your sweat ducts.”

3. … And not just to your pits

woman hands with cream

Your hands can get really sweaty, too. | iStock.com/OlgaMiltsova

“Your hands, feet, face, back, chest, and even groin have high concentrations of sweat glands,” says Dr. Glaser. Gliding on antiperspirant in these area will help keep them dry, but avoid your face or private parts, which are too sensitive.

4. Go for extra strength

Nivea deodorant bottles stand in production line

Go for extra strength if needed. | Philipp Guelland/AFP/Getty Images

Next time you’re at the drugstore, reach for extra strength. Clinical strength antiperspirants are more effective at stopping sweat because they have higher concentrations of active ingredients. Any of your favorite brands have clinical strength formulas; it’s just a matter of looking at the labels.

 5. Seek prescription-level help

pills spilling out of a bottle

Prescriptions can help. | Thinkstock

“Anything you can do to decrease your anxiety, such as deep breathing or other relaxation techniques, will decrease the potential stimulation of neurotransmitters that can then stimulate your sweat glands,” says Dr. Redbord. “If you often sweat a lot when you’re in a stressful situation, such as with public speaking, you can consider seeing a doctor (find one near you at sweathelp.org) who may decide to prescribe oral medications that can help decrease your sweating in these types of situations, or suggest other treatment options.”

6. Consider surgery

surgical equipment

Surgery can greatly reduce sweating. | iStock.com

If clinical antiperspirants or prescriptions aren’t able to stop your waterworks, ask your doctor about getting Botox injections, which were FDA-approved in 2004 for treating hyperhidrosis. Also available is a treatment known as the miraDry, which has been approved by the FDA. The California Skin Institute notes the miraDry Procedure gets rid of the sweat glands in the underarm safely and in a non-invasive way. This can really help those who find their sweating interferes with their everyday life. 

7. Pick clothing that will conceal 

man in a black t-shirt and sunglasses

Pick dark T-shirts. | Pablo Cuadra/Getty Images

In the meantime, before seeking help or figuring out how to manage your symptoms, consider wearing darker-colored clothing to hide excessive sweat. Although it won’t stop you from sweating, it will make you feel better knowing that it doesn’t look like you are.