Summer ended, and you breathed a sigh of relief. Sweat-filled days were finally at an end. For a few months, you would have a dry existence, free of pit stains, soaked shirts and tickling beads of perspiration. You could once again lift your arms in public. But you failed to remember that working out and the combination of over-layering with over-heating leads to sweat. You also failed to remember that naturally your body seems to seep more than others. And so for you, there is no end to the sweat season, because you are an excessive sweater.
Excessive sweating affects an estimated eight million Americans. Liquid drips from their feet, hands, faces and underarms with an abundance that could fill a bathtub, on a cool day. They are plagued with drenched clothing, smelly bodies and gallons of embarrassment. That much perspiration is humiliating and certainly not a topic of conversation, amongst friends or doctors. In fact, I’m willing to bet that you, the afflicted, have never approached your MD about the sweat patches on your t-shirt. Why would you or, more importantly, how could you without blushing bright red and adding to the sweat already dribbling down your back? I don’t blame you, so I’ll talk about it for you.
There is no known cause for excessive sweating. Most cases have a family history behind them, suggesting a genetic disposition, but the link is unsubstantiated. Experts theorize that hyperthyroidism, diabetes and (although highly unlikely) anxiety contribute to the puddles of perspiration. Whatever the cause, it’s usually an affliction that won’t simply go away. If you sweat buckets, you’ll do so for the rest of your life. You can take the extreme route to rectify it and have surgery. You can shell out $2,000 a year for botox treatments. You can take oral medications, run electrical currents through your body, remove your sweat glands or take a deep breath and relax.
Chances are your excessive sweating isn’t as excessive as you’d think. If others don’t seem to notice and you can live with a little dampness, take the steps to minimize the perspiration without minimizing your bank account. Use antiperspirants instead of regular deodorant. They reduce the amount of sweat rather than just masking the odor with flowery scents. And wear colors that will hide the sweat patches. It sounds ridiculous, but a little camouflage can make you considerably more confident. Rely on blacks and whites, but leave navy blue in the closet. Then, stop sweating the sweat. It’s there. It happens. You can live with it.
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