Living with Hyperhidrosis: Self-Care Tips
Those who suffer from hyperhidrosis often state that it takes a significant mental, emotional, physical, and occupational toll, and affects nearly every aspect of their everyday life. Studies have shown that hyperhidrosis has a considerable negative impact on quality of life and general well-being.
Excessive sweating can lead to those affected feeling extreme embarrassment, anxiety, sadness, anger, and hopelessness. In a recent study conducted on hyperhidrosis patients, most individuals reported having low self-esteem, and low self-confidence as a result of the condition.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, there is a significant association between hyperhidrosis and the prevalence of anxiety, depression, and attention deficit disorder (ADD) regardless of gender or age. Hyperhidrosis patients have a statistically significant higher prevalence of these three conditions than the general public.
While primary hyperhidrosis itself is a benign condition, the mental toll of hyperhidrosis is not to be ignored. A key to managing the condition is to find ways that work for you to help ease feelings of stress and anxiety. Proper self-care is crucial to mental, emotional, and physical health and wellbeing. It can help you improve your mood and reduce anxiety, while helping build and maintain a good relationship with yourself, which is positively reflected in your relationships with others.
Below we have compiled some tips on how to help alleviate the mental burden hyperhidrosis places on an individual. These are self-care tips and suggestions that are worth incorporating into your daily routine and self-care ritual.
Talk to Someone
Many are hesitant to talk to someone because of fears of judgement or that people will not understand. But talking to a trusted loved one can help alleviate the mental toll of hyperhidrosis. They may not be able to fully understand your experience, but they may be able to relate or at least lend a listening ear. Even just having someone to periodically vent to could help ease mental anguish, by just saying your concerns aloud. Many hyperhidrosis sufferers are anxious to even bring this up with their doctors, so a good place to start and practice opening up is with a trusted person. The more you talk about it, the better you will feel, especially when you realize that most people do not care and may have never realized you had a condition in the first place. They will, however, appreciate the fact that you trusted them enough to open up about it. Check out our guide to opening up to a loved one about hyperhidrosis here.
For some hyperhidrosis sufferers, working out in a gym full of sweaty people is the one place they feel like they don’t stand out! Exercise has proven mental and physical health benefits and can help reduce stress, so it’s ideal in more ways than one for a hyperhidrosis sufferer. If you sweat even more than those around you, people will just assume you’ve had a really intense workout, and won’t really question it any further!
You can also get the same benefits of exercise by working out at home, if you prefer that! Working out can help alleviate stress and one of the perks of working out at home as it eliminates the potential for self-consciousness, and if you get particularly sweaty, you can just hop in the shower right after. You can also blast your workout music as loud as you want, or follow an exercise video at your own speed.
Prepare the Night Before
Do you always feel rushed in the morning? Waking up late, running out of time, or simply encountering unforeseen circumstances can lead to that dreaded early morning panic. When this happens, your body experiences a cortisol (stress hormone) and adrenaline spike, which can lead to increased anxiety and instant excessive sweating, especially if you’re the type to suffer from stress-induced sweat.
By preparing the night before, such as showering, preparing your day’s outfit, and meal prepping, there is a less chance of you encountering a last-minute rush and panic. You’ll be able to spend that extra time in the morning relaxing, whether that means having a few more minutes of precious sleep, having breakfast, or reading or watching something. Being more relaxed will stop you from breaking out in a sweat first thing in the morning, which can put a damper on your entire day. It will also help you be more productive throughout the day.
Bonus tip: It is also best to apply antiperspirant the night before, in order for it to reach its maximum efficiency. Since you’re generally sweating less at night, it will also be easier to put on. You also won’t have to worry about reapplying it in the morning!
Get a Good Night’s Rest
Getting a good night’s rest is your body’s best way to recharge and help you feel your best the following day. However, if your excessive sweating acts up at night, particularly if you suffer from secondary hyperhidrosis, then getting a good night’s sleep can be extra challenging, and sleeping the recommended 7-8 hours seems more like a dream than a reality.
Thankfully many products have been developed to help alleviate night sweat and help you keep cool and fresh. Look for absorbent cotton materials, and stay away from very thick fabrics like flannel that could worsen your sweating.
Get a fan, either a regular fan or ceiling fan will help you keep cool, but for serious night sweaters, bed fans exist! These fans blow air under the covers to keep you cool all night long.
Air circulation will help you sleep and help keep sweat at a minimum, without sacrificing comforts like blankets and cozy pajamas.
Create a DIY “No-Sweat Kit"
If you know you have a special occasion or presentation during the day, or you’re just going about your day but now you’ll encounter plenty of people, carry a DIY “no-sweat kit” to help you freshen up and make you feel more comfortable and confident throughout the whole day. You can tailor the bag to your specific needs but we suggest carrying a change of clothes and/or shoes, socks, a towel, antiperspirant, cleansing/deodorant wipes, body spray, a water bottle, and a sweet treat to perk your mood right up if you’re feeling low!
This is also helpful if you’re commuting to work or school using public transit and tend to get all sweaty before even getting to your destination. Just arrive a few minutes early and pop into the bathroom and change and/or refresh yourself. You’re guaranteed to feel better about yourself throughout the day, and you’ll exude more confidence.
Take a Relaxing Bath
A nice bath is a great way to unwind, decompress, and treat yourself to some well-deserved “me-time” after a long day. It’s also the one place you don’t have to worry about sweating! So start a bath, light some candles, put on your favourite album or TV series, and just enjoy the sweat-free moment!
Treat Yourself to Something New
Constantly sweating through clothing and shoes can be discouraging and demoralizing. Hyperhidrosis sufferers often go through garments and shoes quicker than the average individual, because sweat can ruin clothing and shoes.
Treat yourself to an item of moisture-wicking clothing, whose material is designed to wick sweat away from the body to keep you feeling cool and fresh. There are also plenty of moisture-wicking athletic wear, socks, and shoes brands that were designed for athletes and gym-goers who sweat a lot during physical activity, but have the added bonus of being equally beneficial for those who suffer from hyperhidrosis and sweat all the time.
If you’re starting a new treatment for hyperhidrosis, such as iontophoresis, then set out some treatment goals for yourself, and reward yourself with a new shirt or pair of shoes you would have never dared to wear before! It can be motivation to stick to your treatment schedule. To learn more about iontophoresis, click here.
Excessive sweating means you’re sweating out even more water than the average person, meaning you have to work harder to stay hydrated. Proper hydration is crucial in helping you feel your best, and being well-hydrated improves sleep quality, cognition, and mood.
Proper hydration also helps regulate body temperature (crucial for those who suffer from excessive sweating), keep joints lubricated, prevent infections, deliver nutrients to cells, and keep organs functioning properly.
For most people, 8 glasses of water a day is enough, but some may need more. Those who sweat excessively, such as athletes or hyperhidrosis sufferers, may need more to maintain an adequate level of hydration. So, drink up! If you have concerns regarding maintaining a proper level of hydration to meet your individual needs, bring them up with your healthcare provider at your next appointment.
Improve Your Diet
Some foods and drinks can trigger sweat production in some individuals. By staying away from these foods, you may not only notice a reduction in sweat levels, but also general positive health benefits.
Some known sweat triggers include caffeine, alcohol, highly-processed foods, and hot and spicy foods. By eliminating or limiting these items from your diet, you may not only experience a general health boost, but you might experience a noticeable sweat reduction! If you struggle with body odour (bromhidrosis) you may also want to stay away from garlic and onion, especially before a special day or event.
While there is no conclusive scientific proof that specific foods and nutrients can help reduce excessive sweating, many have reported good results by adding certain things to their diets. This includes upping your intake of B vitamins, fiber, and magnesium. Drinking more water, consuming water-rich fruits and vegetables, and drinking tea, have also been reported by many as helping. Much like sweating, staying hydrated helps regulate body temperature, and tea has calming effects, which can help ease stress-induced sweat. It is worth trying out to see if it works for you. You may also notice other unrelated benefits like feeling more energetic, and just feeling better on the whole. Remember to always consult a healthcare professional before making significant changes to your diet.
Whether it’s joining a yoga class, following online tutorials, or downloading an app with reminders to take mental breaks, or do your daily yoga/meditation session, these can all help ease feelings of stress and anxiety. Anyone can practice meditation—it’s easy and accessible and doesn’t require any equipment.
Meditating can help manage feelings of stress and give your mind a break from everything else that is going on in your life, and provide a sense of calm and tranquility and help you practice mindfulness.
Some other benefits of meditation are: gaining a new perspective on stressful situations and building skills to manage your stress. It can also help you reduce negative emotions and thoughts, and increase your patience, tolerance, and creativity.
Meditation can take many forms, such as meditation sessions or simply practicing proper breathing techniques. It’s worth experimenting with different types to see what works best for you.
Join a Support Group
If you prefer not talking to someone in person, many support groups and forums exist on the web where you can discuss with other hyperhidrosis sufferers, and share insight and tips and tricks! It can often be easier to talk to someone who understands what you go through on the daily, and you may learn a lot from other people’s experiences, which may be quite similar to yours. It helps to vent, express yourself, and get concerns off your mind and these judgement-free zones are the best way to do it. Finding others to share with that can relate to your experience can do some real good for lightening the mental toll of hyperhidrosis. It’s important to remember that you’re not alone, and millions understand what you go through on the daily! We suggest searching Facebook groups, forums, and subreddits to find the community for you!
Plan a Night In
Going out can be a particularly stressful experience for someone who suffers from excessive sweating. Being surrounded by people in tight, enclosed spaces with no proper air-circulation is not fun, especially if you suffer from excessive sweating. So a great alternative, is to just plan a fun night in, whether you’re alone or with friends, have an at-home spa night, a movie marathon, order takeaway, have a cooking or baking night—the options are endless. This is a great way to unwind, and have some fun and relaxing time on your own or with close friends. Best of all, sweating will be the last thing on your mind—it’s important to give your mind a break from constantly worrying about sweating!
Keep a Sweat Journal
Keep track of your daily sweating and make notes of what can trigger your excessive sweating. This can help you manage your hyperhidrosis by eliminating things that you identify as triggers. You can also keep track of your thoughts in here, both positive and negative, which can help you express yourself and document how you are feeling.
Make Your Treatment Part of Your Schedule
Find a treatment that works for you! Iontophoresis is a treatment option that allows you to treat excessive sweating at home.
As iontophoresis treatments are only 15 to 20 minutes, they can easily be incorporated into the busiest of lifestyles. You can easily fit your treatments into your schedule, and even as a part of your me-time. Simply put on an episode of your favourite TV series, put on an album or audio book, and your treatment will be over before you know it.
If you’re ready to start your sweat-free journey, discover Dermadry’s iontophoresis machine product range below.
Choose the Device that's Right for You!