Prob­lem Solved

Cut down on sweat.

Prevention (USA) - - CONTENTS - BY RICHARD LALIBERTE

We all sweat, but some of us re­ally sweat. Stress, anx­i­ety, med­i­ca­tion, and con­di­tions like di­a­betes, menopause, and thy­roid dis­or­ders can trig­ger glands to pump out ex­cess mois­ture. There’s also a con­di­tion called hy­per­hidro­sis, in which nerves that con­trol sweat glands be­come over­ac­tive. What­ever the cause, sweat­ing can take a toll. “The real bur­den is psy­cho­log­i­cal, emo­tional, and so­cial,” says Mal­colm Brock, M.D., pro­fes­sor of surgery at the Johns Hop­kins Univer­sity School of Medicine’s Cen­ter for Sweat Dis­or­ders. “Peo­ple can be­come dis­traught and of­ten suf­fer in si­lence.” If this sounds like you, don’t sweat it—these so­lu­tions may help.

PRE­VENT IT LIMIT CAF­FEINE

Stud­ies sug­gest that drink­ing a cup or two of a caf­feinated bev­er­age be­fore be­ing ac­tive can make peo­ple sweat more eas­ily and heav­ily. “Caf­feine ex­cites the ner­vous sys­tem, so try to min­i­mize your in­take if sweat­ing is an is­sue for you,” says Alisha Plot­ner, M.D., a der­ma­tol­o­gist at The Ohio State Univer­sity Wexner Med­i­cal Cen­ter.

TRY SAGE TEA

Sage has been found to re­duce hot flash in­ten­sity, and pre­lim­i­nary re­search sug­gests that drink­ing it in tea form may re­duce hy­per­hidro­sis symptoms. “Stud­ies are limited, but pa­tients have told me it helps,” Dr. Brock says. The Amer­i­can Botan­i­cal Coun­cil rec­om­mends up to 3 grams of dried sage, steeped in 2/3 cup boil­ing wa­ter, three times a day. If it’s hot out, fine to drink it iced!

TAME TEN­SION

Man­ag­ing stress and anx­i­ety won’t re­solve a sweat-in­duc­ing med­i­cal con­di­tion, but it can fore­stall sweat­ing trig­gered by emo­tional re­ac­tions. “A cog­ni­tive behavioral ther­a­pist can help you change neg­a­tive think­ing pat­terns so you’re less

likely to be­come anx­ious, and yoga or med­i­ta­tion can also pro­mote calm,” Dr. Plot­ner says.

TREAT IT FIND A STRONGER SWIPE

In­stead of a de­odor­ant, choose an an­tiper­spi­rant: De­odor­ants mask sweaty smells, while an­tiper­spi­rants block sweat glands to re­duce per­spi­ra­tion in the first place. If that’s not do­ing the trick, your doc can pre­scribe one (Drysol, Xerac

AC) that con­tains a more po­tent form of alu­minum chlo­ride, the in­gre­di­ent that tem­po­rar­ily plugs glands.

CON­SIDER A NEW RX

In 2018, the FDA ap­proved a topi­cal un­der­arm med­i­ca­tion (Qbrexza) that blocks nerve sig­nals that turn on sweat glands. An­other op­tion is twice-yearly in­jec­tions of bo­tulinum toxin-A (Botox) in the hands and feet to con­trol sweat­ing in those ar­eas. If you tend to sweat in mul­ti­ple ar­eas of the body, talk to your doc­tor about oral meds that may help.

ZAP THE GLANDS

If nei­ther an­tiper­spi­rants nor med­i­ca­tions help, you might be able to de­stroy the source of the sweat. With the FDA-ap­proved treat­ment Mi­raDry, a doc­tor uses a hand­held de­vice to dis­solve un­der­arm sweat glands with elec­tro­mag­netic en­ergy. You may need two ses­sions, three months apart, but the glands won’t re­grow and your body won’t com­pen­sate by sweat­ing more else­where.

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