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Excessive Sweating Help

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What’s Your Sweat IQ? Quiz Yourself with our Myths vs. Facts

With the first month of 2011 already under your belt, maybe you’re reflecting on your New Year’s resolutions. Any self-improvement achieved yet? Don’t worry, we’re not going to nag you to stick to your fitness regimen or to floss daily (although they are both good ideas). Instead we’re going to give you some insight, debunk some myths, and try to help you kick sweating problems into the next decade. Read on…

Myth #1: Antiperspirants are for underarms only

Think outside the pits! You can glide, stick, spray, and roll-on nearly any where that sweating is a problem (think hands, feet, face, back, chest, and even groin.) But talk to your dermatologist before applying an antiperspirant to sensitive areas. He or she may have recommendations about which antiperspirants or active ingredient concentrations may be more suitable for different regions of the body. Learn more about expanding the usefulness of antiperspirants.

Myth #2: If someone sweats a lot, he or she must be overweight, out-of-shape or nervous.

The average person has 2 to 4 million sweat glands. Sweat is essential to human survival and serves as the body’s coolant, protecting it from overheating. Many athletes actually sweat more than other people because their bodies have become very efficient at keeping cool. Meanwhile, people with hyperhidrosis (a medical condition characterized by overactive sweat glands) sweat excessively regardless of mood, weather, or activity level – often producing 4 or 5 times more sweat than is considered “normal”. You can’t tell much about a person by his or her sweat, so stick to good old-fashioned conversation instead. Think you may have hyperhidrosis? Get the facts.

Myth #3: You should ditch the stick because antiperspirants can cause breast cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.

No and no. There is no scientific evidence to support either claim. In fact, the American Cancer Society, Susan B. Komen Cancer Foundation, National Cancer Institute, and Alzheimer’s Association have each made statements refuting the rumors that antiperspirants (and specifically the aluminum salts used as active ingredients in antiperspirants) have any significant links to cancer or Alzheimer’s. There are better ways to cut your disease risks. The International Hyperhidrosis Society has done the research for you. Visit Cancer Myth and Alzheimer’s Myth to learn more.

Myth #4: Like caffeine, antiperspirants are best used in the morning.

It’s time to change it up. Nope, don’t start drinking espresso before bed but DO start using your antiperspirant in the p.m. Antiperspirant application twice daily—and especially before bedtime—has been shown to be more effective. Sweat production is at its lowest at night, giving the active ingredients in antiperspirants a better chance to get into your pores and form the superficial plugs necessary to block the flow of perspiration in the morning when you really get moving. (The plugs can stay in place at least 24 hours and then are washed away over time.) Learn more about how antiperspirants work from experts.

Myth #5: If you want to live a normal life (without your sweating problem), you have to have surgery.

Not only is it a myth that you have to have surgery to stop excessive sweating, it’s an especially tragic myth. The major side effect of ETS surgery (endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy) is called compensatory sweating and it’s often more disabling than the original sweating problem. Compensatory sweating is sweating on the back, chest, abdomen, legs, face, and buttocks after ETS surgery and it doesn’t go away. In a Danish study conducted at the Aarhus University Hospital, 90% of the patients undergoing ETS for underarm sweating, reported compensatory sweating, half of whom were forced to change their clothes during the day because of it. Don’t choose a “cure” that’s worse than the disease: experts agree that antiperspirants, iontophoresis, Botox injections, and combinations of these less invasive treatments should all be tried (in many different iterations) before anyone turns to ETS surgery. The International Hyperhidrosis Society has all the latest news about safe and effective treatments for excessive sweating. Visit our treatments pages today.


Hyperhidrosis, or excessive sweating, is a real but treatable skin disease affecting 178 million people worldwide. Hyperhidrosis is a medical condition recognized by the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD), Coalition of Skin Diseases (CSD), National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD). People who suffer from hyperhidrosis may sweat 4 or 5 times more than the average person. This level of sweat production is often embarrassing, uncomfortable, anxiety-inducing, and disabling. It can disrupt all aspects of a person’s life, from career choices and recreational activities to relationships, emotional well being, and self-image. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Effective treatments are available.

If you or someone you love suffers from excessive sweating the International Hyperhidrosis Society can help. Visit to learn about the support and treatments available.

School administrators and school nurses may also contact the International Hyperhidrosis Society to learn about the Know Sweat in School program (made possible by grants from Secret Clinical Strength® and Gillette Clinical Strength® antiperspirants). The program helps school nurses to better help children and teens suffering from excessive sweating (and the social stigma, depression, and self confidence issues that go along with excessive sweating) to find treatment and support.

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