Chafed thighs, constant swamp crotch, increased breakouts, and swear stains. Sweating can be a serious pain in the ass.
But how are you supposed to know when it’s all a little too much?
While it’s natural for men to sweat, especially when at a session at the gym, uncontrollable sweating (like when the amount of your sweat isn’t matching the situation) can be a sign of have excessive sweating.
Although millions of men suffer from excessive sweating or hyperhidrosis, it’s sometimes hard to know whether you’re just overreacting.
To get to the bottom of it, we spoke to dermatologists Dr. Michelle Rodrigues from Chroma Dermatology to find out all the telling signs.
How can you tell if you're sweating too much?
Sweating is actually a normal bodily function that helps regulate core body temperature. When your body temperature rises, sweating occurs to reduce the internal body temperature. So it is normal to sweat when it's hot, when you exercise or even when eating spicy food.
But if you are sweating when you are sitting at your desk or when you are having a meal with a friend, if the sweating is dictating what you wear and how you are interacting with people, that's usually excessive sweating.
How and why does it happen?
Occasionally certain medications, diabetes, thyroid disease and cancers (among other things) can cause sweating but in most cases, there is no underlying cause and it usually starts just after puberty. Sometimes people even have a family history of excessive sweating.
Usually when you first see your dermatologist some of the questions that may be asked include when the sweating started, your other medical problems, medications you take and your family history of excessive sweating.
The area where you experience your sweating is also important because different treatments can be used for different areas of the body.
What are the treatment options?
People who have excessive sweating of the armpits that haven't responded to medical grade antiperspirants may be eligible to access injections that stop sweating.
Research has shown the injections are usually effective for about 4 months initially with subsequent injections having a longer and longer effect. Medicare also provides a rebate for the injections when the treatment is performed by a dermatologist.
Surgery, because of its potential risks and complications, should only be considered for those that don't respond to any other treatments.
Excessive sweating in other regions like the hands and feet can be treated with clinical antiperspirants containing aluminium salts and medications that that can be made up by a compounding chemist.
Iontophoresis is the name of another treatment in which hands and feet can be dipped into shallow water with a current and medication running through. If these are ineffective, tablets (called anticholinergics) can be trailed but need to be discussed with your treating dermatologist.
This story was originally published on Gentlemen’s Quarterly.