Some people don’t experience issues with sweating until they become nervous. This can happen at the worst times! No one wants to get embarrassing sweat stains or odor when they’re on a first date, interviewing for a new job, meeting a stranger, giving a presentation, or taking an exam in class. Unfortunately, this is exactly when the problem shows up. There’s no need to be ashamed of this, a lot of people have problems with it.
Nervous sweating can be a self-feeding loop because simply thinking about the problem can cause a person to become even more nervous—ultimately causing them to sweat even more. Let’s take a look at what causes this, after which, we will look at how to solve the problem.
The Cause of Nervous Sweating
Your body has two different types of sweat glands: apocrine and eccrine glands. Eccrine glands are smaller and distributed across your body. Apocrine glands, on the other hand, are larger and concentrated in specific areas such as the armpits and groin. Apocrine glands become more active when you’re nervous, and this is what causes excess sweat.
Stress causes your heart rate, hormone production, and adrenaline production to increase. This, in turn, causes your eccrine glands to sweat more. This is when you get that all-over, nervous sweating sensation.
Does nervous sweat smell worse than regular sweat?
Unfortunately, yes it does. Apocrine sweat contains more nutrients than eccrine sweat. Eccrine sweat is mostly salt and water, so it usually does not have too bad of an odor.
The nutrients within apocrine sweat make it easier for bacteria to multiply, and bacteria is one of the main causes of body odor. It’s natural for your skin to have bacteria on it, but when it gets out of control it does cause increased odor.
Additionally, when your body produces too many hormones this will also be present in your sweat, causing to smell even worse. When you notice that you’re sweating more, and smelling more, this can make you more nervous. You can see how this can quickly become a problem.
How to Deal with Nervous Sweating
As you can see from above, excessive nervous sweating can be a big problem. Some people with this issue actively avoid social situations because of it. If you have this problem, you don’t have to let it control your life. Here are some tips that will help you get this situation under control;
- Avoid sweat-inducing foods and substances such as spicy dishes, nicotine, and caffeine. Caffeine increases the release of adrenaline which, as we already discussed, increases nervous sweating and body odor.
- Wear clothing that allows your body to breath. Natural materials, such as cotton, work better for this than synthetic fabrics. Natural materials will not hold odors as easily as synthetics either, so it’s a win-win!
- Use a strong antiperspirant and deodorant mix. These products are usually advertised as working for between 24 and 48 hours, and they will contain ingredients such as aluminum salts to reduce sweating and fragrances to mask the odor.
- Find ways to refresh yourself throughout the day, especially before an event or situation which might make you nervous. You can do this by using body wipes, powders, and re-applying deodorant throughout the day. This will help you control your nervousness as you will feel more confident, and this should help you to sweat less. Many companies sell travel-sized deodorant sticks that are ideal for carrying with you when you’re out and about.
- Drink plenty of room-temperature water. Your body will sweat more as it becomes dehydrated until you reach the point where it just can’t produce any more sweat. By then, you will be feeling negative physical effects from being dehydrated, and this is really bad for your body.
- Try to stay calm. Many people who experience anxiety and excessive nervousness may laugh at this because it is never as easy as it sounds. However, it will help to combat sweating issues. There are many techniques you can use for this, such as practicing yoga and meditation. Below you will find some information about how to sooth your nerves and experience less sweat-inducing anxiety.
Tips to Help You Manage Nervousness and Anxiety
Sometimes, as soon as a stressful situation comes up, you just know you’re going to have a problem with profusely sweating. The good news is that you can prepare yourself for such situations, especially if you know in advance that it may be an issue.
For example, let’s say you get really nervous in job interviews. Consider taking courses to increase your confidence. You can take a course on how to give a good interview, how to manage stress, or to learn techniques that will help you to calm down when experiencing stress. Once you are feeling more confident, you will be well on your way to gaining control over your nervous-sweating problem.
If you experience problems with sweating on your hands or areas that produce a lot of odor, consider using powders. These products are specifically designed to keep you dry, and many of them also have nice scents that will help with odor too. Knowing that you are prepared will often help you to experience less nervousness. Prevention and preparedness are always key to effectively managing anxiety and nerves!
Using Cosmetic Helpers Such as Armpit Pads and Antiperspirants
Preparation only works for events that you can plan for, but what about those times unexpected situations arise that cause you to feel nervous?
You can still be prepared for unexpected situations like running into your crush or being called into your boss’s office. Some people place specially designed pads in their armpits that prevent sweat from forming stains on their clothing. These pads often contain antibacterial and scented options to further increase their effectiveness.
You can also use strong deodorants and antiperspirants to help control odor and sweating. You may have to reapply them throughout the day, so be sure to bring a travel-size with you so that you’re prepared for the unexpected. You might still feel stressed, but you won’t have to worry that others will take notice.