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Obviously, it’s totally normal to sweat with heat, exercise, and nervousness — even healthy — but if you suffer from excessive sweating on a regular basis for no rhyme or reason, whether it be on your underarms, palms, feet or upper lips, it can be a huge source embarrassment. I can totally relate here — I’ve been looking for hyperhidrosis treatments to address my perpetually sweaty hands since I was a kid. Sometimes, my palms are just clammy — especially if I’m nervous or super stressed out —but other times, they’re straight-up soaked, and while I’ve learned to accept it, shaking hands with a new colleague or first Hinge date when I’m having a “flare up” isn’t exactly a charming first impression. I used to try to explain myself and my condition, so as to not gross out the other person, but now days I just brush it off and try not to get lost in wondering what they may suspect is wrong with me. Oh — and not to be grave, but sometimes my hands are so drenched that driving a steering wheel becomes a bit more challenging when it comes to maintaining a safe grip.
There are two main types of hyperhidrosis: axillary (excessive underarm sweating) and palmoplantar (excessive sweating on the hands and feet). While the clinical research remains inconclusive, it seems that hyperhidrosis has some sort of hereditary component, as both my father and my aunt (his sister) have both also suffered with the same condition since childhood. Thanks, Dad. There are a few prescription drugs as well as surgical and non-surgical in-office procedures that can help alleviate excessive sweating. Surgical procedures typically involve removing the sweat glands from the affected area altogether, or severing nerves in the sweat glands. However, these surgeries are not always effective long-term, and of course, no one wants to get surgery if it’s not completely necessary or isn’t even going to work. One of the most common treatments for the disorder is actually Botox. That’s right, it’s not just a cosmetic procedure for targeting crows feet and forehead lines. Of course, this option can be costly (although it’s sometimes covered by insurance for medical purposes), but it is a great non-invasive alternative to surgery.
It’s worth noting that I am not a doctor (as much as I like to pretend that I am), and that excessive, chronic sweating can be a symptom of something potentially more serious than relatively harmless hyperhidrosis, so you should always consult your physician before using a new treatment, whether it’s OTC or not. However, if you’re like me and refuse to resort to surgical measures and are still on the fence about Botox, I’ve rounded up a few OTC products that can help control excessive sweating for the time being. Sure, they’re not going to cure it forever, but they may just help protect you against the potential for embarrassment the next time you’re introduced to someone new.
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1. Carpe Antiperspirant Hand Lotion
To be honest, I’m not sure how it took me so long to find this game-changing hand lotion. I carry the tube with me in purse wherever I go. Not only does it smell amazing, but the lotion formula helps to “mattify” your palms without drying them out or causing a burning sensation. It also starts to work immediately.
2. Dr. Sweat Pads
Designed to keep underarm sweating at bay for up to ten days with one use, these clinical-strength, antiperspirant drenched pads deliver some serious sweat defense. They also don’t leave behind a powdery white residue on your clothing, which is obviously a huge plus.
3. Neat Feat Facial Antiperspirant
Facial sweating (especially above the mouth) is fairly common, and not only is it embarrassing but it will also wreck your makeup look. This gel is designed specifically for the face, so it won’t break out those with acne-prone skin or clog pores.