Are you experiencing excess grease and sweat after intense workouts, during the summers or just for no reason? While this seems like an embarrassing problem, you’re probably a victim of hyperhidrosis or excessive sweating. This is the body’s way of responding to too much heat.
If you seem to be facing excessive sweating only on your face and head, you may be going through craniofacial hyperhidrosis.
However, all of us do not sweat in the same amounts. So, what causes excessive sweat in the face, and what can you do about it? Read to know more.
What Causes Excessive Facial Sweat?
Excessive sweating of the face may occur due to a number of factors, which may be primary or secondary in nature.
Primary hyperhidrosis may occur anywhere on the body. Experts suggest that it may be caused by an overactive nervous system. When the nervous system detects your body overheating, it tries to cool it down, by changing your breathing and blood flow patterns. Research suggests that 30-50 per cent of people with this type of hyperhidrosis have a family history of the same (1).
Secondary hyperhidrosis is linked to medical conditions or other underlying conditions. Excessive sweating may be caused by heart disease, menopause, diabetes or usage of certain antidepressants.
If you notice your face sweating too much, consult your doctor. They will help determine the cause of your excessive facial sweating.
Did You Know?
About 22 to 23 percent of people with primary hyperhidrosis have excessive facial sweating (2).
A few causes of excessive facial sweat could be,
1. Nerve Activity
The nervous system may play a role in excessive facial sweating. Under certain environmental conditions, in an attempt to protect your body, your nervous system may convince your brain to deactivate or activate your sweat glands.
If somebody is diagnosed with a nerve-related disorder, it may also be the cause of excessive facial sweating. This happens due to confusing signals that are sent to the brain in the case of a disorder.
Obesity may be another cause of excessive sweating. In obese people, the body stores more minerals than it requires. The eventual attempt to get rid of them through your sweat glands may cause excessive sweat.
If any of your family members also deal with a lot of facial sweat, then your excessive sweating may be genetic in nature. All of us have approximately two to four million sweat glands in the dermis (second layer of the skin).
The number and location of sweat glands is associated with genes. If someone from your family has the majority of their sweat glands located in their facial skin, you know where your condition stems from.
We tend to overproduce heat when we exercise. Heavy or intense exercise may lead to excessive heat production. Sweating is an attempt made by the body to cool itself down.
5. Hot Weather
The weather may play a major role in excessive sweating. Hot, humid and sultry seasons cause the body to heat up. In an attempt to maintain its normal temperature, the body releases this heat through sweat glands. This is the body’s cool down mechanism to keep itself safe (3) (4)
How Can You Treat Excessive Facial Sweat?
Below are a few ways that can help you reduce excess sweating. However, some of them may not be the best option for excess facial sweating. You can talk to your dermatologist about the best options to control your facial sweat.
This procedure involves the usage of a low-level electric current that runs through your body. You will be submerged underwater during this process. The technique is a way of introducing ionic medicinal substances to your body to help block your sweat glands (5).
2. OTC Antiperspirant
Antiperspirants are a common way of reducing excessive sweating. However, they are commonly used to treat excessive sweating of the underarms and other not-so-sensitive parts of the body.
Antiperspirants are products specifically tailored to block sweat from reaching the surface of the skin. Most of them contain aluminium salts that block the secretion of sweat. This happens due to a layer they form on top of the sweat that has been secreted, preventing it from reaching the surface of your skin.
However, most antiperspirants are designed for non-sensitive areas of your skin. They may be irritating on the face or other sensitive areas. Talk to your dermatologist about which ones you may apply to your face to prevent skin irritation.
Botulinum toxin or botox is another treatment option to control excessive sweating. Botox is also used to help eliminate the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Botox works by blocking the action of a chemical that signals the sweat glands to release sweat.
It has been approved by the FDA as a treatment option to control excessive sweating of the under arms. However, it may not be the perfect option for facial sweating. Talk to your doctor to know more about this treatment option to help regulate your face sweating (6).
4. Anticholinergic Medicines
These may be prescribed by your dermatologist if antiperspirants or botulinum toxin have not been very effective in treating your excessive face sweating. They inactivate the sweat glands but may also cause some side effects like dry mouth, blurry vision or heart palpitations. You may also find it difficult to urinate.
Surgery may help those who don’t respond to any other treatment option. Those with high levels of hyperhidrosis can undergo surgery to have their sweat glands removed or scraped. One of the most effective surgical options is ETS or endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy.
This method involves making tiny incisions in the nerves of your skin (usually underarm area) to inactivate glands. However, ETS may result in scarring and you may experience excessive greasiness on some other part of your body. This is also known as compensatory sweating.
Natural Remedies To Control Excessive Facial Sweat
1. Baking Soda
How to use
- Mix baking soda in water to form a thick paste.
- You may also add a few drops of an essential oil to the paste.
- Gently apply the mixture to the affected area and rinse off after 15 minutes.
Note: This process may be repeated 4-5 times per week.
- Mix 1 teaspoon of lemon juice with 1 teaspoon of baking soda.
- Gently apply the paste to the affected area.
- Leave for about 15 minutes and rinse off.
Note: This process may be repeated 4-5 times per week.
Chamomile tea works as an astringent that may help reduce excess sweating (11). Chamomile tea contains antibacterial properties that may reduce odor.
- Add about 1 teaspoon of chamomile leaves to a cup of hot water and let it steep.
- You may use a cotton ball to apply the concoction to the affected area.
Note: This process may be repeated everyday.
4. Black Tea
- Add 1 or 2 teabags of black tea to 3-4 cups of water and bring it to a boil.
- Let the mixture cool down to room temperature.
- You may then apply it to the affected areas using a cotton ball.
Note: To increase efficacy, you can also consume about 2 cups of this tea everyday.
5. Consume Foods That Are Rich In Magnesium
Sweating too often may result in a magnesium deficiency (14). Foods that are rich in magnesium are recommended to regulate your body temperature. It may also help reduce your anxiety levels that may also be the cause of too much sweat.
Foods rich in magnesium include
- Green vegetables
- Whole grains
Tips To Reduce Excessive Sweating
1. Bathe regularly and cleanse two times a day to prevent grease and sweat. This will also help to reduce bacterial infections and moisture.
2. Use towels or a blotting sheet to pat your skin dry and remove excess sweat .
3. Avoid foods that contribute to excess sweat. These may include fats, caffeine etc..
4. Avoid hot weather and humid places.
5. Wear clothes that let your skin breathe. Include loose-fitting clothes and avoid warm fabrics.
6. Consume smaller and healthier meals that prevent your body from overproducing heat. This will help regulate digestion.
7. Avoid exercising for long hours before an event since sweating may continue after a prolonged or an intense workout session.
8. Avoid using any greasy or heavy products on the face.
9. Apply antiperspirant in the morning and before you sleep.
Hyperhidrosis or excessive sweating on the face can be an embarrassing problem. It may be caused by internal or external factors. Primary hyperhidrosis is linked to genetics, while secondary hyperhidrosis is associated with underlying causes. Treatments are available, and include the use of antiperspirants, surgery or botox among others. Natural remedies may also be used to reduce facial sweating.
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