Written by Theresa K. Brady, editorial intern
The last few days of summer are rapidly approaching, and we’re all trying to get in as many warm-weather workouts as possible. But with the rare day of scorching temperatures still popping up, outdoor exercisers can experience dehydration and excessive sweating. We spoke with experts from the International Hyperhydrosis Society to find out how to keep cool, stay dry and recognize when sweating becomes serious.
- Hydration is key. “Drinking water helps cool the body off,” says Kelley Redbord, MD, FAAD, a board-certified dermatologist in private practice in Vienna, Virginia and associate professor at George Washington University. If your body isn’t hydrated it won’t produce sweat, which could lead to heat stroke, says David M. Pariser, MD, founding member and secretary of the International Hyperhidrosis Society and professor of dermatology at Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk. Body temperature is regulated during hot weather by sweat evaporating off your skin.
- Apply antiperspirant at night. Both Redboard and Pariser recommend using an antiperspirant (which decrease sweating, while deodorants decrease odor-causing bacteria) in the evening because your skin will, most likely, be drier. “In the morning you’re body is moving and making heat, causing your body to sweat,” says Pariser. Wet skin makes antiperspirants less effective.
- Look for clinical strength. These antiperspirants have higher amounts of the active ingredient aluminum salt that makes them more effective than standard ones, says Pariser. They are sold over-the-counter at most local drugstores. Redboard recommends Secret Clinical Strength for women and Gilette Clinical Strength for men.
- Apply it anywhere. Antiperspirants are not reserved for under your arms. You can apply them anywhere you find you perspire like your hands, knees, feet, back or chest. Just be aware that these areas might be more sensitive than your underarms so choose an unscented product, advises Redboard.
- Excessive sweating may require treatment. If you find perspiration affecting your daily life, you may have a condition called hyperhydrosis. It sounds serious, but this just means you sweat more than necessary, and the condition is testable and treatable, Redboard and Pariser say. Symptoms include excessive sweating while resting, physical discomfort and sweaty palms making writing or shaking hands difficult. Consult with your doctor or dermatologist if you think you may suffer from hyperhydrosis.
You can also visit sweathelp.org to learn more about what you can do to keep your sweating under control.
More from FITNESS: Did you know that a women’s pro soccer player can sweat about three liters per match? Find more perspiration facts (and fixes) in “Don’t Sweat It.”