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Expert Q&A

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How can I stop sweating?

Asked by Kerri, Georgia

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I'm a freshman in college, and my feet are always sweaty, even in the wintertime. What can I do to stop sweating?

Expert Bio Picture

Living Well Expert Dr. Jennifer Shu Pediatrician,
Children's Medical Group

Expert answer

Thanks for your question. If you are otherwise healthy, you may have a condition called idiopathic hyperhidrosis, or basically overactive sweating that's not caused by any medical problems.

This type of sweating usually occurs when a person is awake and affects the palms, soles, face and armpits. Some people sweat excessively because they don't tolerate and respond to heat well, while others sweat a lot when they're stressed or nervous.

There are some simple steps you can take for excess sweating such as changing your socks frequently, wearing sandals or flip-flops in the summer, choosing breatheable lightweight clothing and using dress shields in the armpit area.

Other treatments include avoiding heat when possible, relieving stress or anxiety as needed, or using an antiperspirant product.

A prescription-strength antiperspirant or oral medication may be needed for severe sweating, and some people benefit from therapies such as botulinum toxin (Botox), applying a current to the sweat glands (called iontophoresis) or surgical removal of some sweat glands.

If you have sweating that occurs all over the body, happens at night and accompanies medical symptoms such as fevers, unintentional weight loss and extreme fatigue, be sure to consult your doctor, as it might be a sign of an illness that needs to be diagnosed and treated.

Good luck!

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