Welcome to the OutUK series looking at gay men and their health brought to you in association with the NHS website.
Each week we'll tackle a different topic in our A to Z of Gay Health. We'll have features and advice on everything from relationships, sexual health, mental and physical conditions and how to stay fit. You can follow any of links provided below for more information direct from the NHS website, or view any of our Previous A to Z Features.
You should also know that OutUK has produced a special report about: Coronavirus Covid-19.

This Week - X : X-cessive Sweating

Excessive sweating is common and can affect the whole body or just certain areas. Sometimes it gets better with age but there are things you can do and treatments that can help.

What is excessive sweating?

It's normal to sweat if you get hot or do exercise, but you may be sweating excessively if you're sweating when your body does not need to cool down.

Excessive sweating can happen for no obvious reason, because of another condition you may have, or as a side effect of a medicine you're taking.

Things you can do to help with excessive sweating

Do

  • wear loose-fitting clothes to minimise signs of sweating

  • wear socks that absorb moisture and change your socks at least twice a day if possible

  • wear leather shoes and try to wear different shoes day to day

Don't

  • do not wear tight clothes or synthetic fabrics - for example, nylon

  • do not wear enclosed boots or sports shoes that may cause your feet to sweat more

  • do not do things that might make your sweating worse - for example, drinking alcohol or eating spicy food

A pharmacist can help with excessive sweating

You can see a pharmacist about excessive sweating. You can buy things without a prescription, such as:

  • stronger antiperspirants instead of deodorant
  • armpit or sweat shields to protect your clothing
  • foot powders for sweaty feet
  • soap substitutes that are more gentle on your skin

Find a pharmacy

See a GP if you're sweating excessively and:

  • things you can do yourself are not helping
  • it's lasted for at least 6 months
  • it stops you from getting on with your daily activities
  • it happens at least once a week
  • it happens at night (you're having night sweats)
  • you have a family history of excessive sweating
  • you're taking medicine for another condition

The GP may refer you for tests if they think another condition may be causing your sweating.

Treating severe excessive sweating

If there's no obvious cause for your sweating, and nothing seems to be helping, then you may be referred to a specialist (dermatologist).

They may recommend other treatments that you can try, such as:

  • taking tablets that reduce sweating
  • treating the areas with a weak electric current passed through water or on a wet pad (iontophoresis)
  • having botox injections for sweating under the armpits (this may not be available on the NHS)
  • surgery - for example, removal of the sweat glands

If your sweating is caused by another condition, any treatment you may need will depend on what's causing it.

More information

We'll have more information and advice next week on another topic in our A to Z of Gay Health. We have covered many subjects in this series and you can catch up with all of our Previous A to Z Features.

If you want to find out more about this week's subject you can visit the Original article on the NHS website. If you are worried by any aspect of your health make sure you go and see your doctor or book an appointment at your local clinic.

Photos: LightFieldStudios and one of VladOrlov, Stockcube, darak77, ajr_images or rawpixel.com.

 

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