CBSN

No Sweat

Man wipes sweat from face with hand
AP / CBS
Sweating is not only normal, it's a vital bodily function.

But some people perspire too much, to the point that it becomes a problem.

Dr. Sean Kenniff of CBS station WFOR-TV in Miami explains on The Early Show Monday that sweat is the way the body regulates temperature, wherever people are, whatever they're doing to become hot. People also tend to sweat when they feel anxious or nervous. The most common places people sweat are the under the arms, the soles of the feet and the palms and hands.

Determining whether you're sweating too much is a personal thing, Kenniff says. Some people may think the same amount of sweat is normal that others feel is excessive. The bottom line is, if your sweating makes you uncomfortable, you should talk to your doctor about it.

Easy ways to curb sweat amounts include:

Wearing loose-fitting clothes: Tight-fighting clothes tend to trap body heat, causing you to sweat.

Wearing natural fibers: Unlike manmade fibers such as polyester, fabrics made with cotton can "breathe."

Using talcum or anti-fungal powder: Powders can help absorb moisture.

If none of these work, there are several medical options available. They include:

Botox: Best known for its cosmetic uses to reduce skin wrinkles, Botox can actually be injected into areas of excessive sweating. It paralyzes sweat gland nerves and can last for a number of months.

Oral medications: There are a number of medications, such as Atropine, which help by blocking the nerves that stimulate sweat glands. The drawback is that some of these drugs can also dry up other bodily secretions, and cause such conditions as dry mouth.

Drysol: This is a prescription that's applied nightly, until the excess sweating has stopped. It works best on the underarms and hands. While it's an effective treatment, some people find it very irritating to their skin.

Biofeedback: Not all excess perspiration is due to high temperatures. Many people tend to sweat too much when they are about to go into a situation that makes them nervous, such as a presentation in front of a large group of people. If you fall into this category, you might want to consider meeting with a neurologist so you can better learn to control your heart rate and blood pressure.

Surgery: Some people have such severe sweating problems and have tried so many things without relief that they opt for more invasive procedures, such as an operation to remove sweat glands or surgery to sever nerves that lead to sweat glands.