Excessive sweating or “hyperhidrosis” is a common PCOS symptom. People with this condition will sweat excessively and sometimes unpredictably. The most commonly affected areas are the palms, soles and armpits.
Hyperhidrosis is thought to be hereditary and often begins during childhood or adolescence, but it can be brought on by emotional stress, hormonal imbalances or many other conditions. No matter where or why it happens, it can be a source of physical and emotional discomfort.
Conditions that may result in hyperhidrosis include (but are not limited to):
- Anxiety conditions
- Certain medications and substances of abuse
- Glucose control disorders
- Heart disease
- Lung disease
- Metabolic Disorders
This can be a traumatic symptom, but there are natural ways to stay dry and keep cool when temperatures soar.
- Upgrade your antiperspirant
Antiperspirant is often the first line of defense. You can ask your doctor for a prescription strength formula, or you could try one of the over-the counter formulas developed for women with hyperhidrosis. Personally, I like Primal Pit Paste. The ingredients are natural and organic. I do my best to avoid the environmental toxins that are common ingredients in commercial deodorants. Pit Paste may be unconventional, but it really works, and it contains no gluten, parabens, aluminum, soy or other toxins.
- Apply antiperspirant in the morning and evening
A recent study funded by Procter & Gamble Beauty, found that applying over-the-counter antiperspirants in the morning and evening, or just in the evening, was significantly more effective than applying them in the morning alone. Massaging the antiperspirant into the skin may be useful too. If you suffer from an annoyingly sweaty face, consider applying an antiperspirant along your hairline.
- Wear cool clothes
Loose fitted clothing allows air to circulate around the body and enables perspiration to evaporate. Choose white or light color clothing over black and dark shades. Dark colored clothing absorbs the heat, whereas light colors reflect the heat.Wear natural fibers such as cotton, which allows the skin to breathe. You might also try the new hi-tech fabrics designed to “wick” moisture away from your skin. Avoid synthetic man-made fibers such as nylon or spandex that limit ventilation.
- Stay hydrated
In hot weather, our bodies can lose up to a quart of fluid per day through perspiration. Someone with hyperhidrosis will perspire even more. It is important to stay hydrated. Don’t wait until you are thirsty. Thirst is a sign that your body’s fluid levels are already low. Iced herbal teas sweetened with stevia can be quite refreshing.
- Stay out of direct sunlight
Whether outdoors or inside, avoid sitting in direct sunlight. When these rays beat down on the skin, they heat the body and cause perspiration, which in turn allows the body temperature to cool down. Also, sun-damaged or burned skin is not as effective at dissipating body heat. Avoid the peak sun hours of 10am to 4pm, and wear sunscreen.
- Chill out
Women with PCOS are susceptible to emotional stress. In the case of women who have both PCOS and hyperhidrosis, this can be a challenging combination. Stress management strategies can help you keep your cool. Read my article, A Dozen PCOS Anxiety Busters for great tips on managing stress.
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