Stress sweat

Nervous sweating

It is common to experience excessive sweating when feeling nervous about a situation. It might be a first date, a job interview, a big event or presentation – our bodies react physically when we’re experiencing strong emotions like stress. When you’re trying to impress or appear calm and confident, a sweaty face, sweaty hands and sweat patches in your underarms can be a bit embarrassing.

What causes nervous sweating?

We have two types of sweat glands: apocrine and eccrine. When we get stressed, the larger apocrine glands – mainly in the armpits and groin – produce sweat.

Stressful situations also cause our heart rate to increase, and encourage hormones and adrenaline to flood the body, causing additional sweat secretion from our eccrine glands.

Does nervous sweat smell?

Apocrine sweat has more nutrients than eccrine sweat, which is mainly just salt and water. Nutrients make apocrine sweat more attractive to the body odour-causing bacteria that naturally live on our skin and feed on our sweat.

As a result, stress sweat sometimes smells worse.

Suffering from excessive sweating when feeling nervous?

Sweating excessively when you’re nervous can be embarrassing. Some people even avoid social or work situations because they’re worried they’ll be stressed, anxious or nervous and sweat too much. But there are things that you can do to assist in sweat control. Check out these tips to learn how to prevent nervous sweating:

  • Avoid sweat triggers like spicy food, nicotine and alcohol. Caffeine also increases your adrenaline levels, making you more prone to sweat.
  • Wear clothes that let your skin breathe – natural fibres like cotton are best.
  • Consider a stronger antiperspirant product, like Shield Clinical Protection, which gives twice the amount of protection than an everyday antiperspirant.
  • During the day or before a big event, refresh yourself with a handy antiperspirant like the Shield Xtracool stick – half the size of a regular aerosol. 
  • If you tend to experience nervous sweating, carry pocket tissues to dry your skin or to dry sweat patches.
  • Stay hydrated. If you’re dehydrated, your body will produce more sweat to cool you down.

Still wondering how to stop nervous sweating?

Easier said than done, but find ways to stay calm to avoid excessive sweating when nervous. Many people cope with stress through deep breathing, listening to music or taking a walk. Find what works for you. If, however, you’re struggling to find a solution to your nervous sweating, it is best to visit your healthcare practitioner for advice and effective treatment. 

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