Reasons You’re Sweating That Have Nothing to Do With Working Out

A man sweating through his shirt at work

So, it makes a lot of sense that you sweat in the heat or during exercise, but there are occasions that produce perspiration that are truly head-scratching. Here’s the why behind the wetness and how to decrease the drips.

1. Everyday Life Stuff

You’re stressed about a work project that needs to get to your boss, like, yesterday. Or maybe your best friend just got great news and you’re both screaming over FaceTime together. All of these emotions can send your body temperature up so you start sweating, Dr. Pantaleo says.

That said, sweating — if it’s bothersome or problematic for you — can itself be a stressor, leading to (you guessed it) more stress and sweat. (And the cycle continues.)

“Controlling anxiety can help in this situation, especially working on relaxation techniques that cause less worry,” Dr. Pantaleo says.

2. Hyperhidrosis

Hyperhidrosis is a condition marked by excessive sweating.

“Individuals with hyperhidrosis typically sweat about four to five times more than other individuals,” Dr. Pantaleo says.

What feels like out-of-control perspiration can occur on its own or be the result of a medical condition, explains the International Hyperhidrosis Society. (More on that below.)

It often starts before age 25, is frequently located on the hands, feet or underarms and episodes of sweating occur at least once a week.

There are effective treatments for hyperhidrosis, including certain antiperspirants and permanent, noninvasive procedures like miraDry, so it’s worth it to talk to your doctor.

3. It’s a Symptom of a Health Condition

Serious sweating that’s caused by a health condition usually starts in adulthood, often occurs when sleeping and the symptom can be the result of diabetes, menopause, hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid), gout, rheumatoid arthritis or even lymphoma, according to the International Hyperhidrosis Society.

Seeking proper treatment for your condition will help relieve symptoms and help you feel better all around — including when it comes to sweating.

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