Hyperhidrosis is a medical condition defined by excessive sweating. It can affect different areas of the body or your whole body, with the face and scalp, armpits, palms of your hands, and soles of your feet most commonly affected.
The International Hyperhidrosis Society estimates that the condition affects nearly 5% of the world’s population or about 367 million people.
The study also found that only 51% of people with excessive sweating had discussed it with a healthcare professional and that only 27% had received a formal diagnosis of hyperhidrosis. However, around 3 in 4 people with the condition reported that it negatively affected their social life, sense of well-being, or emotional health.
Based on these results, it’s clear that the personal toll of hyperhidrosis is often enormous, yet many people aren’t seeking or receiving the help they need. This means they’re often left to cope with the condition on their own.
One way that many people with hyperhidrosis adapt to their condition — whether or not they’re also receiving medical help — is by making strategic wardrobe choices. These choices can help enhance comfort and minimize visible sweating.
Even if your sweating is mostly under control as a result of hyperhidrosis treatment, making smart clothing choices can help you stay confident.
Try these 7 top tips to adjust how you dress to minimise sweat marks.
Look for clothing items made from light, breathable fabrics — something that’s very thin and lightweight, whenever possible.
Many commonly used fabrics, and the clothing items commonly made with them, simply aren’t very breathable and can increase sweating.
You could try wearing mostly cotton fabrics and making sure that your clothes aren’t too tight to allow ventilation. Or look at investing in a no sweat t-shirt.
Tighter-fitting, synthetic, moisture-wicking clothing — like yoga tops and bottoms, and other exercise apparel — can also be good options,
In order to avoid overheating or getting cold once you start to sweat, it’s smart to wear several different layers of clothing. That helps to make it easy to cool down if you need your body to cool down or warm up when you need to get warmer.
If you often find visible sweat marks on your clothing and you’re worried it will attract attention, it can be helpful to have an additional article of clothing handy to cover yourself up. This strategy can be used to cover both the underarms and the lower body area.
For example, you might have a cardigan on, and then take it off and put it down on the seat and then sit on top of your cardigan. That way you aren’t leaving a sweat mark behind on the chair. And as you are getting up from the chair, you can tie it around your waist.
It may seem strange that both black and white would be good clothing colours for avoiding visible sweat marks. Sweat on black clothing will be easier to hide than on a bright blue or pink coloured top. But at the same time, black can be hot if you’re outside in the sun, so you have to be strategic about wearing it.
White fabrics also don’t tend to change colour much when they get wet. Patterns can distract the eye from areas of sweat — but choosing the right pattern matters, the key is to experiment with different patterns and find ones that work for you.
Mesh tennis shoes tend to be the lightest and breathable footwear option. And even though they can show sweat marks, leather shoes cause less sweating than certain synthetic options for many people with hyperhidrosis.
I you can get away with wearing them at work, darker tennis shoes worn with cotton socks are often more comfortable than dress shoes worn with synthetic-blend dress socks.
Ballet flats are another great option. They look professional, can be worn with no-show socks, and are easy to slip on and off allowing your feet to cool easily when needed.
If you are going to be out all day, taking extra shoes or a change of outfit can be a good backup plan. Or if it’s extra hot or you know you are going to be moving around more than usual, bring an extra shirt, just to be safe.
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