Why do you sweat when you’re cold? There are a few possible culprits, such as your surrounding environment, the layers you’re wearing, stress or anxiety, or a medical condition such as hyperhidrosis.
Sweating in the summer is normal and expected. But noticeable sweat marks in the dead of winter are sure to draw unwanted attention.
Learn more about why you’re sweating when it’s cold, plus ways to cope.
WHY YOU’RE SWEATING WHEN COLD
Sweating in cold weather seems ironic, but it happens to the best of us. Here are a few common reasons why you’re sweating in cold weather.
1. YOUR ENVIRONMENT
First, assess your surroundings. Did you bundle up to brave the outdoors, then immediately step into a warm home or building? Your heavy clothing and the drastic change in temperature may cause you to break a sweat.
2. YOUR LAYERS
There’s a specific method when it comes to cold weather layering.
Layers that are too tight against the skin don’t offer any room for air to circulate and insulate your body. If you aren’t layering properly and allowing your skin to breathe, you’ll trap sweat and moisture in your clothing, which will feel unpleasant.
Is your sweat local to a specific area of your body? Primary hyperhidrosis might be causing you to sweat when it’s cold.
For example, if you experience sweaty armpits when cold, you could have the condition axillary hyperhidrosis. Also known as excessive underarm sweating, people with this condition will sweat heavily in their armpits without warning.
To combat axillary hyperhidrosis, try wearing a sweat proof undershirt like the Thompson Tee, available for men and women. These shirts are designed to absorb excessive underarm sweat and prevent moisture from reaching your outerwear. Thompson Tee undershirts are ideal for layering, especially in cold weather.
According to the International Hyperhidrosis Society, nearly 5% of the world’s population suffers from hyperhidrosis, and millions more live undiagnosed. So excessive sweating — even when it’s cold — is more common than you think.
4. STRESS AND ANXIETY
Stress and anxiety can also cause you to sweat when you’re cold.
A lack of exercise can add to the likelihood of both stress and cold sweats. Light exercise and relaxation techniques can help reduce stress sweat and cold sweat.
5. MEDICAL CONDITIONS AND MEDICATIONS
Medications like antidepressants and diabetes drugs have potential side effects such as sweating in hot or cold environments. Conditions like hypoglycemia (extremely low blood sugar), hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid gland) and diabetes can also cause sweating in any temperature.
Some medical conditions and medications can also cause night sweats.
DOES SWEATING IN COLD WEATHER MAKE YOU SICK?
You've grown up believing cold weather and wet clothing make you sick. But is there any truth behind this?
In short, no — you can’t get sick from sweating in the cold directly. However, rhinoviruses that cause common colds can thrive in low temperatures. And while flu season revolves around winter, the virus primarily spreads by indoor person-to-person contact via respiratory droplets.
HOW TO STOP SWEATING IN THE WINTER & COLD WEATHER
Here are some tips you can use to stop sweating when it’s cold:
1. TALK TO YOUR DOCTOR
Were you recently diagnosed with an illness? Or did you start taking medication around the same time your cold sweats began? If you suspect a medical condition or medication might be causing you to sweat when cold, consult your doctor.
2. WEAR A SWEAT PROOF UNDERSHIRT
While a sweat proof undershirt won’t help you sweat less, it will hide those wet marks.
Thompson Tee's long sleeve undershirts are the perfect addition to your fall and winter wardrobe. Available in crewneck or v-neck styles, these revolutionary undershirts have a built-in sweat proof barrier that traps sweat and odor. They’re made with 50% Supima cotton and 50% MicroModal blend for ultimate comfort.
Whether you perspire a little or sweat profusely, know you can count on the protection of Thompson Tees’ soft, durable undershirts in any situation.
3. RETHINK YOUR DIET
Did you know some foods cause sweating while others reduce perspiration? Avoid sweating-inducing foods and beverages like (spicy food or caffeinated drinks), and store foods that reduce sweat nearby.
4. WEAR MORE LIGHTWEIGHT LAYERS
Instead of piling on heavy sweaters and thick jackets, think lighter.
Wear a few extra layers (like a sweat proof undershirt, dress shirt, light cardigan, etc.) so you can adjust your clothing to match the indoor temperature. This will leave you feeling cooler throughout the day and less obsessed with those sweat marks forming around your armpits.
5. TAKE ACTION TO REDUCE STRESS
Reducing stress is easier said than done. It takes a conscious effort and well-defined plan to put your mind at ease.
Start by incorporating regular exercise (like walking or weight training) into your weekly routine. Stress management tactics like concentrated breathing can also keep you calm, collected — and less sweaty.
CONTROL YOUR SWEAT IN THE WINTER WITH THOMPSON TEE
Sweating while cold is uncomfortable, but it doesn’t have to be. To conquer your cold sweats, wear a Thompson Tee - the fastest, simplest and most effective solution for preventing sweat marks.