Teen Sweating 101: Your Guide to Tackling Heavy Sweat Like a Champ
Asking your crush out for the first time. Failing your first test. Prom night. Between navigating puberty and the pitfalls of high school, as a teenager you experience many sweaty, nervous, cringe-worthy moments. While it’s perfectly normal to sweat, there are times when teen sweating becomes an issue.
Your teenage years are difficult enough without having to sweat through them, too. That’s why we created the comprehensive Teen Sweating Treatments and Informational Guide to help you manage your sweat.
Notice that you’ve been sweating more lately? You can blame puberty for that one. There are two types of sweat glands, eccrine and apocrine glands. While everyone is born with active eccrine glands, the apocrine glands found in your armpits develop during puberty. When your body starts to change, roughly 3 million sweat glands become more active, particularly in the armpits, groin, palms and the soles of your feet.
While everyone has embarrassing moments characterized by nervous sweating and clammy palms, sweating is a normal bodily function essential to regulating our body temperature. Controlled by the sympathetic nervous system, it also activates our fight or flight response, which is why you sweat when you get nervous, eat spicy food, exercise or get into an argument. But for some teens, it goes beyond that.
Hyperhidrosis is a medical condition where the nerves that trigger your sweat glands are hyperactive and you sweat even when it’s not needed. Here are some symptoms that could indicate you’re sweating too much.
How do you know when you’re sweating too much?
Some teens experience excessive sweating that goes beyond normal standards. Hyperhidrosis or excessive teen sweating symptoms include:
- Constantly wiping sweat
- Changing clothes several times a day
- Poor concentration in school
- Avoiding hugs and shaking hands due to sweat
- Cannot wear rings because they will slip off
Hyperhidrosis affects 7.8 million people in the U.S., and the consequences go far beyond sweat stains and ruined clothing. Excessive, uncontrollable sweating can cause severe embarrassment, isolation, even depression. Even if you don’t have hyperhidrosis but sweat heavily, if it affects your daily life, it’s time to take steps to manage your sweat.
Teen sweating treatments
Many teen sweating articles offer tips like “shower several times a day,” or “try to relax.” While meant well, most sweating advice is misleading, ineffective and doesn’t effectively address the problem of heavy teen sweating or hyperhidrosis. Who has the time to shower several times a day?
If sweating affects your daily life, talk with your parents and set up an appointment to speak with a doctor. They can discuss all treatment options and help you decide which one is right for you.
Here are a few hyperhidrosis or excessive teen sweating treatment options:
Use antiperspirants over deodorant
Deodorant simply masks the smell of sweat. Antiperspirants clog your sweat glands to stop you from sweating.
Elevate to prescription-strength antiperspirant
Prescribed by a doctor, prescription strength-antiperspirant is a step above over-the-counter options. Make sure to follow the application directions carefully. It may take a few weeks to see results.
Try natural remedies for sweat
There are several natural products and tricks that can help ease heavy sweating. See our full list of natural remedies here.
Wear a sweat proof undershirt
Not all undershirts are created equal. A good, sweat proof undershirt made of natural fibers can trap sweat and stop sweat marks from creeping through your clothes. Try this one from Thompson Tee.
Explore medical options
There are several medical options available to treat hyperhidrosis as well, including oral medications, iontophoresis, Botox, Miradry, lasers and ETS surgery. Depending on the treatment, they are significantly more expensive, require regular upkeep and not 100% guaranteed success rate.
Do not rush to medical options before exhausting all other natural remedies. Especially irreversible surgical options — you can read about Thompson Tee co-founder Randy Choi's experience with ETS surgery here.
The side effects of teen sweating
Heavy sweating isn’t just a minor inconvenience or a few extra loads of laundry. Excessive teen sweating can have a devastating impact on daily life. It’s is a medical problem that, if mismanaged, can severely impact the quality of your daily life.
Excessive teen sweating can have social and psychological side effects, from depression, self-isolation, ridicule and low self-confidence. It’s important to know that hyperhidrosis is a treatable, medical diagnosis that can be managed so it doesn’t overrun your daily life.
Any additional tips to manage teen sweating? We'd love to hear about them!