- Diseases, Disorders & Conditions
Excessive Sweating: A Humorous Way of Dealing with Perspiration
I have a little problem. I walk two feet outside in the sun, and I'm drenched in what looks like water, but if you look closer you can see it's my sweat. Sweat that comes out of every single pore in my body. It's like a river pouring from my body, but you can't tell where it comes from and where it stops.
I've had a "sweat problem" ever since I can remember. When I was in 1st grade I remember my partner for trips making a squeamish face when she held her hand in mine realizing that it was wet. "Eww, why your hands wet?" she would say. I assume. I can't remember exactly word for word but that sounds like something a six-year-old girl would say.
According to WebMD the percentage of people living in the US who suffer from excessive sweating is between 2-3%. First off, who is the poor soul who had to come up with this percentage? Did he or she create a poll and ask people, or did they run around reviewing armpits one at a time? I was never asked if I had excessive sweating by a med. Have you? So perhaps that number is actually bigger.
No matter how many people actually sweat like Olympians making a mad dash to the finish line, it always seems that you are alone. You go out with your friends for a night out and realize that you already have pit stains surfacing on your new dress before even reaching the club. You can blame your friend who just had to park 10 blocks away to avoid paying for parking closer to the club. But while your anger subsides you realize it's not your friend's fault. Nor is it your fault. It's just Mother Nature saying "Hey, I own you."
Mother Nature, genetics, the sweat Gods, or whoever is there to blame can really dampen (pun totally intended) our day. However, as people, we are always striving to stop things that sometimes can't be stopped. That's why there are so many sappy movies about Armageddon. If we try hard enough, maybe it can be stopped. Bruce Willis saved the world by ramming his shuttle in that movie about Armageddon. Anyone willing to blast themselves into the sun to get rid of the source of most sweat problems? No? Right answer. That's because the problem isn't as bad as we want to make it seem.
I'll list some well known ways and new innovative ways of lessening the problem that will make you feel less like a filter and more like a person.
Carry a mini portable fan
Why not? It's summer, you won't look crazy. You probably won't see it as a fashion statement in Vogue anytime soon, but if it keeps you cool, you'll feel like a million bucks. In parks around NYC I always see people carrying mini portable fans so get them while you still can.
Place tissue paper under your arms
I've actually done this before in dire situations. It works better in shirts and tight blouses, or anything that is skin tight around your armpits. I've stuck tissue paper and small pieces of paper towel tissue under there to prevent sweat from seeping to my clothes. While it's not the best method, sometimes, especially for a job interview, or important event, it helps. The paper will soak up some of the sweat so not all of it will make its way to your blouse.
Marilyn Monroe was known for a lot of things. This includes nervousness. Severe nervousness. Many of her co-stars have said that when they came to get her to do scenes in front of camera or on stage she would freeze and begin sweating profusely. Like everyone she had a method. She used to stick tissue paper under her arms to prevent sweat from getting onto her costumes. And so that she didn't look like a sweaty mess when it was time to photograph her. Photographer Lawrence Schiller wrote an article in Vanity Fair about photographing MM on the set of Something's Gotta Give and he discusses her ability to examine each photo and look at it as a whole. Even if it was a "pretty" picture, she would turn it down if something in the background looked wrong. In one case, she turned down a photo because while she looked fine in it, she noticed paper tissue sticking out from her armpit.
There you have it. Marilyn Monroe stuck tissue paper under her arm too.
Wear cotton clothes
This I learned through years of experimenting and the internet. It took me years to notice that I sweat more in clothes like polyester and other synthetic material. When I wear cotton fabric it is far more comfortable. Cotton breathes. It's light, and it will absorb sweat.
I love cotton. You might not care to wear it everyday or replace your closet, however you can own cotton blouses for interviews and important events.
Taking daily showers
During summer months it helps to shower everyday. I notice that after I take a cold shower I don't sweat for a good hour. It refreshes you, and if you're a heavy duty sweater, taking daily showers is probably the best thing since you want to clean off all the grime, dust, and bacteria that has attached to your body. It won't save the planet, but it will keep you clean, fresh smelling, and dry albeit for a short period.
Share your experience with someone
If you suffer from excessive sweating chances are someone in your family also had it or has it. In my family I didn't have to look very far. My grandfather told me that he suffered from sweaty palms in his youth but it eventually went away as he got older. My uncle used to sweat like an open faucet, so much so that he used to carry around paper towels to wipe his forehead. Difference between my situation and theirs is that I'm a female. I was always the only girl who suffered from hyperhidrosis and it used to plague me. I knew it was normal for men to sweat more than women, but if you're a woman who sweats as much as a dude, it's vexing.
It wasn't until recently that I realized my "sweating problem" had a purpose. Yes, you read right. A purpose. My uncle's young daughter is a beautiful girl. She has long flowy curly hair, big bright eyes, and is pretty much the coolest eight-year-old I know. She happens to sweat a lot too. A LOT. Reminiscent of her own father. And of her oldest cousin, me!
I feel comfortable laughing about the sweating problem with her because we understand each other. We hold each others hand while crossing streets and neither of us squirms when our hands begin to sweat. Instead we try to figure out who the sweat beads belong to. Not only do we laugh about our shared problem- I can also help her immensely. I giver her advice in a non condescending manner, unlike others who don't have the sweating issue.
I also have the opportunity to tell her that it's not the end of the world. "So, you sweat a lot. I do too. If someone is mean or tries to make you feel bad because you're different, then they are obviously not worth being friends with." I can give my little cousin something that I didn't have when I was her age. A friend who understands. We're sweat buddies, and we will perspire as our body pleases. We will proudly leave sweat stains on our favorite shirts. We will leave sweat marks of our hands on glass. We will leave sweat beads on our foreheads after a 15-minute walk. If you got a problem with that hit the pavement because we don't give.