Patient & Family Education Materials

Start over with a New Search

Why Do I Sweat So Much?

Article Translations: (Spanish)

It's perfectly normal to sweat. Sweating plays an important health role because it helps maintain body temperature by cooling us down. When we're hot and we sweat, that moisture evaporates and cools us off a bit.

And we don't just sweat when we're hot. It's also normal for people to sweat when they're nervous because emotions can affect the sweat glands.

Sweating is one part of puberty. When our bodies starts to change, roughly 3 million sweat glands become more active. This is especially true for glands in the armpits and groin and on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet. When the sweat comes in contact with bacteria on the skin, it can produce an odor, which may be stronger in some people than others.

So how to handle sweat? Take a bath or shower daily. If you're worried about smell, use a deodorant or a deodorant with antiperspirant (a deodorant masks odor, whereas an antiperspirant helps decrease sweating).

It can also help to wear clothes made of natural fibers, such as cotton or linen, especially in the summer heat. Pads called underarm shields or dress shields can help absorb sweat and prevent embarrassing underarm stains. These pads attach to the armpit area inside a person's clothes to absorb sweat. They're sold in the lingerie departments of many department stores and at some specialized sports stores. Some teens also keep an extra shirt in their lockers so they can change at school.

If you worry about your sweating, talk to your doctor. Sweating too much sometimes can be a sign of a medical problem. Doctors can prescribe stronger antiperspirants if they think someone needs one.

Back To Top

Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.

© 1995-2017 KidsHealth ® All rights reserved. Images provided by iStock, Getty Images, Corbis, Veer, Science Photo Library, Science Source Images, Shutterstock, and Clipart.com