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Skin Irritation Due to Excessive Sweating

Skin Irritation


Sweating is, of course, a normal function of the body. We may not enjoy sweating, but without it our bodies would overheat and cause us serious health problems. However, sweating can sometimes cause problems on its own, including skin irritation.

Skin Irritation & Sweating Problems

The basic idea of sweating is that as the moisture evaporates from our skin our bodies are cooled down. However, sometimes evaporation cannot occur or too much moisture is being produced in the first place. These types of problems can lead to skin irritation.

Friction is one of the main causes of skin irritation. For example, if you wear latex gloves for long periods of time while working, eventually that material will have rubbed so much against your skin it will actually begin to rub away skin cells. This causes skin irritation. If you begin to sweat during this time it becomes easy for sweat to get trapped on your skin because evaporation is inhibited by the latex glove. The sweat will only build up and worsen the skin irritation.

A condition called hyperhidrosis can also lead to skin irritation. The condition is more commonly referred to as excessive sweating. This occurs when the body begins producing more sweat than what is needed to effectively cool down the body. If you suffer from hyperhidrosis, for example, you’d be sweating even if you were in a comfortable room doing no physical activity. Once you did begin to sweat, wet patches would be left in the armpit areas of your clothing and you could even begin to drip with sweat.

When the condition becomes severe, the excessive sweating can cause a dermatological condition known as maceration, which occurs when the skin is thick with sweat for so long that it begins to whiten and soften. Because of this process, the skin becomes more vulnerable and can be injured easily. The skin is also at greater risk of developing eczema and of getting irritated.

An Even More Common Type of Skin Irritation

Although the above examples of sweating leading to skin irritation, the most common example of this connection is known as a heat rash. When you are in a hot environment for a long period of time and begin to sweat a lot, that extra sweat can damage the top layer of your skin. At that point, the sweat gets trapped under the skin and forms a tiny raised bump on the flesh. Sometimes the bumps are so small that they are more noticeable by touch than by sight. Eventually, the bumps burst and release the sweat.

Treatments for Skin Irritation Caused by Sweating

The good news is that most of these conditions are easily treatable. Using powder to control wetness and taking breaks to let your skin breathe can be good ways to release excess sweat and to prevent skin irritation. For patients suffering from excessive sweating, prescription strength products are available to help control the wetness. If things do not improve, doctors can perform surgery to reduce your ability to sweat.

With a heat rash, cooling down the skin and applying anti-itch ointments will do the most good and will help improve the effects of skin irritation quickly.

The information supplied in this article is not to be considered as medical advice and is for educational purposes only.

5 Responses to “Skin Irritation Due to Excessive Sweating”

  1. 1
    liz Says:
    I have serious problems with my neck when i sweat- no other parts of my body are affected. It itches alot and gets sensitive even long after i have stopped sweating. I have tried to use anti itch ointments, powder and they dont seem to help. Anyone with good ideas?
  2. 2
    Harald Says:
    Whenever I think about sweating, I think about different ways to get rid of it. This article outlines all of them!
  3. 3
    Troy Says:
    Personally, I sweat a lot. I'm a bigger guy so I definitely do sweat a lot and now that I know that there are things that I can do to help the skin problems, I'm totally doing it!
  4. 4
    Quince Says:
    I sweat a lot -- I'm a big dude and I honestly sweat a whole lot, I had no idea that is what was causing my skin irritation! Thanks for clearing that up for me!
  5. 5
    markus Says:
    In the summer I have used witch hazel to soothe my skin before going to bed at night. While it doesn't help the excessive sweating, it does soothe my skin and eases the itching.