Dealing With Hyperhidrosis Whilst Travelling in Hot Countries
July 22, 2014|Posted in: Advice
As a rather embarrassing subject, I’m going to talk about sweating. Or, more specifically ‘excessive sweating’. When I was in Secondary school, I noticed I sweated A LOT more than the average person. And not just when physically exerting myself, but just generally sat…calmly…in a moderately cool room. It was odd, and annoying, and personally very embarrassing. Everyone automatically assumes you don’t shower, or don’t use deodorant. When actually, you shower more than the average and go through more deodorant than a rugby team! So, after a consultation with my GP and referrals to a specialist I was diagnosed with a condition called ‘Hyperhidrosis’. It’s actually a very common condition, affecting over 1 million people in the UK. The specialist described a number of treatments, including short-term ones that involved Botox injections every 6 months to more permanent options. I went with the permanent option of surgery, or as its called a ‘sympathectomy’. This basically involves severing/destroying some of the sympathetic nerve in the thoracic region.
Anyways, that was nearly 9 years ago now. And although I’m not ‘cured’ as such, the sweating is very much manageable. UNTIL I go to a hot and/or humid country. Like Thailand. Then my body just reverts back to its good ol’ sweaty self. Embarrassing? Yes. Annoying? Yes. So, I thought, why not write about a few ways I try to deal with this problem, because if I can’t write this on my blog, then where can I?!
So, here are my tips for preventing/managing excessive sweating whilst travelling in hot countries (or, just generally):
1) Wear breathable fabrics
You really don’t want to be wearing tight, clingy clothes when you’re perspiring like crazy. Especially if they are made of synthetic materials. This can only exacerbate the problem AND make it more noticeable. Stick to cotton fabrics as much as possible and wear clothes that are loose fitting.
2) Avoid certain foods
This is a bit of a weird one, but obviously avoiding hot/spicy food as much as possible is a good idea. But also avoiding foods that are high in caffeine and MSG as these stimulate your nervous system more easily, causing you to…sweat!
3) Use a GOOD antiperspirant deodorant hyperhidrosis whilst travelling
They need to be a high strength and not your usual off the store shelf brand. Ones that contain aluminium chloride are the best as they clog up the sweat glands. It’s actually a good idea to apply it before you go to sleep – and therefore has time to work properly.
4) Wear black or white clothes
This is just a tip. But to minimise the risk of looking like you’ve just walked through a monsoon, wearing black or white fabrics can hide those pesky ‘wet patches’.
5) To remind yourself: it’s natural!
Seriously, you won’t be the only one suffering, and even so, it’s your body’s natural way of cooling off. So make sure you keep hydrated and just get on with things! I walked around Bangkok in 34 degree heat dripping with sweat, and couldn’t do much about it, so just forgot about it. The more you worry, the more you’ll sweat. Vicious cycle!
Here’s a lovely picture of me at a beach party on Koh Tao – suffering pretty bad with the ol’ sweat patches – but, does it look like I care? Hells no! I was having a blast, and no one else cared!
So, there it is. That’s how I try to get by with my embarrassing sweaty problem! But I want to know if any of you guys suffer from conditions like this on the road too, and what you do to manage it? Comment below, or visit my Facebook page to comment!
Amy is the founder of thewanderlustadventures.com. Currently residing in Reading, UK with a love of adventure travel, writing and photography - she pretty much writes about whatever the hell she wants!