Excessive sweating can be an uncomfortable and embarrassing problem. If you experience this on a regular basis, chances are it affects your behavior and your relationships, not to mention it ruins a lot of shirts! And you’re not alone either.
It’s estimated that 2-3% of Americans suffer from hyperhidrosis (the medical term for excessive sweating), a condition that usually starts around puberty. Unlike a lot of medical conditions, hyperhidrosis generally occurs in people that are otherwise healthy. Triggers can include the most obvious – high temperatures – or situations where the person is nervous, scared or otherwise emotional, but there are some individuals who sweat almost non-stop, regardless of the weather or their emotional state.
If your sweating problem is one that is interfering with your daily activities, it might be time to visit with a doctor about the problem. There are some medical treatments which can manage this annoying condition and improve your quality of life. If your sweating problem is annoying but not life-altering, you’ll want to try the following clothing tricks that will help you stay cool and keep sweating to a minimum.
Shirts are the items of clothing most often affected by perspiration, so it’s a good idea to find shirts that will conceal your sweat and help you to stay cooler. If you’re donning a t-shirt for working out at the gym, color can help you to camouflage your sweating tendency. Grey and light pastels are the colors that betray sweat the most because they make sweat marks appear darker than the dry areas of the shirt. White t-shirts and black t-shirts are best at disguising sweat marks, though white t-shirts will begin to show telltale sweat stains without the proper care. If you don’t want the world to know you’re a sweat fiend and you don’t like to spend time in the laundry room dealing with yellow pit stains, then black is the color for you.
Another consideration if you’re coping with excessive perspiration is the type of fabric you select. When shopping for clothes, take care to stock your wardrobe with shirts that are made of “breathable” fabrics. These fabrics are made from fibers that allow moisture to move from one side of the fabric to another. As the body sweats, the fabrics “wick” away the moisture from the body, allowing you stay drier and more comfortable.
The most breathable fabrics are made of natural fibers, and include 100% cotton, pima cotton (an extremely durable and absorbent type of cotton), seersucker, linen, 100% wool, merino and cashmere. Cotton is the best choice and also the most widely available, so find a light, loose-fitting shirt in a nice cotton fabric for the ultimate in breathability.
Another technique for hiding sweat marks is to wear an undershirt with your shirt. A cotton undershirt will act as a sponge, wicking away moisture from the body and preventing telltale sweat stains on the outer shirt. You might think wearing two layers would heat you up when temperatures are high, but this method will actually help to keep your body cooler.