If Your Face Is Always Sweaty, This Could Be Why, Doctors Warn

It's crucial to see your doctor about this symptom, experts warn.

Summer is here in all of its glory, and the perks are undeniable: sunshine, ice cream, and grilling galore! Yet for some people who are prone to excessive sweating, summer is a fraught time marked by discomfort and embarrassment. Face sweat, in particular, can come as an especially unwelcome side effect of the season—and one that can easily get in the way of your summer fun.

Now, experts are warning that excessive facial sweating should not be dismissed as a normal response to rising temperatures—but instead should be recognized as the medical condition it is, and treated with appropriate care. Read on to learn what could be causing your excessively sweaty face, and to find out what you can do about it before the summer reaches its peak.

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This condition could be behind your excessive facial sweating. 


If your face sweats regularly and excessively, you could be suffering from hyperhidrosis, a condition that most often causes irregular sweating from the face, armpits, feet, or the palms of the hands. It can be especially noticeable in the face and scalp, an area of the body with a high concentration of sweat glands. For the two to five percent of the population that suffers from hyperhidrosis, it is common to sweat even absent known triggers such as excessive heat or exercise.

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An underlying condition could be to blame.


Sweating woman

Studies have shown that between 30 and 50 percent of people with hyperhidrosis have a family history of the condition. However, it can also be caused by one of several underlying maladies that make it more likely; when this happens, it is known as secondary hyperhidrosis.

Conditions that can lead to excessive sweating include heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, menopause, and spinal cord injury. Sweating can also be a side effect of several medications, including certain kinds of antidepressants.

These triggers may make your sweating worse. 

close up of black man sweating while doing a stretch at the gym

Though people with hyperhidrosis may experience facial sweating at any time, there are certain circumstances that make it more likely to occur. Common triggers include humid or hot weather, eating spicy foods, and even mild exercise.

Your emotional state can also play a significant role, says a 2009 study published in the German medical journal Deutsches Arzteblatt: feeling stressed, anxious, or afraid can all increase your sweat levels.

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Several treatment options may be available to you. 

Doctor using digital tablet and talking to patient at home

You may be able to take control of your excessive facial sweating in several ways. If your hyperhidrosis is the result of an underlying condition, treating that condition may help the sweating resolve on its own. If that doesn't work, then oral medications, botox injections, and prescription antiperspirants may help address the problem.

Another treatment option is lontophoresis, a procedure in which a doctor runs a low-level electrical current through the body while the patient is submerged under water. However, experts say this is more effective for those with sweating in the hands, feet, and armpits, rather than the face.

In extreme cases, doctors may also recommend surgery to remove the sweat glands, or cut the nerves triggering the sweat glands, thereby interrupting sweat production.

Speak with your doctor to learn the full range of treatment options available to you.

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Lauren Gray
Lauren Gray is a New York-based writer, editor, and consultant. Read more
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