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Babylon Health

How to Stop Anxiety Sweating So You Can Live More Comfortably

Anxiety can cause nervous sweating, which may just increase your anxiety levels as you worry about the state of your underarms. In addition to using antiperspirant deodorant, there are plenty of ways to manage your anxiety so you don’t need to worry so much about sweat stains and body odor.

Can anxiety cause excessive sweating?

Yes. Sweating is a fairly common side effect for people who experience anxiety. Excessive sweating, also known as hyperhidrosis, can be caused by a number of medical conditions, including anxiety, endocrine, and nervous system disorders. In fact, the stress and social anxiety from excessive sweating may make stressful situations feel worse as you worry about how people see you.

Normal sweat is a cooling mechanism that triggers in response to a rise in body temperature. Nervous sweat is a stress response, often triggered by your body going into a heightened fight-or-flight state. A sympathetic nervous system responds in kind by preparing for the exertion of a fight-or-flight response by preemptively cooling your body down. Your nervous system may trigger your sweat glands too often or too severely. The overactive signaling usually causes sweat on the palms of your hands and your face.

Anxiety sweating symptoms

Like regular sweat, anxiety sweat can appear on any part of the body, though it’s usually in your hands or feet, armpits, or face. If your sweat triggers from stressful social situations, panic attacks, or other heightened states of anxiety, you may be experiencing anxiety sweating. With regard to anxiety, sweating can come with other symptoms including:

  • increased heart rate and breathing
  • shortness of breath
  • blushing or flushing
  • headaches or lightheadedness
  • trembling
  • a clammy feeling, especially in your hands
  • nausea

The symptoms listed can indicate serious medical conditions that could be life threatening. Often these symptoms are blamed just on anxiety and that could be dangerous as they can be attributed to other medical conditions, as well.

Anxiety sweating at night

Anxiety night sweats are particularly common with chronic anxiety disorders and panic attacks. They often seem to come “out of nowhere” or “out of the blue,” though stressing about night sweating can make it worse. If you don’t already have an anxiety diagnosis, night sweats might be confusing or distressing as you try to figure out what’s wrong.

If you’ve ever laid in bed and worried about something, you know it’s not uncommon for stressful thoughts to hit at night. You may also worry about getting to sleep or getting enough sleep, or your anxiety sweats may have no particular trigger at all.

Anxiety sweating in your hands and feet

Sweaty hands and feet are a fairly common anxiety symptom. Since your outer extremities are much farther from your torso and main source of heat, they’re a good place for venting excess heat. It’s also easy to fall into habits like clenching your fists or shoving your hands in your pockets when you’re anxious, making it harder for heat to escape. Plus, many anxiety-inducing situations (like first dates or job interviews) involve uncomfortable and less breathable shoes and outfits, making sweating more likely.

Anxiety and sweaty armpits

Your underarm is a big culprit for sweat of all kinds, and stress sweat is no exception. You may experience sweat stains on your clothing in the underarm region, and worrying about your sweat showing can make the sweating worse. While armpit sweat is extremely common, it may not be the only place you sweat, and you may sweat in different places with each bout of anxiety.

Treating anxiety and excessive sweating at home

There are plenty of at-home and over-the-counter anxiety sweating treatments. A common way to reduce underarm sweat is using antiperspirants with aluminum salts. A higher concentration of aluminum chloride can reduce sweating not only in your armpits, but also on the palms of your hands and the soles of your feet. A dermatologist or other healthcare professional can prescribe an antiperspirant with 10-20% aluminum chloride.

Using relaxation techniques to manage your anxiety can not only help your mental health, but can also help reduce your sweating. Taking deep breaths, following along with a guided meditation routine, or using visualization techniques can all help lower your blood pressure and sweat less.

Manage your sweat by staying cool. Avoiding spicy foods, ventilating your living space, and keeping cool drinks on hand may not lessen your anxiety, but they can help manage your body temperature. A cooler environment may help you worry less about sweating as well. Maintaining a healthy weight and wearing breathable clothing can also help reduce the risk of sweating.

Jogging or exercise not only tire out your muscles, making it harder to sweat later, they also release endorphins that help calm down nervousness.

Treating excessive sweating with your doctor

If you’re seeking medical advice from a healthcare professional, there are more ways to treat excessive sweating through medical intervention. Regular sessions of iontophoresis—where you leave your hands, feet, or underarms in water and expose them to weak electric currents—may temporarily block your sweat glands and help you sweat less.

Certain medications, like anticholinergics, are available as oral or topical medicines to help block the brain signals that make your sweat glands activate. Botox injections can also help block the neurotransmitters and reduce sweat production.

Going to therapy to manage your anxiety is an important part of reducing excessive sweating from anxiety. You can make an appointment to talk to any of our range of mental health professionals from the comfort of your own home.


Is sweating a symptom of anxiety?

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Yes. Sweating is an anxiety symptom experienced by many people who suffer from anxiety. It can be accompanied by increased heart rate, faster breathing, and other symptoms of anxiety or a panic attack. It can also be a relatively isolated symptom, though it can become a self-fulfilling prophecy as you worry about sweating and make yourself sweat.

Is anxious sweating normal?

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Yes, it’s not only normal to sweat when anxious, it’s also normal to sweat in general. Though excessive sweating may come with social anxiety, many people sweat before a big test, important presentation, or playing in a pivotal sports game. Stress sweat may seem very personal at the time, but it’s commonly experienced.

Can anxiety cause sweating at night?

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Yes. You don’t have to be awake to experience night sweats, though those who lay awake with anxiety may find themselves sweating like they might during the daytime. You may also wake to anxiety and hot or cold sweats in the night.

When are anxiety sweats a problem?

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If your anxiety sweats are severely impacting your quality of life, it may be time to speak to a doctor about your sweating. There are plenty of remedies, from daily bathing to medicated creams and lotions, that may help you sweat less and be more confident.

Does anxiety cause hot flashes?

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Anxiety can result in both cold and hot flashes. The increase in body temperature during a hot flash can induce an episode of anxiety sweats.

What are the symptoms of anxiety?

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There are many other symptoms of anxiety besides sweating. The following symptoms are common to those who suffer from anxiety:

  • A feeling of nervousness, restlessness, or a tense feeling
  • Feeling impending danger, panic, or doom
  • Increased heart rate and breathing
  • Trembling
  • A weak or tired feeling
  • Brain fog or trouble concentrating beyond your worry
  • Trouble sleeping
  • GI and digestive problems
  • Excessive or uncontrolled worry
  • The desire to avoid anxiety triggers

If you have any of these symptoms and or any questions please contact one of our medical professionals.