What Is Nervous Sweating And 4 Simple Solutions To It

A very good question has come up, namely, what is nervous sweating?  In this article, I will share with you information about what is nervous sweating and possible solutions.

Nervous sweating is a condition known to happen when people get very nervous and insecure about themselves because of sweating excessively in front of others. For some people, this problem gets extremely bad, even to the point that all their life is filled with it.

Why does one sweat when nervous?
Worried about nervous sweating? Don’t be, as there are solutions to it.
Photo by Ethan Haddox on Unsplash

You’re not alone in dealing with sweat-related problems. I have been managing and dealing with hyperhidrosis for over 2 decades now so I do know how hard it is. Read my story here.

They imagine that others will see them sweating that much or even think they are sick, or that it must be really hot in the room, or anything else. Eventually, they dread being among people.

I am one of these people suffering not only from nervous sweating but primary hyperhidrosis. Although I have found a highly effective treatment for this condition, this is a real problem and condition that is super embarrassing. Every time I had to leave the house for a social gathering, presentation, or anything related to being in public, I was afraid of what people would think of me and my awful sweat stains in my armpits.

Although I am sure some people never noticed my sweat stains, others will have often wondered what happened to me. Good thing was that only a few people ever addressed my sweat problem. There is a good chance that you have not been treated so generously.

If you have never lived excessive sweating, you have no idea how awful it is to give somebody a hug. My armpits were usually completely wet and giving somebody a hug for a birthday, to congratulate someone, or to greet someone, was as embarrassing as can be.

When you sweat excessively in your armpits, you are afraid to lift your arms up to shake somebody’s hand, you don’t like to sign papers because people standing beside you will see the huge sweat stains. You do not like to sit beside somebody very closely, because your arms could touch and they could feel the sweat. There are so many things that you are afraid of when suffering from nervous sweating.

As I said before, I think there are people that never notice it or do not pay attention to that but it can be very embarrassing for the person that is suffering from it.

How Does Nervous Sweating Affect Your Confidence

Nervous sweating happens exactly when you dread to do the things that I just mentioned. You get nervous about sweating so much that you do sweat when you are among other people. This worries you that much, that you start to sweat even more.

Especially when you sweat in your armpits excessively, your clothes get so wet and the ugly sweat stains that are so obvious that you are not sure what to wear.

Some people think the color of clothing makes a difference and to some degree it does, but wearing dark clothes or very light colored clothes is not always enough for a heavy sweater.

In my case, there was only one brand of shirts that I wore because they would show the sweat stains the least.

If you wear a suit jacket, a sweater, a regular jacket or whatever it is, in my case, it often came through the top layer of clothes as well in no time.

I remember the many times during our annual Christmas program when I showered just before the program, went to the program, and came back home immediately to shower again and take the wet clothes off. My suit jacket was completely wet in the armpits after a maximum of 2 hours away.

The only good thing was that the suit jacket was the top layer and sweat didn’t come through or show until more at the end of the program, so I could hide my sweat stains a little better for at least the first hour. However, wearing a dark gray suit jacket or a light gray was the worst to do. One year I wore a dark gray suit jacket and in no time did I have huge armpit stains. How embarrassing.

Nervous sweating is a real condition and it’s not just something you imagine or provoke. Because I have experienced this for many years, I know that people suffering from it can do little about it. I sweat a lot, and to some degree, my body temperature is usually warmer than it would be under normal circumstances.

So even during the winter months, I am not the one to wear fat jackets (OK, where I live it is not -40 in the winter). However, for me, I would love to have air condition all the time. I don’t like to put on jackets or sweaters, because I am not the kind of person that is freezing easily.

Because I often mentioned among my colleagues and friends how warm it was, one day one of the said something I cannot forget. The person told me that she didn’t believe that it was really warm nor did she believe that I was sweating so much.

She just mentioned that it was a psychological issue and that I had made up my mind that it would be warm, and would be sweating.  That person mentioned that it was all there was to it.  It was not hot, nor did I sweat that much.

At that time, I was very upset when I was told that. How could I help my excessive sweating? That person had no idea what I was going through to be socially active and then to say something like that? No way.

But in a way, the person was right. No, I did not pretend that I was sweating. I did not pretend that it was hot. That was all true, but nervous sweating can interfere with your daily routine in a way that you cannot believe is true.

When sweating excessively, you get so obsessed with it, that you cannot think of other things. You get frightened of sweating excessively when you go out and because it happens, it just gets worse.

Every single thing I did outside of my home was “painted” with sweating. For instance, what I should dress for church, what I should wear for the football game, what I should wear to the gym, etc. That is not a good feeling.

After many years, I somehow managed to live with this problem and sometimes I even felt that it didn’t bother me anymore. However, the day I found a solution to it, I will never forget how free and relieved I really felt.

It is like carrying a bag around for years and suddenly you put it down and will not need to carry it anymore. And let me tell you, that is actually going on “behind the scenes” of your brain. I did not know how much it affected me until I got rid of the problem.

Is Nervous Sweating A Phobia Or Is It Hyperhidrosis?

In a way, nervous sweating is social phobia. However, it is not very likely that you only sweat heavily in your active social life. If that would be the case, then nervous sweating would be a social phobia. There are some reported cases where nervous sweating was a phobia because people only experienced excessive sweating when among people. They get so nervous among people that they start to sweat.

However, if you sweat excessively no matter where you are and what you are doing, you are suffering from hyperhidrosis. I sweat a lot when among people, because of the embarrassment, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t sweat when being at home or alone. I sweat in my armpits excessively when alone or when working outside. But since my wife knew about the problem and she accepted it as something that was part of me, it didn’t bother me as much at home as when not home.

There are 2 types of hyperhidrosis:

a) Primary hyperhidrosis: This condition is when you sweat excessively without knowing what the underlying cause is. In fact, there is no known cause for primary hyperhidrosis other than that your sweat glands just don’t know when to stop producing sweat and when not.

To some degree, this is a hormonal imbalance, but no cure to balance the sweat glands has been found. Primary hyperhidrosis usually starts in the early teens or in early adulthood.

b) Secondary hyperhidrosis: This condition is when you sweat excessively with a given cause. There are many triggers like obesity, diabetes, heart disease, pregnancy, hyperthyroidism, among others that can cause excessive sweating.

However, in this case, sweating will come and go as you are being treated properly for it. Also, secondary hyperhidrosis is not just excessive armpit, feet, palms or forehead sweating. It can occur in any part of the body, and often also happens asymmetrically (for example the right armpit, the left leg, etc.).

If you are experiencing excessive sweating recently and you experience other symptoms with it, don’t hesitate to contact your doctor immediately to out rule serious medical conditions.

Stages Of Nervous Sweating

A person that suffers from nervous sweating passes through a few phases as nervous sweating develops.

1) Awareness. If everybody on earth would sweat alike, sweating would not be seen as a shameful flaw. But since we all have different sweating patterns, people that suffer from hyperhidrosis overemphasize their problem and see themselves in a predicament out of which they see no way out. Nervous sweating has some roots in our fears that we hide deep within us.

The first step is becoming aware that you have the problem of sweating excessively and especially at social gatherings. All people that have this condition remember the first moment they ever faced the problem or they recall the first comment that was made about the sweating that will stick with them forever.

This is the first detrimental stage of nervous sweating that wants to tear us down along the way.

2) Anticipation. Because you are now aware of the problem, you start to anticipate that you will sweat every time that you go to social gatherings, or to places where you will have to interact with people. You dread the moment of shaking hands (if you sweat excessively in your palms), or the moment your sweat will drip from your nose, or the moment you have to show something on the whiteboard by lifting your arms.

You then create a completely new mindset about sweating. It seems like every move you make is done with excessive sweating in mind.

By this, you train your mind to think that you should be looking for solutions to keep this from happening. You try all kinds of things, but in the end, things get only wore because your body reacts to your overreaction.

This sounds like an easy way, and also it sounds as if it was easy not to go it. However, I have been there. I know exactly what it is like to go through these phases. And having to anticipate excessive sweating is awful.

Being a teacher for many years, you can imagine how I dreaded doing explanations on a whiteboard. I am exposed to people every single day. Thank goodness, I found a solution.

You might ask how I could be teaching in that condition if I felt so bad about myself. I call that passion. Teaching has been my passion and still continues to be. I worked with smaller kids at the beginning and that was not as bad.

Working in middle school was different. I just chose my clothes carefully. However, my students noticed my problem and would make comments about it sometimes. I was always nervous about sweating in school, but as I say, passion weighed more than my problem.

3) Hiding and controlling. Being honest about myself, I must say that there were times that I thought I had excessive sweating under control by using natural remedies. Although I tried multiple natural approaches over the years, I found not one of the methods to be very effective, although they gave small results.

When you suffer from excessive sweating you try to tell yourself that it is OK, but deep down inside you anticipate how bad the outcome will be for you.

You are focusing constantly on how to hide sweat stains from your armpits, what to do with your palms, how to avoid unpleasant odors, etc. You focus very much on the clothes you wear because you know, it is not much you can wear that will not show.

Also, you try to take control over it, but it never works. The more you try, the worse it gets. I lived with excessive sweating for around 17 years before I found a solution. Too bad I did not find it before. It would have saved me not only lots of worries but also lots of money because of all the clothes that you have to throw out after a few uses because of yellow sweat stains.

Controlling starts with all kinds of natural ways to reduce it and can end in different medications, perfumes, soaps, undergarments, etc, just to find out that little has changed. You continue to sweat excessively and have no control over it.

Are There Solutions For Nervous Sweating?

There are a few things that you can do to reduce nervous sweating or get rid of it completely. There is no magic formula that will do everything for you, but there are steps that you can take to get ahold of the problem.

1) Change your mindset. Being secretive about your sweating will not bring you anywhere. It makes matters worse. Being more open and acceptant of your problem will bring you farther along with this issue. If you dread and plan the whole time about your sweating, you tell your brain that it should signal the sweat glands to produce more sweat.

The same as an intrusive thought, the more you wish it away, the more it persists. The more you want to get rid of your sweat problem, the more you will sweat.

It is not easy to be more accepting of your sweating problem. But I can promise that if you try that, slowly, your behavior towards your excessive sweating will change.  It will surely make a difference in the way you see it and you will gain your confidence back.

This is not a one-step solution for your anger towards sweating.

Be proactive when going to a social event. Be there on time so you get time to be relaxed and not run in frantically. Prepare yourself mentally for the occasion by writing down a few things you want to achieve in that meeting. Exercise before you go so you can get stress out and relax after a nice shower. These are all small steps but will help you change your attitude towards excessive sweating.

2) Change your food. The least you can do is to make sure that you consume foods that will not trigger excessive sweating. Spicy foods, fatty foods, or foods that are high in sodium will not help you get rid of the problem. Choose whole and raw foods. Also, prevent food that makes your sweat smell worse, like onions and garlic.

By changing your diet to a healthy one, you will likely lose some excess pounds, which in turn will reduce heavy sweating as well. This has been one of my solutions to the problem. I was overweight for many years, and am still at least 30 pounds overweight, but my problem has been reduced a little by losing around 40 pounds.

If you are not overweight and still sweat a lot, you will want to watch your foods.

3) Use natural remedies. There are natural products and remedies that you can use to reduce excessive sweating. Some more effective than others and also have a different reaction in different people.

4) Change your deodorants for antiperspirants. There are good clinical strength antiperspirants on the market that have aluminum chloride as the active ingredients, which suppresses the sweat glands.


As you can see, nervous sweating controls you to a degree where you are not comfortable anymore when among people.  It affects you, even more, when you anticipate that people will be seeing you.  It is a confidence stealer.  You feel so awkward and you try to hide unpleasant sweat marks.

The good thing is that there are solutions for you!  If you have mild to moderate hyperhidrosis, you can try natural remedies that will reduce your sweating, but if you sweat very much (in essence that is hyperhidrosis), you will want to try more than changing your diet or so.  You will want to get a clinical strength antiperspirant or buy undershirts that hide your condition.

As always, I hope you found this article informative and useful. Please don’t forget to share with your friend or family member that is sweating excessively by clicking on the social media buttons below. Also, if you have experienced nervous sweating, please share your experiences, questions, or comments in the box below.


Ready to Make a Change Now?

My name is Oscar and I am the founder and director of Stop-Sweating-Now.com and have been researching and writing about hyperhidrosis for many yearOscars.

I have been sweating excessively for the better part of my life.  I looked for solutions for well over a decade, but I never found anything that lasted.

It all started when I was around 14 years of age, when I suddenly found out that I was sweating more in my armpits than I should.  At first I thought it was something that would go away soon, but I was wrong.

I had given up hope and accepted to live the rest of my life being embarrassed with ugly sweat stains in my armpits.

However, after a few years of not searching for any solutions anymore, I gave it another shot.  And I found what finally gave me the freedom I had longed for so many years. 

After finding a solution to my problem, I decided it was important to shout out my message to those that are suffering from what I had lived with so many years.

My goal is to help people find their freedom from sweating by sharing my expertise because hyperhidrosis is an underdiagnosed condition.

People don’t know that it is a medical term and can be treated effectively.

That is why I am here: Sharing with you what I know, what works and what does not work.

Want to learn more about what I did? Click below!

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