why do i sweat when i'm not hot
January 4, 2010 6:09 PM   Subscribe

Why are my armpits dripping sweat when i'm not hot?

when i sit around unclothed, often my armpits will just start pouring sweat - like enough for actual drops to roll down my arms/side. i feel like i'm at a comfortable temperature.

i am not a sweaty person by default. when i exercise or have sex i'm only ever covered in a sort of misted dew, never actual drops or accumulation. the only corresponding physical sensation is that my feet feel cool, but when i touch them they don't actually feel cold (as in, if i sit here and concentrate on my feet, the seem chilly, but to the touch they're just as warm as my knees and shoulders). if i put on socks, the problem gets better (i sweat less) but doesn't go away.

this happens a few times a week.

if it matters, i'm female, 28, curvy and soft (5'10, 190lbs, 36d-38dd)
posted by nadawi to Health & Fitness (15 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Hyperhydrosis. The antiperspirant Certain Dri helps a lot.
posted by peanut_mcgillicuty at 6:19 PM on January 4, 2010

Hyperhydrosis! Get a prescription for drysol and it'll go away! (I have it too)
posted by kthxbi at 6:22 PM on January 4, 2010

if it were Hyperhydrosis wouldn't i also be excessively sweating during normal sweaty times (like exercise or sex)?
posted by nadawi at 6:34 PM on January 4, 2010

I had wettest pits until began using Drysol about 9 years ago. I used it every other day for about a month, then every week for a few more months. Now I don't even have to use antiperspirant. I can sit in a sauna and stew in my own sweat for hours and my pits will stay bone dry. Drysol is amazing.
posted by HotPatatta at 6:35 PM on January 4, 2010

BTW, I ordered Drysol from a Canadian online pharmacy because it is (or was) OTC up there.
posted by HotPatatta at 6:38 PM on January 4, 2010

if it were Hyperhydrosis wouldn't i also be excessively sweating during normal sweaty times (like exercise or sex)?

Not necessarily. I have hyperhydrosis and I have exactly the symptoms you describe: sweaty pits and sweaty bare feet. I don't drip sweat during sex or exercise unless I'm REALLY outrageously exerting myself.
posted by peanut_mcgillicuty at 6:39 PM on January 4, 2010

Here's the stuff. A small bottle will last you a long time.
posted by HotPatatta at 7:05 PM on January 4, 2010

Does anybody know if Drysol is wearable with delicate clothing? I'd love to wear a stronger anti-persperant/deodorant but I'm too scared that it will damage my (not cheap) nice clothing. I already have some shirts that are damaged with deodorant stains.
posted by Elminster24 at 7:20 PM on January 4, 2010

Elminster24, I haven't worn Drysol specifically but if it's like any of the other strong (20%) anti-persperants I've worn you apply it at night and wash it off in the morning. It can't stain your clothing (unless you're worried about your jimmy-jams) cos it doesn't touch it.
posted by goo at 7:29 PM on January 4, 2010

Before washing, spray the underarms of your shirts with a water/white vinegar mixture (about 50/50 is fine). It won't remove set in stains but prevents new ones. I've been doing this for years and it hasn't messed up a single shirt, and has saved most of them.

Also as goo says, most industrial-strength antiperspirants are meant to be worn at night, not during the day. DO NOT shave before applying!
posted by peanut_mcgillicuty at 7:38 PM on January 4, 2010

Another vote for Certain Dri, and I found cutting back my caffeine/other stimulant intake helped a lot as well.
posted by schroedinger at 8:10 PM on January 4, 2010

Does it happen right after you take off your clothes or get out of the shower? Maybe your metabolism is briefly revving up as you acclimate to the temperature change.
posted by yarly at 8:46 PM on January 4, 2010

no - it seems to happen after a few hours of sitting around naked, like playing videogames or poking at the internet - totally sedentary. this happens in all seasons (so whether the a/c or heater is on or off).

and really, besides this, i just don't sweat very much. all other sweating i do can be described as a mist or a dew besides in the dead of summer in the middle of texas i'll get sweaty behind my knees and between my boobs, but that's it.
posted by nadawi at 8:50 PM on January 4, 2010

For whatever it's worth, I'm a guy and the same thing happens to me. If I wear a cotton t-shirt, no armpit sweat. If I go shirtless or if I wear anything polyester, I get sweaty armpits.

So, I never take my shirt off.
posted by KokuRyu at 9:02 PM on January 4, 2010

I would say this is perfectly normal. I'm a guy with different body proportions then you, and I experience the same thing. It just happens sometimes when I have my shirt off, and I don't have problems otherwise. I wouldn't even call it excessive when it happens, it's just an odd biological reaction that you're body does all the time in small ways.
posted by P.o.B. at 3:34 AM on January 5, 2010

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