Anxiety sweating

Hi all. Just after a Lil advice really. I have a number of health issues that I am stuck with for life. Including under active thyroid,Depression,Liver disorder. I have had really bad anxiety for a few years now. If I know I'm going out,My face,neck, head & chest sweat uncontrollably. Its got to the point of not being able to straighten my hair or wear makeup. Because within a matter of minutes its all wrecked. This is making my anxiety worse. I have had the odd spell of Diazapam,But they didn't work. Now I'm on Propanolol x3 40mg per day. I'm on my 2nd pack,But I don't feel any better at all. Can anybody shed some light on or relate to any of this? Its destroying my life. Thank you.

4 Replies

  • Although this sounds minor it can be quite a problem, I have it had myself and never really totally There is a particularly effective anti perspirant called Odaban stocked by some chemists which you could try and use on your chest and neck and could maybe try on your face and forehead but this might be difficult if you have a sensitive skin, Try it on a small area of your forehead first at night to see how sensitive your skin is. It does work very well if you follow the directions, carefully.

    Technically I think its called something like autonomic sweating. I never consulted my doctor about it as it came and went but it would be sensible to consult your GP altho you'll probably have to be quite persuasive this is a real problem as I don't think they meet it that often.

    Also I believe there are more modern equivalents of Odaban which may work better and be more gentle--a large efficient pharmacy might know, but again you'd need to speak to the pharmacist not a shop assistant.

    What I do now is to shower, then turn the temperature down to as cool as I can stand for maybe a minute then stand in front of a fan heater on cool to really dry out. Once I've stopped sweating that stops it for the day unless some unusual stress starts it again, which is unusual. You could try this leaving your shower until just before you have to go out, giving yourself time for the drying ,cooling process and putting on Odaban where you can use it . Then if I drive I put the a/c on and leave my window open half an inch. Not so easy for a lady in winter

    As its a subconscious process its hard to deal with but maybe a GP could recommend some sort of therapy along with the other tricks to help. I seem to remember reading somewhere they can zap the sweat glands with lasers or something but this sounds a bit drastic. You'd probably be being zapped for hours but they probably don't have to zap them all.

    I hate feeling sweaty (Roger Federer and James Bond never sweat) which probably adds to my problem but it does come and go and you'll probably get spells when it goes away.I hope so. One good thing perhaps a bit delicate to say to a lady is that as these are generally exposed areas of skin it does not mean one gets smelly. I do smell of tobacco but thats another story.

  • Additional points I looked it up and altho the word autonomic does occur it really seems to be called hyperhydrosis. That should impress your GP and convince him you want this fixed or else your NHS contributions back. Luckily neither of us get it on the hands (which tends to rule out a career as a circus knife thrower). Some do get it there.

    Although its a subconscious thing I should see your GP , see what he/she says , and worry about it as little as possible which should help. After all even James Bond probably had a bead of sweat on his upper lip when the laser was heading for his vitals although I don't think Roger Federer would have had. You certainly should not let it get within an ace of destroying your life.

    Cutting down liquid intake before going out might help as well but be careful here and ask GP. Dehydration might sound more welcome but is probably not wise.

  • Another idea .Assuming you can get a better than odaban version ,maybe scented even I think you could try this at night when your skin is nice and dry. I think the odaban and equivalents sort of builds up and after a few evenings of use you might find its solving any problem before going out.

    Don't get complacent though if the Odaban , or better version, works you need to keep applying it occasionally to keep free of the problem.

    best of luck Older

  • Hi

    I have a very similar problem to you... also on propanalol, although I've only just been tested for thyroid/liver disorders, and not had any results back yet. My sweating started with just my underarms, which I thought was horrendous, but then moved onto my face as well... it made the thought of having sweaty armpits seem like nothing in comparison - at least it's possible to hide that to an extent.

    Things like Odaban, Driclor and various other strong antiperspirants were having very little effect on my underarms/face etc... so I ventured down the iontophoresis and botox routes - Ionto did nothing and gave me scars, and botox was wonderful on my underarm sweating, but I had awful compensatory sweating elsewhere as a result - especially on my face! :(

    I started to feel really desperate when I'd exhausted all the NHS options, and spent months and months researching what other people had tried online. I then came across some facial wipes under the name Secure. They are amazing. Nothing else has even come near to stopping my facial sweating as much as they have. There's also a pill version of it too called Avert... have tried that one a few times also -it's more of an all-over body sweat stopper. I use the pills quite sparingly as they're rather costly, completely dry your mouth out and people have mentioned gaining a tolerance to them for long-term daily use.

    So yeah, if you're finding that Odaban isn't strong enough for you, I'd certainly recommend giving Secure a try. A lot of my anxiety was tied up in people noticing my physical symptoms of anxiety, such as sweating, so it's helped me a lot. I would also recommend CBT to help with exposure and re-thinking negative thought patterns... it's helping me very slowly, but a bit of progress is better than worrying all the time.

    Take care. :)


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