What is Stress Sweat and How Can You Manage it?

Sweating is something natural to all of us, unfortunately stress sweat is far more problematic and something we’re always worrying that everyone else will notice, and worse of all, smell. Luckily when you get into a stressful situation, your stress sweat is far less apparent than you think, and with some correct preparation, stress sweat can be managed easily. Something interesting is that stress sweat is quite different to regular sweating and has to be managed in different ways, it’s true that stress sweat can smell worse although entirely preventable. 

What Causes Stress Sweat to Happen?

When your body perceives a threat it’s natural response is to kick in some stress, cortisol and adrenaline are pumped through your veins, these natural triggers cause your heart rate to increase and begin tensing your muscles, as if your body is preparing for a fight. 

On the other hand, sweat is produced to cool down your body when it overheats, balance out the fluids and electrolytes, and keep your skin properly hydrated.  

Sweat is produced when the sweat glands in your skin are activated by a variety of factors, some of these can be emotions, stress or hormones. In short, when you begin stressing your body temperature rises, causing your sweat glands to activate. 

The Difference Between Stress Sweat and Regular Sweat

Regular Sweating

When your body has heated up, it produces sweat from the eccrine glands, the sweat is made mostly from water, potassium and salt. As the moisture on your skin evaporates you begin cooling down. This process from the eccrine glands is triggered not from emotion, but physical activity and heat. 

Stress Sweating

When your body is in an emotional state, it begins feeling stressed and subsequently starts heating up, some of the emotions that can cause the body to heat ate stress, excitement or anxiety. 

These emotions cause the Apocrine glands to produce a milker sweat made up of proteins and fatty acids. Apocrine glands are mostly found in areas such as the underarms or groin, and while it is odourless. When it mixes with bacteria on the skin the odour can be far worse than your regular sweating.

Why Does Stress Sweat Smell Worse?

Because a different type of skin gland produces stress sweat, the Apocrine glands produce a milkier sweat that is made up of fatty acids proteins. This stress sweat when combined with the natural bacteria on your skin, can cause very pungent body odour that is far more smelly than regular sweating. 

Thes Apocrine glands are found densely around your underarms and groin area, in stressful situations your underarms can sweat 30 times more than when they normally would. You’ll notice stress sweat because it doesn’t go away as easily and tends to be thicker than regular sweating. 

How can I Manage Stress Sweating?

Stressing is uniquely human, it’s something we can’t avoid and if you do suffer from stress sweat there are ways you can manage it stop it from causing you any embarrassing situations. 

Wear Antiperspirant and Deodorant

Majority of deodorants are mixed in with an antiperspirant, what this means is that the anti perspirant properties stops the sweating, while the deodorant masks the bad body odour.  

Choosing a deodorant for stress sweating that is infused with an antiperspirant is extremely important and is arguably the best way for managing stress sweat. The benefits of using an antiperspirant for stress is that it blocks the pores in your skin, causing no sweat to be produced in the first place.

Wash Yourself Daily

Why stress sweat can cause you to smell so bad is because the bacteria on your skin, when your sweat combines with this bacteria it can create some pretty awful odours. Reducing the amount of bacteria on your skin means there’s less of it to interact with your stress sweat. 

Washing thoroughly every day, especially around your underarms and groin area is a sure fast way to reduce bacteria build up. Remember to dry yourself properly as bacteria and fungi can grow in areas that stay moist.

Keep Your Hair Trimmed or Shaved

Since we’ve learnt a major factor for the bad smells stress sweat produces is from your skin’s bacteria, preventing bacteria is very important. One way to do this is to shave your underarms and groin area, you can trim them but shaving is by far the most effective way.

The hair in these warmer areas of the body contain a lot of oils and bacteria that combine with your stress sweat, removing them reduces the bacteria but also allows the deodorant to be applied more thoroughly. A 2015 study also found shaving can reduce the amount of sweat that’s produced.

Start Wearing UnderArm Sweat Pads

Sweat pads are hidden absorbent shields that are placed within your clothing that prevent any stress sweat your body produces. If you know of a stressful situation coming, wear underarm sweat pads for the day. If stress sweat hits, they’ll absorb any moisture reducing the amount of sweat that mixed with the bacteria, and stopping any sweat stains from appearing.

How can I Stop Stress Sweating Entirely?

Stopping stress sweat entirely means you’re going to have to not stress, which is a lot easier said than done. No one is immune to stress but you can reduce the amount of stress you feel, subsequently reducing the amount of stress sweat your body produces. Here’s a few ways you can reduce the amount of stress you’re feeling from day to day.

Deep Breathing

Deep breathing is a great way to slow down stress sweat, the moment you’re feeling stressed start taking some deep breaths. Breathing from your diaphragm is a proven way to lower the amount of stress you’re feeling. Take deep long breaths, allow your stomach and diaphragm to expand, once your stomach has expanded exhale as much as possible, then rinse and repeat.

Chew Some Gum

Studies have found that chewing gum can surprisingly lessen the amount of stress experienced by an individual. A study published in 2009 found that individuals who chewed gum in stressful situations had lower cortisol levels and reported they felt less stressed and anxious.

What Deodorant Works Best for Stress Sweat?

The best deodorants for stress sweat are the ones infused with an antiperspirant, remember you want to stop the sweating from happening, because it can be excessive and a deodorant on it’s own will not do the job properly. There are a variety of deodorant brands specially designed for preventing stress sweat, and the foul odours that can come when you’re stressed.

You can follow our guide to the best deodorants for stress sweating in the link above, the guide gives you an in depth look at the best antiperspirants and deodorants for stress sweating.

In conclusion

No one is immune to stress sweat, stressful situations will cause you to sweat more and inconveniently smell worse because of the way it interacts with the bacteria on your skin. Luckily there are a variety of ways to prevent stress seating and hopefully you’ve figured out just a few ways to do exactly that. 

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