Hyperhidrosis and Public Speaking

Public speaking can be nerve-racking for anyone. Most people can share a story about a negative a public speaking experience, and few people have mastered the art of staying completely calm while speaking in front of a large crowd. However, public speaking carries an added set of challenges and consequences for people with hyperhidrosis. The same nerves that might just cause discomfort while speaking publicly in many individuals can actually create a serious sweat problem in individuals with hyperhidrosis. Fortunately, there are solutions to help conquer hyperhidrosis as a result of public speaking.
Public Speaking Can Cause Excessive Sweating

Why do people get nervous while speaking in public?

For billions of people around the world, public speaking is considered to be a very nerve-racking experience. In fact, many individuals have indicated that public speaking is among the biggest fears they experience in their lives. Since public speaking requires a person to go under heightened scrutiny in their choice of words, mannerisms, logical thought process, and general behavior, the body’s response is often to induce anxiety when someone has to speak publicly. As a natural response to the anxiety, your body produces sweat in order to cool the body, which can begin to overheat for a myriad of anxiety-related reasons. Anxiety is one of the reasons why humans sweat. Anxiety is known to trigger hyperhidrosis symptoms to worsen, so the perceived stress from public speaking can cause people with hyperhidrosis to experience even more anxiety and sweating and perpetuate an unfortunate cycle.

I Sweat while Speaking in Public. Is that Hyperhidrosis?

Only a doctor can officially diagnose and manage your hyperhidrosis, and he needs to have your personal information in order to do this. However, you can evaluate your sweat in connection with these three key factors to tell if you have hyperhidrosis:

1. Do regular strength antiperspirants significantly reduce your sweat on a consistent basis?

One strong sign that an individual may have hyperhidrosis is if regular strength antiperspirants are unable to control your sweat. Since the regular strength antiperspirants only contain moderate levels of an active ingredient in the form of an aluminum compound, switching to a stronger over-the-counter topical treatment for hyperhidrosis may be a good first step in addressing your sweat. Many people struggle to find the right over-the-counter antiperspirant when they have hyperhidrosis, but examining the type of active ingredient and how much of it a product has can help.

2. Does the excessive sweat occur on a regular/predictable basis?

If you're experiencing excessive sweat on a consistent basis and don’t know the cause, the odds are significant that you may have hyperhidrosis. Additionally, if certain events like public speaking, test-taking, or interviews cause you to sweat excessively, you mave have hyperhidrosis that is triggered by feelings of anxiety in stressful moments. This type of sweating is often reffered to as stress sweating.

3. Does the sweat occur is one or a couple of distinct areas (such as the hands, the feet, the underarms, or the face and head)?

If your sweat is isolated to one or more of the aforementioned areas, you may have primary focal hyperhidrosis. This form of hyperhidrosis affects specific locations on an individual and can be quite irritating. There are several available treatments for sweaty hands and treatments for sweaty feet. If you suspect that you have hyperhidrosis, then you should try to learn everything you can about it.

Behavioral tricks to help stop hyperhidrosis while speaking in public.

Fortunately, there are a few behavioral tricks that will help you manage your hyperhidrosis. First, be sure to apply your antiperspirant the night before a big public speaking event instead of applying it the morning of the event. When you apply your antiperspirant at night, the active ingredients are left in an undisturbed and dry environment to achieve their maximum effectiveness. Second, wear breathable clothes and fabrics like cotton. There are certain types of clothes that are best for people who sweat excessively, like breathable cotton and lightweight weaves. Finally, please come prepared to your presentation to ensure no last minute anxiety builds. Another strategy that might help is to use anxiety reduction methods that can lessen excessive sweating, like yoga. Even though these methods will not solve the problem in the moment, they may help people with hyperhidrosis regulate their feelings, and therefore their sweat. Many of these methods can also be used to manage your sweating in general as well.

Medical solutions to stop hyperhidrosis while speaking in public.

If behavioral solutions are not enough to stop your sweat, consider trying an over-the-counter topical treatment as a first step. Underarm antiperspirants like Certain Dri, and hand and foot antiperspirant lotions like Carpe, are two products specifically designed to stop hyperhidrosis.

If further treatments are needed, both oral medication for hyperhidrosis and surgical treatments like botox injections or ETS can be utilized. There are also a myriad of other local treatments like iontophoresis, MiraDry, Qbrexza and prescription antiperspirants that can be helpful.

Sources
  1. Pariser, D. M. (2014). Hyperhidrosis (4th ed., Vol. 32). Amsterdam: Elsevier Pub. Co., 2014. Retrieved
  2. Walling, H. W., & Swick, B. L. (2011). Treatment Options for Hyperhidrosis. American Journal of Clinical Dermatology, 12(5), 285-295. Retrieved July 25, 2018, from http://ke2nk8za8p.search.serialssolutions.com
  3. Rai, R., & Srinivas, C. (2005). Iontophoresis in dermatology. Indian Journal of Dermatology, Venereology and Leprology, 71(4), 236-241. Retrieved July 25, 2018, from https://search-proquest-com.ezproxy.wakegov.com/docview/195074488?pq-origsite=summon.
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