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11 Sweat-Busting Tips To Help You Beat The Summer Heat

Powder isn't the only thing that can save you.

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Everyone sweats!

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It's summer, which means BBQs, the beach, and, of course, sweating. The heat causes perspiration, no matter who you are or what body type you have. It's natural and just means your body is trying to cool down. But for some, it's a lot worse than others.

On the bright side, extreme sweating doesn't have to be something that disrupts your life or embarrasses you. That's why we spoke with Dr. Evan Rieder, an assistant professor of dermatology at New York University's Langone Medical Center, to get to the bottom of some strategies to combat sweating from your head to your toes.

But first, what causes sweat? Your body has two types of glands, called apocrine and eccrine glands.

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The eccrine glands are the sweat glands that cause you to perspire. They're located all over your body. When you sweat, the eccrine glands are trying to cool your body down. The apocrine glands are what cause the body odor you usually associate with sweating. Rieder says that "these glands usually kick into action during puberty and they are why we put deodorant in certain [smelly] areas."

1. You've probably used powder to fend off sweating, but if you overdo it you'll end up a cakey mess.

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Rieder says that powder isn't the worst thing, but it's not particularly effective for extreme sweaters. It should be used sparingly.

An example of good places to use powder is, "in between folds of skin, and between the underside of breast and chests. Be careful, because when these areas get super sweaty, you can develop yeast and fungus and become a petri dish for bacteria," Rieder says.

There's a great anti-fungal powder called Zeasorb that's affordable ($4.50 on Amazon) and works wonders.

But also remember to talk to a doctor to see what's right for you.

2. "Natural" products aren't always better, either.

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"Natural products aren't always better because they're something that is almost never regulated by the FDA," Rieder says. According to the FDA, "Cosmetic products and ingredients don't require FDA approval to be sold, unless there are color additives. Otherwise, the FDA relies on companies to do the test their products and ensure safety."

It's important to read ingredients lists, pay attention to labels, and do your research to see if a natural product will actually work for you.

3. You should know what the difference between antiperspirant and deodorant is.

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There are two main products on the market to combat underarm sweat: deodorant and antiperspirant.

Deodorant is meant to cover up or remove bad body odors. It isn't made to stop sweat. Deodorant is ideal for people who don't sweat a ton, and it typically has ingredients that provide long-lasting odor protection.

On the other hand, antiperspirant contains ingredients specifically made to block the sweat ducts. So if you sweat a ton from your underarms or other places, antiperspirant will probably be better for you than deodorant.

4. You can use antiperspirant in places that may seem silly.

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That means you can use antiperspirant safely on your forehead, back, feet, neck and other places that may cause a problem. If you have sensitive skin, keep that in mind when using the antiperspirant in certain areas. Make sure to use something unscented, and rub it in. While it isn't a guaranteed fix, it's an option, Rieder says.

If grabbing a stick of deodorant isn't your thing, try antiperspirant wipes. They offer a concentrated dose of antiperspirant to the affected area, and typically have the same ingredients as the stick version we're all used to. Amazon has an eight-week supply of Sweat Block for about $20.

5. If your underarms are out of control, an "extra strong" antiperspirant is a logical place to start. Then you can go from there.

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Consider switching to a "extra-strong" antiperspirant. Over-the-counter antiperspirants can sometimes be ineffective, Rieder says. So if antiperspirants aren't working for you, see a doctor so that they can recommend a clinical strength version. And if that doesn't work, there are some other options that might help to hold all the sweat:

*Wear an undershirt. Undershirts are great because they can prevent yellow pit stains on your overshirt. They're also a great "net" to catch the sweat.

* Even better, if your sweating is that out of control, consider bringing an extra shirt with you.

* There are also underarm sweat pad shields that are specially made to keep your shirts dry. We've written about them before and they typically work to at least keep your shirt looking dry. A pack of 50 is available from Amazon for about $7.

6. If your head sweats, try getting more airflow to your skull.

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* Try to make sure that there's enough airflow getting to your skull. If you have long hair, try your best to keep it out of your face.

* Carry a towel or handkerchief with you so that it's not pooling or dripping sweat everywhere.

* Wash your face and forehead daily.

* And again, if you really want to up the ante, consider using an unscented antiperspirant around your forehead area.

7. If your neck sweats, try covering it with a cool, damp rag, and maybe change the fabric of clothes you wear.

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Try to lower your body temperature with a cool, damp rag on your neck, or wet a cute bandana and wear it around. Also try wearing mostly cotton materials. If you have to wear formal clothes (e.g. collared shirts) and it's hot out, always consider the material. Opt for 100% cotton because wearing fabrics like polyester don't breathe as well, and can cause excess heat.

8. If you sweat ~below the belt~, start by changing the type of underwear you're wearing.

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Wear breathable underwear and consider carrying a spare pair with you in the event you need to change. There are also certain products specifically made to combat ball sweat like Anthony's No Sweat Body Defense. It's a starch that provides a powder-like barrier that can reduce sweating. It's a little pricey ($20 from Amazon) but it's worth it.

Thigh sweat can also lead to chafing, an it can happen no matter what your size is. "It's pretty common in patients that exercise, run, or swim a bunch to chafe," Rieder says. He recommends using Desitin, which is a zinc oxide paste that's typically used for babies with diaper rash. It goes on white and creamy and then turns firm, creating a good skin barrier. You can grab it on Amazon for about $5.

9. If you have sweaty feet don't wear the same shoes every day.

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"Try a light dusting of powder on your feet and inside your shoes," Rieder suggests. Again, Zeasorb (available from Amazon for $5) is a great option because it's super absorbing. It's also a good idea to not wear the same pair of shoes everyday if your feet sweat. Let the shoes air out a bit.

"Remember that sweaty feet can lead to things like athlete's foot, and the fungus can still live in shoes once it's gone from your actual foot," Rieder says.

10. If your back sweats, we've got a solution:

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Back sweat is something that's difficult to treat on your own because there aren't many products specifically for that area of your body. Typically, people will use powder to try to stay dry, but Rieder recommends you use that sparingly, because you'll end up a cakey mess. And definitely wear looser clothes during hot summer months to avoid that gross, summer sweat cling.

11. Finally, recognize and know when it's time to see a professional.

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If you've been dealing with excess sweat for a long time and feel like you've tried everything under the sun, it might be best to see a professional. That's because you might have a condition called hyperhidrosis, which causes abnormally excessive sweating, and there are treatments for that, including (surprisingly) botox, Rieder says.

You should be open to what the doctor can offer you because a lot of times there are new strategies and solutions that you weren't aware of that can fix problems quickly.

Above all, do your best to stay cool and dry, and your sweat will evaporate in no time. Here's to your sweat evaporating in no time.

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