Playing Sports With Hyperhidrosis

It’s completely normal to sweat when you’re exercising or playing sports. However, if you have hyperhidrosis, the excess sweat you produce while playing sports can cause problems with your focus and performance.  An estimated 2-3 % of Americans suffer from hyperhidrosis, making it a common condition even on the field, track or court.  


What Is Hyperhidrosis?

Hyperhidrosis is a condition characterized by abnormal, excess sweating not caused by heat or physical activity. People with hyperhidrosis may sweat so much that it drips down their bodies and soaks through their clothing. This condition usually cannot be managed with over-the-counter deodorants and often requires professional treatments such as medications, non-invasive procedures or surgery.

How Can Hyperhidrosis Affect Your Ability to Play Sports?

The excess sweating caused by hyperhidrosis can be extremely distracting while playing sports. It can also interfere with your performance and make it difficult to do certain activities.

For instance, sweaty hands can make it difficult to hold and grip equipment like tennis rackets, baseball bats, and golf clubs. If you do gymnastics, cheerleading, or dancing, sweaty hands and feet can interfere with your grip and friction and increase your risk for serious injuries.

Hyperhidrosis can lead to soaked clothing causing discomfort, distraction and a negative effect on performance.  Excess sweating in the head and scalp can cause issues with sight.

Skin infections are a possible complication of hyperhidrosis that can be exacerbated by playing sports. In addition to excess sweat, certain activities increase your exposure to bacteria that can worsen existing  infections.

Tips for Playing Sports With Hyperhidrosis

Thanks to modern technology, many types of sports clothing, gear, and accessories are designed to soak up excess sweat. Here are things you can do to feel more comfortable and increase your performance if you play sports and have hyperhidrosis:

  • Carry a clean, highly absorbing hand towel with you. Use it frequently during your games or workouts to wipe away excess sweat.
  • Buy sports gloves with built-in grips designed for use in your given sport. These can help absorb sweat without compromising your grip or performance.
  • Wear sweatbands on your head and wrists to absorb excess sweat
  • Buy grips for sports equipment like baseball bats, golf clubs, and tennis and racquetball rackets. Some grips are designed to absorb excess sweat and moisture.
  • Use chalk to absorb sweat if you do gymnastics. Apply it to your hands and feet to improve grip.
  • Wear moisture-wicking sports gear and clothing that helps you stay dry. This includes compression shorts, shirts, socks, and hats with built-in sweatbands that can soak up sweat.

What Are Treatment Options for Hyperhidrosis?

What if you are still having difficulty managing your condition?  Fortunately, there are many different options available for the treatment of hyperhidrosis.

miraDry is a safe and effective non-surgical procedure that uses electromagnetic energy to disable sweat and odor glands in your armpits.  miraDry results in a permanent, immediate and drastic sweat reduction in your underarms with just one treatment. miraDry is also proven to reduce armpit hair and odor in addition to sweat.  

There are several topical and oral medications available to reduce excess sweat.  Medications can be especially effective for hyperhidrosis of the head and scalp and more generalized excess sweating.  

Those who sweat heavily from their hands may benefit most from a minimally invasive, outpatient surgical procedure called endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy (ETS).  The ETS procedure is the only permanent cure for sweating of the hands.  The ETS procedure has also proven to often reduce sweating in the feet and underarms as well.  

Your doctor can talk to you in greater detail about all available hyperhidrosis treatments.

Contact the Hyperhidrosis Center at Thoracic Group at (732) 398-5099 if you would like help managing your excessive sweating. Our experienced staff can schedule a consultation to discuss all your available options and work with you to choose a treatment that helps you meet your goals.