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Facial Sweating: Causes & Treatment Options

April 26, 2021 6 min read

facial sweating causes

Sweating is a natural body function. At some point in life, we've all had to wipe beads of sweat from our faces. It is our body’s way of trying to cool us down. In some cases, however, excessive sweating can become problematic, especially when it is on the face. People who experience excessive face sweating tend to lack confidence in social situations. Their condition can attract undue attention, and cause embarrassment or feelings of inadequacy.

If you experience this, you may wonder, Why do I sweat so much from my head? Or you may ask yourself, How can I stop sweating so much on my face? Keep reading to learn the answers to those questions and more. In this post, you'll learn more about facial sweating causes, as well as treatments for excessive facial sweating – both home remedies and less invasive options, and your medical options too.

This post was originally published in June 2020, and was updated in May 2021.

What Causes Face Sweating?

Face sweating can happen as a result of stress, anxiety, a change in diet, hot weather, and physical exertion.

When we talk about excessive sweating though, it’s important to understand what it means. Excessive facial sweating is a visible and abundant flow of sweat for no apparent reason on a normal day. It could be a sign of a medical condition known as hyperhidrosis.

Hyperhidrosis is classified in one of two ways:

  1. Primary focal hyperhidrosis is typically caused by an overactive nervous system that causes overly stimulated sweat glands. It is localized to specific parts of the body like the armpits, feet, face, and hands.

    Researchers believe it is caused by an overactive nervous system, which overstimulates the sweat glands. It also believed to be hereditary.

    Primary hyperhidrosis is thought to be hereditary and in most cases, it can be managed.

  2. Secondary hyperhidrosis (also known as diaphoresis) is a result of an underlying health condition or is a side effect of certain medications. It causes excessive sweating all over the body, including the face and head.

What is Craniofacial Hyperhidrosis?

Given the definitions above, you may be able to guess what craniofacial hyperhirdrosis is. Craniofacial hyperhidrosis, also known as facial hyperhidrosis or just excessive face sweating, occurs for no apparent reason. This type of sweating is unusual and unprovoked by external heat or physical exertion.

Facial hyperhidrosis is likely a result of an underlying health condition, a reaction to medication, or a hormonal imbalance. Hyperhidrosis affects the nervous system and causes overstimulation of the sweat glands. This, in turn, causes excessive sweating.

How to Stop Facial Sweating

There are many ways to treat a sweaty face or reduce excessive face sweating. Let’s discuss a few.

1. Wipes

One of the easiest ways to reduce or stop excessive face sweating is the use of hyperhidrosis face wipes. These special face wipes contain a safe amount of antiperspirant to help stop sweat. Hyperhidrosis wipes are typically gentle and work great for almost all skin types.

We have a list of the best wipes for facial sweating to help you find one that's right for you.

2. Antiperspirant

Antiperspirants made particularly for face sweating are another great option. Most of them come in form of gel lotions that absorb the sweat from your face, helping your face stay dry and cool. They contain aluminum chloride, which suppresses sweat production.

Antiperspirants can be applied on the back of the neck, forehead, and upper lip. They can also be used as a primer on the face before applying makeup. (It is best to apply any new antiperspirant to a small area of your face to test for adverse reactions.)

3. Dietary Changes

Experts have found that adjusting your diet can help reduce excessive sweating. Certain foods can trigger excessive sweating. Food that is hard to digest can cause an internal temperature spike, which in turn, causes your body to sweat. To avoid this, adjust your diet to include foods that are easier to digest. Also avoid facial sweating triggers, like spicy foods, caffeinated beverages, and alcohol.

4. Other Home Remedies

Although there is no one-size-fits-all cure for excessive face sweating, some home remedies may help.

You can try regulating your body temperature by staying hydrated, applying a natural astringent like witch hazel, applying topical treatments like black tea or sage tea. You can even use cucumber slices to soothe your sweating face and tighten up your pores. Check out our list of 8 home remedies for facial sweat we’ve already published.

5. Mental Health Management

Many people struggling with hyperhidrosis experience anxiety or depression as a result of their condition. It can adversely affect every aspect of their lives, like their work performance and their relationships. Getting help from the appropriate professionals is the best way to deal with the emotional aspect of the condition.

Facial Hyperhidrosis Treatments

If less invasive and home remedies aren’t enough to manage your symptoms, there are medical treatment options for excessive face sweating. Here are some of the most common of them.

For many, facial hyperhidrosis causes both physical discomfort and embarrassment. Sometimes this leads to a negative impact on confidence and socialization. Let’s look at treatment options that can help reduce sweat production and build self-esteem.

1. Topical Treatments

When looking for a treatment for facial sweating, the first course of action is typically topical treatment, such as antiperspirants or lotions.

Most over-the-counter antiperspirants contain aluminum chloride, which blocks the sweat glands. Clinical strength antiperspirants contain the highest amount of aluminum chloride allowed without a prescription. We've even identified 6 of the best products deemed gentle enough to use on your face. If you need a stronger product, talk to your doctor about a prescription antiperspirant.

Some lotions are designed to keep your face dry and reduce its shine. Likewise, topical astringents reduce the size of pores and the appearance of facial sweat. Many people prefer all-natural astringents like apple cider vinegar or witch hazel.

Before trying any new product on your face, test a small area first to ensure there is no irritation.

2. Medication

facial hyperhidrosis treatment

Several medications are used as a facial sweating treatment. They are designed to combat the effects of excessive sweat. It’s important to discuss the options and potential side effects with your doctor. Oral anticholinergics decrease sweating over the entire body, including the face. Some antidepressant medications reduce sweating, as well as anxiety, which can be a trigger for sweat. Beta-blockers and benzodiazepines may also help the physical manifestations of anxiety, including sweating.

Anticholinergics

These are medications prescribed by a doctor to deactivate sweat-producing nerve receptors. When they are deactivated, they produce less sweat. Anticholinergics are mostly offered as a short-term solution because of their potential side effects on patients. Some common side effects are constipation, blurred vision, dry eyes, and dry mouth.

Antidepressants

Antidepressants also serve as an effective facial hyperhidrosis treatment. They help decrease the activity of sweat glands, which reduces sweat production. Antidepressants can also help reduce anxiety in patients. As mentioned earlier, anxiety can be a trigger for excessive sweating. So when antidepressants suppress anxiety, sweat production is considerably reduced.

Beta-Blockers and Benzodiazepines

Beta-blockers and benzodiazepines have proven to be effective in treating excessive facial sweating. They are similar to antidepressants in the sense that they both work on the nervous system to block the physical symptoms of anxiety (one of which is excessive sweating.) This medication works better on patients whose hyperhidrosis is caused by anxiety.

3. Medical Treatments

The most common medical treatment for facial hyperhidrosis is Botox. During the procedure, a medical professional injects Botox beneath the skin in the target area. The injections calm the nervous activity in overactive sweat glands. It deactivates the sweat glands and stops excessive sweat from being produced. Unfortunately, Botox is a temporary fix. Results can last up to 12 months before another injection is required.

Are you struggling with sweat in other areas too? If so, Ejis sweat proof boxer briefs and undershirts (available from our shop or on Amazon) are great at preventing sweat stains. Our sweat proof basics are made of premium fabric fused with odor-fighting silver. They have an ultra-thin waterproof layer to protect clothing from your sweatiest parts. The line also includes Ejis dress socks to combat smelly and/or sweaty feet. 

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