Most of us have felt the uncomfortable trickle of sweat down our backs or feel the back of our shirts clinging to our backs following a workout or during an exceptionally hot or humid day. This type of back sweat is considered normal, as your body tries to cool itself down. However, if you experience back sweat beyond what’s considered normal, you are probably wondering “why does my back sweat so much?” And more importantly, you want to know what you can do about it.
Are you tired of your shirt always sticking to the backs of chairs? Is it common for you to sweat so much that you feel it running down your back… even in a climate-controlled room?
In this post, we'll break down the basics of back sweat – what causes back sweat, how to manage back sweat, and most importantly – how to stop back sweat.
This post was originally published in April 2020, and was updated in March 2021.
Sweating is a natural function of humans, and it is vital to regulate body temperature. We have sweat glands and pores all over our bodies to release heat via liquid (sweat) to cool down. In some cases excessive back sweating can be experienced without an external stimulus, which is characterized as a medical condition called hyperhidrosis. This condition can affect all areas of the body or it can be localized to one area, such as the back.
There are two types of hyperhidrosis.
Those who have hyperhidrosis experience excessive sweating for no apparent reason, like overexertion or being overheated. Their sweat glands produce sweat with no provocation, including those times when your back sweats for no reason.
Sometimes, you aren't ready for a dramatic lifestyle change or the interventions necessary to completely eliminate your sweating problems. If you just want tips on managing your back sweat, these tips will help.
The International Hyperhidrosis Society says that antiperspirants should be the first line of treatment for almost any part of your body that profusely sweats. A clinical strength antiperspirant is the strongest product available without a prescription. Because there’s such a large area to cover, it’s probably best to use a spray or wipe.
Whenever possible, ask your partner or roommate to help you apply the product to your clean back before bedtime. This allows the antiperspirant to take hold while you sleep. (If you don’t have a person who can help you, try using two spray antiperspirants simultaneously in a well-ventilated room.) If you are trying out a new product, be sure to apply to a small area first to test your reaction to it.
Clothing made from natural fibers, like cotton or wool, is more breathable than their synthetic counterparts. When clothing is breathable, it allows air to flow through the fabric and sweat to evaporate more rapidly. While wearing breathable clothing won’t stop your back from sweating, it will help you feel more comfortable.
If you would like the freedom to wear whatever you’d like, try out the all-new Ejis Back & Underarm Sweat Proof Undershirt. The sweat proof technology is designed to stop embarrassing sweat marks from ever reaching your clothes. It offers full protection on the entire back (from collar to hem) and under each arm. It also has silver ions permanently fused to the fabric fibers to help fight odor-causing bacteria.
While most people with hyperhidrosis don’t need a reason to start sweating, the condition will only be exasperated if your body gets too hot. If you are not in a climate-controlled setting during hot weather, you may find relief by walking on the shady side of the street, using a personal, battery-operated fan, or cooling off your pulse points with an ice bandana.
If you experience back sweating for no reason, you may want to evaluate your diet.
You may have noticed that certain foods and beverages can make you sweat more. For instance, processed foods and those high in fat and sugar require your body to work harder to digest them. As a result, your body heats up because it’s working so hard, and naturally activates the sweat glands to help cool itself down.
Additionally, beverages containing alcohol and caffeine can overstimulate your sweat glands. Alcohol naturally increases your body temperature, whereas caffeine kicks your central nervous system into motion. Both of these reactions cause your body to self-correct by sweating.
If you are ready for a major change to try and stop back sweat, these tips will help you accomplish that.
An easy way to prevent back sweat is to drink plenty of water. Drinking lots of water can help to prevent dehydration, regulate body temperature and replenish the liquid lost from excessive sweating. Staying hydrated aids your body in regulating its temperature, which may help curb or stop excessive back sweating.
A lesser-known tip on how to get rid of back sweat is to simply relax. Reducing stress can be an effective way to minimize back sweating. When we feel stressed, our body temperature rises, which causes the body to react with its natural cooling mechanism.
Relaxation looks different for us all. Some find solace in going for a jog, others like to connect with nature during a long walk on the beach, and others prefer a good laugh to let it all go. Regular meditation, breathing exercises and yoga are also effective in lowering stress levels. Whatever it is that helps you to decompress, try to include it in your routine to get rid of excessive sweating.
If you’ve tried all our suggested approaches and still don’t feel a change, it may be time to speak with your doctor. While there is no sure-fire sweaty back cure, there are promising medical treatments.
Your healthcare provider may want to start with a pharmaceutical-grade antiperspirant or medications known to help with excessive sweating. There are a couple of medical treatments, like iontophoresis and Botox injections, that may also provide extended, but temporary relief.
Learning to live with excessive back sweat is not easy. But hopefully with a few lifestyle changes or a chat with your doctor, it will become more manageable. To protect your clothes (and chairs) from excessive back sweat, try out our new Back & Underarm Sweat Proof Undershirt (buy on our shop or on Amazon). Its full-coverage design makes sure your clothing stays dry from your neck to your rear.
Want your clothes to work extra hard to manage sweat and odor? Learn about antimicrobial fabrics and textiles, which help manage odor, plus how they work.
Has your body odor changed recently? In this post you'll learn about the most common medical conditions, diseases, and illnesses that cause body odor, plus when to talk to your doctor.
Curious about switching to natural deodorant? Learn about the "detox" transition period and how to manage it while your body adapts to natural deodorant.