Lifestyle and home remediesBy Mayo Clinic staff
You can do a number of things on your own to reduce sweating and body odor. The following suggestions may help:
- Bathe daily. Regular bathing, especially with an antibacterial detergent or soap, helps keep the number of bacteria on your skin in check.
- Dry your feet thoroughly after you bathe. Microorganisms thrive in the damp spaces between your toes. Use over-the-counter foot powders to help absorb sweat.
- Choose shoes and socks made of natural materials. Shoes made of natural materials, such as leather, can help prevent sweaty feet by allowing your feet to breathe.
- Rotate your shoes. Shoes won't completely dry overnight, so try not to wear the same pair two days in a row if you have trouble with sweaty feet.
- Wear the right socks. Some cotton blends and wool socks help keep your feet dry because they absorb moisture. When you're active, moisture-wicking athletic socks are a good choice, as well.
- Change your socks often. Change socks or hose once or twice a day, drying your feet thoroughly each time. Women may prefer pantyhose with cotton soles.
- Air your feet. Go barefoot when you can, or at least slip out of your shoes now and then. Sandals may be an option for casual wear.
- Choose natural-fiber clothing. Wear natural fabrics, such as cotton, wool and silk, which allow your skin to breathe. When you exercise, you might prefer high-tech fabrics that wick moisture away from your skin.
- Apply antiperspirants nightly. At bedtime, apply antiperspirants to palms or soles of the feet. Try perfume-free antiperspirants.
- Try relaxation techniques. Consider relaxation techniques such as yoga, meditation or biofeedback. These can help you learn to control the stress that triggers perspiration.
- Change your diet. If foods or beverages cause you to sweat more than usual or your perspiration to smell, consider eliminating caffeinated drinks from your diet as well as foods with strong odors, such as garlic and onions.
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- Mauro TM, et al. Biology of eccrine, apocrine, and apoeccrine sweat glands. In: Wolff K, et al. Fitzpatrick's Dermatology in General Medicine. 7th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2008. http://www.accessmedicine.com/content.aspx?aID=2956361. Accessed Oct. 14, 2010.
- Fealey RD, et al. Disorders of the eccrine sweat glands and sweating. In: Wolff K, et al. Fitzpatrick's Dermatology in General Medicine. 7th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2008. http://www.accessmedicine.com/content.aspx?aID=2985825. Accessed Oct. 14, 2009.
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