Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

Surviving Dating's Most Embarrassing Moments


Don't Sweat It

Sweating, when you're nervous or hot, is natural. Excessive sweating, called hyperhidrosis, can be problematic. It happens when your sympathetic nervous system is out of whack - working harder than it needs to in regulating your body temperature. Sweat appears on the palms of your hands, your face, feet, and torso, as well as your armpits.

If you sweat profusely (or even just a little), you can stop it several ways:

  • Antiperspirants: The active ingredient in most antiperspirants is aluminum zirconium trichlorohydrex (or tetra-chlorohydrex) GLY. Some people do apply antiperspirant to the soles of their feet or the palms of their hands, but most use them on their armpits. The purpose of an antiperspirant is to stop sweat from reaching the skin. A deodorant, on the other hand, is used to mask perspiration odors.
  • Powders: Brushed on the hands and feet, talc, cornstarch, and baking soda-based powders absorb perspiration as it reaches the surface of your skin.
  • Relaxation: Particularly before a big date, sweat may be more of an emotional response to stress than a physical problem with your armpits or hands or forehead. Take several deep breaths and try to chill out.
  • Surgery: In severe cases of sweating, surgery is possible to remove axillary sweat glands, or the sweat glands under the arms - but don't try this at home.

Lighten up

No matter what happens, the biggest thing to bear in mind is this: It's a date - just a date. Not brain surgery or the cure for cancer or the Bill of Rights or Macbeth. It's not serious drama with dire consequences. It's a date. So, while you're in the midst of it all, why not lighten up?

The punsters weren't kidding when they said, "Laughter is the best medicine." Several studies have found that jovial belly laughs not only improve circulation and work muscles all over the body, but they relieve stress much in the same way aerobic exercise does. Even in your darkest moments, laughter can instantly make things seem, and feel, much better. Tossing one-liners nonstop isn't the way to go, but looking on the bright side of a dim moment can mean the difference between a disaster date and one that's the beginning of a great relationship.

Excerpted from Dating For Dummies™, published by Wiley Publishing Inc.

For more information on "Dating For Dummies®", or other books, visit Dummies.com.


More to Explore