Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Sweating like a P.I.G

So newsflash; women sweat. I’m not talking the ladylike, flowery-scented, dewy perspiration that some arbitrary voice of societal authority deemed was acceptable for women, I’m talking the “shit-my-deodorant-has-totally-given-up-on-me-and-it-smells-like-something-died” kind of sweating that isn’t caused by a gym session that would make Daisy Ridley proud. Yet I can’t honestly recall a time I had a conversation with girlfriends about sweating and body odour during high school but it was something that I spent a good deal of time panicking about and trying to deal with on a daily basis. It’s something I still have to deal with and spend more time than I’d like thinking about it every day.

It’s a fact of my body that if I don’t shower in the morning or forget to apply deodorant that within about an hour or so, even if I’m doing nothing more strenuous than sitting at my desk I will be sweating and starting to smell. Sometimes I have showered *and* applied deodorant and still found myself dabbing my underarms with tissues before blitzing the body spray to hide the odour that I’m positive everyone else can smell. To make things even weirder my right armpit is sweatier than the left, so that side could be bone dry while the right pit is literally dripping. What the hell biology?

Sweating is a constant inconvenience when you start questioning what colour/material/style of tops you can wear without ending up with enormous dark, sweaty rings under your arms after a few hours of just existing. I’ve had to throw away several t-shirts and vest tops because the under-arms were stained and still had a lingering smell of BO even though they’ve been through the wash several times. I surreptitiously check for stains with alarming frequency if I’m wearing light-coloured tops and it’s not beyond belief that I’ve swapped tops during the day because I’ve effectively sweated myself out of my clothing. That can happen even in winter since my body is stupid and can often sweat more when I’m freezing cold than when it’s roasting.

 It’s not just underarm sweating that causes problems, women with larger than average breasts often have to deal with under-boob sweating which can end up causing soreness when combined with their bras chafing. It’s another sucky card that big-boobed ladies get dealt along with all the things that Jess discussed in her post on Growing up with Big Boobs a few weeks ago. Like thanks Mother Nature. Y’bish.

Taking things even further south, I’m gonna take a moment to put it out there that I’m not the only woman who spends a week out of every month *convinced* that everyone around me can smell the blood that is oozing out of my nether regions. Because surely if I can smell it while I’m fully dressed, SO CAN EVERYONE ELSE?? But since I don’t get people saying “what’s that smell?” while they’re sat next to me (although let’s be real, us Brits would never say that, we’d just tweet about it) I’m guessing that the odour is only really obvious to me because I’m used to my own smells. Right?

This frustration and paranoia also applies to general sweating around your groin and upper thighs. What the hell are you meant to do if you get so clammy and yuck that your knickers are soaked and not in the way we'd prefer them to be. It's not as easy to mop up sweat from your groin while you're sat at your desk as it is to discretely stuff some tissues under your arms, and you'll get some *very* odd looks if someone finds you crotch-first under the hand-dryer in the toilets frantically trying to dry out your vaginal region.

I never really thought about particular methods to combat body odours beyond having showers and applying deodorant but Jess linked me to this video earlier which gives lots of different tips and tricks for dealing with body odour and sweating. If you swap out the use of a hairdryer in a public toilet for the infinitely more likely hand-dryer then you get one of my more frequently used methods for de-soggying my top after I’ve fervently dabbed my pits with tissues. Can’t say I’m really into the idea of chucking vinegar or vodka onto my clothes but some of the hacks she recommends are things I have done myself.

I know that there are some medical conditions which cause excessive sweating so some of the things mentioned in the video might not be of any use. I'd recommend consulting a medical professional on the best methods for managing these conditions. Same goes for if you have sensitive skin or allergies, don't chuck anything at your skin that you know is only going to cause you pain or discomfort.

I'd best be off, I have deadlines looming and I'm cold-sweating like the weirdo I am. Seriously my hands & feet are ice cubes but I'm sweating. What even is my life?


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No judgment, no hate, because it is already tough enough being a girl.