Are you sweating excessively from your face or another part of your body, and you feel it might be due to alcohol? Or is it happening during your alcohol withdrawal?
I will answer all your most frequently asked questions on this topic.
💬 The comment section is there for you! Feel free to share your experiences, as they can be valuable to others.
♻️ Last update: september 2023
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Does alcohol make your face and body sweat?
Yes, alcohol can cause sweating. Within 10 minutes of consuming alcohol, your body begins to sweat more, particularly in areas where sweat glands are more easily activated:
- Hands and feet
- Face, especially the forehead, scalp, nose, mustache area, and neck.
Alcohol remains in your bloodstream for several hours, and the morning after a night of drinking, you may still have not completely eliminated all the alcohol. This is why you can also sweat excessively during the night and the morning after a heavy drinking session.
Why can alcohol make your face and body sweat?
Alcohol contains various substances that are known to be psychoactive, meaning they trigger reactions in our brains.
Alcohol leads to the secretion of certain hormones that make us feel happier, more joyful, and more relaxed in the short term.
However, these hormones are also responsible for sending signals to the sweat glands, instructing them to sweat.
It is not entirely understood why some people may sweat more from their faces due to alcohol compared to other parts of their bodies.
Additionally, not everyone is equal in this regard. Some individuals suffer from hyperhidrosis, a chronic and genetic condition that leads to excessive sweating. If you have hyperhidrosis, you will likely experience excessive facial sweating at times other than when consuming alcohol.
Alcohol can trigger hyperhidrosis (chronic excessive sweating)
It’s worth noting that this condition (hyperhidrosis = excessive sweating) can be triggered by significant and regular alcohol consumption.
In such cases, hyperhidrosis is not of genetic origin; it is referred to as secondary hyperhidrosis and is relatively rare (affecting 10% of people with hyperhidrosis).
Alcohol withdrawal & night sweats: why & how long?
Sweating after stopping drinking is very common.Alcohol withdrawal, a challenging and often uncomfortable experience, can bring about various physical and psychological symptoms. One particularly bothersome symptom is night sweats, which can significantly disrupt sleep and contribute to the overall discomfort of withdrawal.
Why Do Night Sweats Occur During Alcohol Withdrawal?
Night sweats during alcohol withdrawal are primarily a result of changes in the body’s nervous system.
- Alcohol, when consumed regularly, has a depressive effect on the central nervous system (CNS).
- When alcohol intake suddenly ceases during withdrawal, the CNS becomes overactive.
- This overactivity can lead to increased heart rate, body temperature fluctuations, and excessive sweating, especially during sleep.
Alcohol withdrawal can also affect the body’s hormones, such as adrenaline and noradrenaline, which are responsible for the “fight or flight” response. This hormonal disruption can cause night sweats as the body struggles to adapt to the sudden absence of alcohol.
How to Reduce Night Sweats During Alcohol Withdrawal?
Managing night sweats during alcohol withdrawal can involve strategies like:
- staying hydrated,
- maintaining a cool sleeping environment,
- practicing relaxation techniques to help mitigate the symptoms,
- sleep in well-ventilated areas.
How Long Do Night Sweats Last During Alcohol Withdrawal?
The duration of night sweats during alcohol withdrawal varies from person to person. Several factors come into play, including the severity of alcohol dependence, the length of time one has been drinking, and individual differences in how the body responds to withdrawal.
For some individuals, night sweats may begin shortly after alcohol cessation and persist for a few days to a week. Others might experience night sweats for a more extended period, possibly several weeks or even months, as their bodies gradually readjust to functioning without alcohol.
What types of alcohol cause excessive sweating?
All alcohols that contain acetic acid can lead to sweating:
Generally, other types of alcohol are less likely to cause excessive sweating.
How much alcohol triggers excessive sweating?
There is no minimum quantity. As soon as even a small amount of alcohol is consumed, it can impact our hormone secretion, such as blood sugar levels.
Of course, if the body is accustomed to it, a larger quantity may be required to trigger more abundant sweating.
How can you be sure that your sweating is indeed due to alcohol?
You should consider:
- When you started experiencing this excessive sweating (before or after you began consuming alcohol).
- Whether sweating occurs at times when you are not consuming alcohol.
- Whether you engage in any other specific activities when consuming alcohol that could also explain the excess sweating (for example, drinking alcohol only in stressful situations).
Based on the answers to these three questions, you’ll gain more insight into the connection between facial sweating and alcohol in your case.
However, it’s highly likely that there is a link, given the effects of alcohol on the parasympathetic nervous system, which controls sweat glands.
Here is a testimonial from someone who tried to identify the cause of their excessive sweating:
“I used to be obese, and everyone said I sweated a lot because of my weight. I lost a significant amount of weight, and my excessive sweating remained roughly the same. I now have a very healthy lifestyle, but I occasionally let loose on weekends. I notice that my body sweats a lot during the night and the day following a night when I drank a lot of alcohol.”Ludivine. You will find many similar testimonies on Reddit.
What are the solutions to stop excessive sweating?
The first “solution” is obvious: limit your alcohol consumption. However, if that’s not what you want to do, here are some common treatments that can be applied to combat facial sweating. Please be aware of potential interactions with alcohol, especially with medications!
- Applying antiperspirant cream to the face, armpits, etc. There are creams specifically designed for each part of the body.
- Botulinum toxin injections (effectiveness: only 4 to 6 months).
- Ensure you are always in well-ventilated areas. Skin sweats less when exposed to circulating air because moisture evaporates more quickly.
- Sleep on sheets designed to limit sweating.
- Oral intake of antiperspirant medications like oxybutynine or glycopyrrolate (but contraindicated in case of alcohol consumption due to the risk of drug interaction).
I invite you to read a more comprehensive article I have written that may interest you: “7 Tips to Prevent Facial Sweating.”
In conclusion, alcohol indeed leads to sweating! You were right to suspect a connection between alcohol and your facial sweating. Alcohol is responsible for both occasional and chronic excessive facial sweating. If you have any further questions or experiences to share, feel free to do so in the comments!
Do you have any comments or questions? Your comments are welcome 🙂 !
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You may also like:
Yoda T, Crawshaw LI, Nakamura M, Saito K, Konishi A, Nagashima K, Uchida S, Kanosue K. Effects of alcohol on thermoregulation during mild heat exposure in humans. Alcohol. 2005 Jul;36(3):195-200. doi: 10.1016/j.alcohol.2005.09.002. PMID: 16377461.
Tugnoli V, Eleopra R, De Grandis D. Hyperhidrosis and sympathetic skin response in chronic alcoholic patients. Clin Auton Res. 1999 Feb;9(1):17-22. doi: 10.1007/BF02280692. PMID: 10212744.
Written by Nelly Darbois
I founded this website in 2012. Since then, I’ve been providing information and positive support to people suffering from excessive sweating. I’m also a physical therapist and science writer, living in French Alps 🌞❄️.