Skip to main content
Medically Approved

Why do I sweat so much at school?

twitter share buttonfacebook share buttonlinkedin share buttonemail article button
CausesSweat managementContacting a doctorHyperhidrosisMedicationsSummary
Excessive sweating can happen due to nervousness and hormone changes. However, unexplained and unpredictable excessive sweating can indicate certain health conditions.
Medically reviewed by Angela M. Bell, MD, FACP
Updated on

Sweating is part of life — and sweating in school is very common. Maybe you have to give a presentation, take a test, or speak with a new classmate — or it’s simply too warm for you in the classroom. Sweating a lot in school is expected in these scenarios.

Additionally, as you grow up and go through puberty, your body experiences changes that can increase how much you sweat.

If you regularly sweat a lot during school, it may be a sign of a health condition.

Why you might sweat a lot at school 

Female high school student with their back to the camera looking at a mirror on the inside of their locker door possibly wondering why do I sweat so much at school
Melanie DeFazio/Stocksy United

Typical sweat rates are 0.5–2.0 liters per hour (L/h) during activity. However, due to the large number of factors affecting sweat rates, there are notable differences in how much people sweat.

Besides being in a place with higher temperatures, some causes of excessive sweating include:

  • eating spicy foods
  • hormonal changes, perhaps due to puberty
  • emotions, like feeling nervous, anxious, or stressed
  • increased physical activity, like during gym class

There may be other reasons for excessive sweating, like a side effect of a medication you’re taking, or health conditions like hyperhidrosis.

How to manage sweating 

You can do some simple things to reduce or control sweating and its effects. These include:

  • Use antiperspirant: Antiperspirants and deodorants are different products but are often confused as being the same. Deodorants mask the odor of body sweat, and antiperspirants reduce the amount you sweat by plugging pores.

    The active ingredient in antiperspirants will send a message to your body to stop sweating in the area you apply it, which gradually changes and reduces the amount of bacteria in your armpits. Antiperspirant effects can last up to 24 hours. Many brands offer both antiperspirant and deodorant versions of their products.
  • Wear loose clothing and dress in layers: Tight clothing can trap moisture and make you sweat more. Adding a layer, like a thin cotton undershirt or tank top, beneath your clothes can help to catch any excess moisture your body produces.
  • Shower and wash: Take a shower and wash your body daily to keep sweat-prone areas, like the armpits, clean and to reduce the number of odor-producing bacteria.
  • Avoid energy drinks: Energy drinks often have high caffeine levels, which can bring about feelings of nervousness and a racing heartbeat. These things combined can cause excess sweating.

When to contact a doctor for excess sweating

If you’re unsure why you’re sweating or feel you’re sweating more than you would expect, you can consider speaking with a doctor or healthcare professional.

They will sometimes discuss how much you are sweating and ask about the areas of your body most affected. They may also ask how sweating affects your quality of life, social life, and mental health.

Some medications can also cause you to sweat, so a doctor may suggest changing medications or dosage. The International Hyperhidrosis Society (IHS), lists the medications known to cause sweating, and the list includes some medications for managing:

  • asthma
  • high blood pressure
  • depression
  • anxiety

If your sweating is not due to medications or other health conditions, you may receive a diagnosis of hyperhidrosis. Whatever the reason, you can work with a healthcare team to find the right solution for sweating.

About hyperhidrosis

Hyperhidrosis is when the body produces excessive sweat. It happens because the nerves that produce sweat are overactive. Hyperhidrosis is unpredictable and happens without known sweating triggers, like high temperatures and stress. 

In hyperhidrosis, excessive sweating most commonly happens in the:

  • armpits
  • face
  • hands
  • feet

There are two types of hyperhidrosis:

  • Primary hyperhidrosis: This is excessive sweating that happens for no clear reason in one part of the body, such as the armpits. Symptoms of primary hyperhidrosis include excessive sweating for 6 months or more, sweating episodes that last at least 7 days, and excessive sweating affecting your quality of life. 
  • Secondary hyperhidrosis: This is excessive sweating that happens because of an existing health condition, like cancer, diabetes, or hyperthyroidism.

Prescription medications for sweating

If a doctor or healthcare professional diagnoses you with hyperhidrosis, they may prescribe certain medications if over-the-counter treatments like antiperspirants don’t work. Prescription oral medications for excessive sweating include:

  • Anticholinergic medications: These medications come in oral and topical forms. Oral forms include oxybutynin (Ditropan XL) and glycopyrrolate (Rubinol). Topical anticholinergics include glycopyrrolate (Qbrexza).
  • Botulinum toxin A: Botulinum toxin A (Botox) is an injectable medication that affects the nerves to prevent sweating. A doctor or healthcare professional would inject this medication every 3–4 weeks.

It’s important to note that, when doctors prescribe anticholinergic medications for hyperhidrosis, it will be considered “off-label” use. Off-label means that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves the medications for other health conditions, but not specifically for hyperhidrosis.

If you need help covering the cost of medications, the free Optum Perks Discount Card could help you save up to 80% on prescription drugs. Follow the links on drug names for savings on that medication, or search for a specific drug here.

Pill bottle with text 'Starts at $4'

Free prescription coupons

Seriously … free. Explore prices that beat the competition 70% of the time.

Get free card


If medications are ineffective, other medical procedures can help reduce excessive sweating, such as iontophoresis — a therapy that applies electricity to the affected area to stop sweat glands from working, and surgeries to remove sweat glands or the nerves that activate them.


Sweating is a regular bodily function and is important to help the body regulate temperature. You may notice it more in school, due to heightened emotions and physical exercise. However, sometimes sweating can be uncomfortable and cause embarrassment.

Excessive sweating can be due to medications, health conditions, or a specific health condition called hyperhidrosis.

A doctor or healthcare professional can help determine the cause. They may prescribe topical or oral medications, or suggest lifestyle measures to help reduce sweating and improve your school days. 

Download the free Optum Perks Discount Card to save up to 80% on some prescription medications.

Article resources