The Reason You Sweat After a Shower—and How to Stop It

Breaking out in a sweat after you take a hot shower is normal, but there are steps you can take to prevent it.
Here’s how to stop those post-shower sweats.
Here’s how to stop those post-shower sweats. / Flavia Morlachetti/Moment/Getty Images

It’s normal to sweat a bit when taking a hot shower—it’s the sweat that drips after you towel off that becomes a problem. Perspiring when you’ve already washed your hair and body can make you feel as dirty as you did when you stepped into the bathroom. The good news is that sweating after you take a shower is normal, and there are steps you can take to prevent it.

Why You Sweat After You Shower

Post-shower sweats are often the product of residual heat. If you take steaming showers, that hot water will continue to cling to your hair and skin after you turn off the faucet. At certain temperatures, those droplets are just as likely to make you sweat as the water streaming from your showerhead.

And as dermatologist Marisa Garshick told Well + Good, “When someone takes a hot shower, it may cause the body temperature to go up. Sweating is a mechanism that the body uses to cool down. For this reason, if the body is hot after coming out of the shower, it may trigger a sweat reaction as a way of cooling the body down.”

You may assume that drying off is the solution, but in some cases, your towel can raise your body temperature. The friction of the fabric rubbing against your skin generates extra heat, and if the towel just came out of the dryer, it can make you feel even hotter. Combine this with the humidity from the shower you just took, and you have a recipe for unwanted sweat.

How to Stop Sweating After Your Shower

To keep your skin feeling clean after bathing in hot water, give your body a cool-down period. Before getting out and drying off, gradually lower the temperature—experts recommend dialing it down every 10 seconds—of the water from hot to warm.

Standing in lukewarm-to-cool water for a bit will wash away any hot water droplets and adjust your body’s thermostat. Running your bathroom’s exhaust fan or keeping the door ajar (or the window open) will prevent it from becoming overly steamy, but it still helps to move to a cooler environment as soon as you can after your shower. You can also use your blowdryer on a cool setting to dry yourself off. And if you’ve just finished up a workout, wait for 20 minutes before you hop in.

Though most of us do it every day, showering isn’t always straightforward. Here’s what the experts have to say about the best way to get clean.

A version of this story ran in 2021; it has been updated for 2023.