Why Does Vinegar Cause Sweating?

Spicy meals like peppers are the most frequent cause of people’s tendency to perspire when eating. Capsaicin, a compound found in peppers, stimulates the nervous system, making you sweat to cool down your body once it feels warmer. Additionally, you can have a flushed face, a runny nose, and watery eyes.

You can also perspire after eating foods that are hot or that contain acidic substances like vinegar.

Your body can occasionally produce an excessive amount of insulin, the hormone that aids in the conversion of sugar into energy, when you have a high-sugar meal. Reactive hypoglycemia, a drop in blood sugar as a result, may result. One indication of such is sweating.

While some foods, such as garlic and onion, may not cause you to perspire, they can change how your perspiration smells. Allicin, a substance found in such foods, is converted by your body into a sulfur compound. The smell of that substance may be present in both your sweat and breath.

Why do I become heated after consuming vinegar?

Absolutely, yes. Although scientists disagree on whether or not meat sweats actually exist, experts concur that specific foods can cause them. Spicy meals and (potentially) sweet foods are the two main food categories to avoid if you find yourself perspiring after eating. Acidic foods, such as those containing vinegar, as well as hot foods, like soup, may make you more likely to perspire. However, the main causes of excessive sweating in the armpits and on the face are described below.

Spicy foods

It is well known that eating spicy food might cause you to perspire. That is due to capsaicin, a substance in peppers that gives them their pungency. Through the TRPV1 receptor, our bodies are able to detect the presence of this substance that causes heat. Thermal hyperalgesia can occur when TRPV1 is sensitized and detects the presence of capsaicin in the environment. You experience that as being extremely hot or chilly when it is actually merely warm or cool (O’Neill, 2012). This could explain why, just seconds ago, the temperature in the restaurant was just right for you and now you’re sweating profusely.

Your body temperature is also raised by capsaicin, and this reaction might have a purpose. There might be an excellent explanation why spicy cuisine is so prevalent in hot, arid regions of the world.” According to senior dietitian at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center and adjunct assistant professor at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health Dana Hunnes, Ph.D., RD, MPH, spicy foods, particularly those made from peppers containing capsaicin, warm your body, which causes you to sweat. “Your body subsequently cools down as a result, which could be crucial in warmer climates. (Unfortunately, she observes, in hot and humid conditions, that isn’t as successful at cooling you down. It should be dry.

Sugary foods

To be clear up front, we’re not stating that sugary foods will always result in some people sweating after eating. Even if you perspire after eating anything high in sugar, it doesn’t necessarily mean that sugar is a trigger for you; rather, it may just mean that you need to intentionally balance your meals to slow digestion. It’s likely that your body is producing too much insulin in response to what you ate if sugar is making you sweat. Reactive hypoglycemia, or low blood glucose as a response to a meal rather than being caused by diabetes, is the condition that results from this, which causes your blood sugar to skyrocket. One common adverse effect is sweating. However, it’s important to keep in mind that a dish that normally makes you perspire may not do so if consumed with a supply of high-quality fat or fiber to slow digestion. Tell a healthcare provider what you’re going through. They might collect blood samples to check blood sugar levels or make lifestyle recommendations. Interventions may be necessary for reactive hypoglycemia.

Why do I sweat when I eat anything sour?

For assistance in the creation of this paper, NORD warmly recognizes Pavel Dulguerov, MD, Chief of Head & Neck Surgery, Department of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology HNS, Geneva University Hospital.

General Discussion

Frey syndrome is a rare condition that frequently results from surgery near the parotid glands. The biggest salivary glands in the body, the parotid glands are situated on either side of the face, immediately below the ear. Unwanted sweating and flushing after eating certain foods, especially those that cause a significant salivary reaction, that occurs on the cheek, temple (temporal region), or behind the ears (retroauricular region) are the main symptoms of Frey syndrome. The symptoms are frequently manageable and moderate. Some individuals may experience more severe symptoms, necessitating therapy. Uncertainty exists regarding the precise underlying mechanisms that give rise to Frey syndrome. Frey syndrome most frequently develops as an adverse reaction to surgery performed on the parotid region of the face.

Baillarger published the first description of the condition in the medical literature in 1853. Dr. Lucja Frey, a Polish neurologist, gave a thorough analysis of the condition and came up with the phrase “auriculotemporal syndrome” in 1923.

Signs & Symptoms

Frey syndrome symptoms often appear within the first year following surgery in the region close to the parotid glands. Frey syndrome sometimes doesn’t appear until years following surgery. Gustatory sweating, which occurs excessively on the cheek, forehead, and area around the ears quickly after eating certain foods, especially those that elicit a strong salivary reaction like sour, spicy, or salty foods, is the hallmark sign of Frey syndrome.

Flushing and warmth in the affected areas are potential additional signs of Frey syndrome. Rarely is this a significant complaint.

Despite the fact that the syndrome has been linked to other symptoms, they are probably unconnected. Although pain is occasionally reported, it is likely more associated with the procedure than the Frey syndrome itself. There are significant differences amongst afflicted people in terms of the precise area affected, the size of the area, and the intensity of sweating and flushing. Some patients’ symptoms could be minor, and others who are impacted might not even notice them. Affected people may need therapy in other situations, such as when they sweat excessively.


Uncertainty exists regarding the precise root etiology of Frey syndrome. According to the most accepted explanation, Frey syndrome is caused by simultaneous injury to sympathetic and parasympathetic nerves in the area of the face or neck close to the parotid glands. The autonomic nervous system, which is the portion of the nervous system that regulates or controls unconscious bodily functions, includes parasympathetic nerves (i.e., those functions that occur without instruction from the conscious mind). Parasympathetic nerves have the ability to control the activity of some glands, including the parotid glands, but not sweat glands. Sympathetic fibers regulate blood vessels and sweat glands all over the body.

The parasympathetic and sympathetic nerves close to the parotid glands, particularly the small branches coming from the auriculotemporal nerve, are thought to be cut in Frey syndrome. The parotid glands are one of the facial tissues supplied with nerves by the auriculotemporal nerve.

In most cases, injured nerve fibers gradually recover (regenerate). Damaged nerve fibers are thought to regenerate abnormally in Frey syndrome by sprouting along sympathetic fiber pathways and eventually attaching to the tiny sweat glands present along the skin. As a result, when a person tastes food, the parasympathetic nerves that typically direct the parotid glands to generate saliva instead signal the sweat glands to produce perspiration and the blood vessels to dilate (dilate). When consuming particular foods, the cumulative effect is profuse perspiration and flushing.

Numerous factors, such as complications from surgery or blunt trauma to the side of the face, can harm the nerves in the parotid gland region of the face. In earlier accounts, parotid gland infections were thought to be the cause, however a thorough examination invariably indicates that the cause was surgical drainage of a parotid abscess. A surgical procedure termed a parotidectomy is the most often documented cause of Frey syndrome (the surgical removal of a parotid gland). Some sources claim that more than half of all patients who receive a parotidectomy go on to develop Frey syndrome, even though the exact ratio is not widely agreed upon in the medical literature. According to a recent meta-analysis, the interposition of tissue after parotidectomy may reduce the occurrence of Frey syndrome.

Damage to the primary sympathetic nerve chain in the neck is another etiology (cause) of Frey syndrome that is hardly ever mentioned.

Rarely, Frey syndrome has been reported in infants, probably as a result of forceps delivery trauma. Actual close inspection reveals that flushing, which may be physiological at a younger age, is the main symptom. Lack of emphasis on the primary symptom of face perspiration in neonates raises questions regarding the accuracy of these data.

Affected Populations

Unknown is the precise frequency of Frey syndrome. The condition most frequently develops as a side effect of parotid gland removal surgery (parotidectomy). There is debate over the proportion of people who go on to acquire Frey syndrome following a parotidectomy; estimates have ranged from 30 to 50 percent. About 15% of those with the condition reported their symptoms as severe in follow-up exams. Males and females who have Frey syndrome are both affected equally.

Related Disorders

The following conditions can have symptoms that are comparable to Frey syndrome. A differential diagnosis may benefit from comparisons.

Any disorder that produces excessive sweating (hyperhidrosis) over a significant portion of the body is referred to as general hyperhidrosis. Sweating excessively can be a symptom of a wide range of illnesses. Impaired thyroid function, anomalies of the pituitary, allergies, metabolic illnesses, viral diseases, diabetes, menopause, and various cancers are only a few of these conditions. A side effect of drug use could be general hyperhidrosis. Any age, gender, race, or ethnicity can be afflicted with generalized hyperhidrosis. (Use the specific condition name as your search phrase in the Rare Disease Database to learn more about this disorder.)


Identification of distinctive symptoms, a thorough patient history, a comprehensive clinical examination, and a specialized test known as the minor iodine-starch test are all used to make a diagnosis of Frey syndrome. An iodine solution is applied to the afflicted facial areas during this test. The iodine solution is then covered with a starch powder, like corn starch. The next step is to provide an oral stimulation, usually in the form of a highly acidic meal like a lemon wedge. People with the condition experience discoloration (often purple) on the affected areas as a result of excessive sweating.

Standard Therapies

Treatment Frey syndrome can be moderate and well-tolerated in some people, while in others, it can be quite uncomfortable. The goal of symptomatic treatment is to alleviate symptoms. Most therapeutic methods have historically fallen short of expectations. The use of medication or surgery are available as treatments.

Anticholinergics, which disrupt specific nervous system functions, and antihidrotics, which prevent sweating, have both been used topically. Since facial nerve fibers remain present directly below the skin following parotidectomy, surgical removal (excision) of the afflicted skin and the insertion (interposition) of new tissue to the affected area (muscle flaps) have been documented, however they are regarded as dangerous procedures.

Botulinum A toxin has established itself as a treatment for those with unpleasant Frey syndrome over the past ten years. Botulinum A toxin injections administered locally into the afflicted skin constitute the treatment. According to preliminary findings, this medication suppresses sweating without having any noticeable negative effects. Botulinum A toxin also has the benefit of being less intrusive than other treatments. The effects of botulinum toxin, like with other indications, are temporary and persist, on average, 9 to 12 months.

Investigational Therapies

The website www.clinicaltrials.gov provides information on current clinical trials. This government website publishes all studies receiving financing from the United States government as well as some studies financed by private companies.

Contact the NIH Patient Recruitment Office for details about clinical trials being done at the NIH Clinical Center in Bethesda, Maryland: Email: [email protected] Toll-free: (800) 411-1222 TTY: (866) 411-1010

Use an antiperspirant

A topical medication known as an antiperspirant stops your sweat glands. Metals used in antiperspirants, such as zinc and aluminum, prevent sweat from escaping from pores. This is distinct from deodorant, which merely masks the odor of perspiration.

Antiperspirants can be used on the hands, feet, and face for patients with hyperhidrosis, a medical condition that causes excessive sweating, even though they are most frequently applied to the underarms.

According to Tsippora Shainhouse, MD, a dermatologist at SkinSafe Dermatology and Skin Care, stronger antiperspirants are available with a prescription.

Think about the following advice for using antiperspirants to reduce sweating:

  • Apply before you begin to perspire. To be effective, antiperspirants must be used prior to the onset of sweating. The secret, according to Shainhouse, is to apply them to dry skin so that a salt crystal can develop in the sweat duct. Your sweat ducts are blocked by the minerals in the antiperspirant, including salt, which keep perspiration from evaporating.
  • Think ahead. Antiperspirants can be used at night and frequently work throughout the next day. According to Tara L. Kaufmann, MD, a dermatologist at Stony Brook University Hospital, “using an antiperspirant at night is preferable as the body temperature is lower and frequently skin is drier, allowing for a more effective application.”
  • Think about shaving. According to Kaufmann, shaving your armpit hair helps reduce sweating odor and increase the effectiveness of antiperspirants.

Although there are no significant health hazards associated with antiperspirants, they occasionally irritate the skin and result in rashes or pimples.

Limit spicy, fatty, or salty foods

Sweating amounts might be influenced by what you eat and drink. The following foods, according to Kaufman, can make you sweat more:

  • spicy meals, such as hot peppers or chili. Your heart rate may increase while your body breaks down hot or spicy foods and beverages, raising your body temperature and making you perspire.
  • processed foods high in fat, such as packaged sausages. These fatty foods require more effort from your body to process, which could result in a rise in body temperature.
  • meals with a lot of salt, like potato chips. Sweating is one way your body may try to get rid of surplus salt.

Better body temperature control and reduced sweating can result from dietary adjustments that reduce these foods, according to Kaufmann.

Eat fruits and vegetables instead, which are high in water content and can help you stay cool.

Stay hydrated

There is a quick and easy approach to ensure that you are getting enough water each day. You need to drink half your body weight in pounds in ounces of water.

Avoid alcoholic beverages that also include caffeine, advises Kaufmann. Both of these chemicals have the ability to momentarily increase your heart rate, raising your body temperature and causing you to sweat, which causes you to get dehydrated—the exact opposite of what you want.

A quick tip: For every 150 pounds you weigh, you should drink 75 fluid ounces, or roughly nine eight-ounce cups, every day.

Wear breathable clothing

You want to stay cool to prevent perspiration. Choose comfortable, loose-fitting clothing made of breathable materials like cotton, linen, or fabric that wicks away sweat.

Avoid wearing constrictive clothing and synthetic fabrics like nylon, rayon, or silk, which might make you sweat more and make you feel hotter, advises Kaufmann. It’s unlikely that the color of your clothing will have a significant impact.

Keep cool

When you are too hot and your body needs to cool you down, you normally sweat. Your best bet may be to cool down your body if you wish to quit sweating. Try these if you’re inside: