Being Prepared: Coping with Hot Flashes in Public

Despite your best efforts, you may still be having hot flashes on a regular basis. Out of desperation, you’ve found some tricks to cool off when you’re at home. You strip down, dump ice water over your head, or jump in the pool. But those strategies don’t work when you’re in your office, at the grocery store, or visiting other public places. When hot flashes strike when you’re out in public, you have to remain decent and composed, making it more difficult to cool off.

You might find some of the tips below helpful. You’ll not only stay drier, but they’ll prevent you from getting in trouble for indecent exposure – all of which will keep you and those around you happier.

Carry a Towel

Keeping a towel handy can let you soak up the sweat that comes with hot flashes, preventing some embarrassment. A decorative hanky or scarf may look more discreet, especially in a professional setting. Be sure any hanky you choose is fresh and ironed. Consider a monogrammed option which can look more professional. You’ll also need to choose a type of material that will absorb moisture well.

Keep a Spare Set of Clothes in Your Car

There may be times that despite having a towel handy, your clothes become too wet to wear. For those times, it’s nice to have an extra outfit handy. Choose a cool, wrinkle resistant outfit that you can keep in your car or desk so you can change if necessary. Something colorful with a busy pattern may hide any wrinkles or sweating.

Carry Extra Cosmetics

Having some extra cosmetics on hand is smart. Sweating, toweling off sweat, and changing clothes may all do a number on your make-up. If you keep some extra cosmetics and a mirror with you, you can touch up as necessary. Some handy wipes and deodorant can also help you feel a bit cleaner and more fresh.

Practice Relaxation Techniques

Because stress can be a hot flash trigger, some relaxation tricks, such as deep breathing, can help calm them. There are a number of techniques and several types of breathing exercises, so ask your doctor to help you decide which one(s) might be best for you. One simple breathing exercise you can start with is to stop and take several deep breaths from the abdomen.

Drink Some Ice Water

Cooling your insides is a trick that may help ease external hot flashes. So besides making it a habit to sip something cool all day long, be sure to drink something cold with ice during a hot flash. Ice water is best as caffeine, sugar, and citrus may all trigger hot flashes. You can keep a trendy looking water bottle with you or buy a monogrammed option that looks professional and blends in with your office decor.

Use Ice Packs

If you can keep ice packs with you in an ice chest or freezer, you may be able to use them discreetly to cool off. You can try putting them in a scarf around your neck, tuck one in your bra, or place them in your pockets. Get creative, but be mindful of wet spots and be careful of placing them directly on your skin.

This content was written by staff of by non-medical professionals based on discussions, resources and input from other patients for the purpose of patient-to-patient support.  Reprinted with permission: Being Prepared: Coping with Hot Flashes in Public

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