If you can't stand the heat . . .

I'm sick of summer. Had it up to here with it. And I think Australia has too. It's meant to be autumn but the weather just doesn't want to let up. Melbourne's roasting in its longest heatwave ever. Sydney's sweltering and the rest of the country - apart from Tassie, of course - is feeling hot, hot hot.

I can't wait for winter, for a bit of cool. A couple of weekends back, when it was overcast, I got the fire made up and ready to be lit, cooked some hearty stews and laid out some long trousers, a scarf and a winter coat in the hope that some voodoo might nudge the thermometer down. But there's no sign of a break just yet. The kids have gone troppo and I'm heading that way too.

I'm tired of it, tired of waking up hot, wet and fatigued, tired of the hot sticky bodies on the way to work, sick of hot bodies when I'm trying to sleep on the way home again and sick of hot sticky bodies in bed at night. Hot, sticky, sweaty.

Sweat. I know it serves a purpose but really. Bleuch. But as we sweat away in the heat, spare a thought for people who, whatever time of year it is, sweat buckets. You'll know them - probably because they're you.

Apparently there are two forms of sweating: thermal sweating (it gets hot, we sweat) and emotional sweating (I get anxious, I sweat). The different sweat types come from the two kinds of sweat glands - the eccrine and the apocrine.

According to Nivea scientist Ken Lee, "the apocrine glands produce sweat that is triggered by sudden emotions such as anxiety, stress, or pain." The other sort are just there to keep us cool. The stress sweating - which can come from forearms and palms as well as armpits - happens independently of the temperature. So to help people who sweat more in sticky situations - job interview, sales presentation, first date etc - Nivea has thoughtfully produced a deodorant called Stress Protect which, it says, reduces sweat by 85 per cent.

I tried it on a hot sticky city day and stayed pretty sweat-free - and smelt very nice too. And in some good news for meeters and greeters, it works on clammy palms too.

There's lots of deodorants out there - for the eccrine and apocrine glands too - and many of them will keep you from being offensively sweaty for a whole day. If more people realised this, the world - especially my world - might be a better place.

But for some poor souls this isn't enough. Some people, 5 per cent or so (probably including the fat bloke I was stood next to for 35 minutes the other evening) have overactive sweat glands (it's called hyperhydrosis) and the best treatment, they say, is Botox. 

According to Dr Sean Arendse, medical director of the Flawless Rejuvenation Skin Clinic in Melbourne, the Botox is "injected into the area which has increased sweating, usually the armpits, but hands, feet and foreheads can also be treated. It works by blocking the chemical transmitter the body uses to tell individual sweat glands to produce sweat."

The treatment, Dr Arendse says, "takes about seven days after the procedure to take full effect, and usually lasts an average of seven months.

"There is now a Medicare rebate for the treatment of hyperhydrosis of the armpits, but to qualify for this you must have failed treatment with topical aluminium chloride hexahydrate and have the treatment administered by a dermatologist or neurologist."

So there's a long-term treatment for being extra-sweaty and the government pays for it. God bless Australia. 

What about you? Has this hot weather turned you into a human water fountain, or is it stress that has you patting your forehead and wringing your cold, clammy hands?