Gustatory Sweating

Gustatory Sweating: Causes, Picture, Symptoms and Treatment

Are you worried about the excess sweating while eating? You may have gustatory sweating. It is the odd condition that can affect many people. The sweating mainly occurs on your face, forehead, scalp, upper lip, and neck. Hence, it is an embarrassing condition that may prevent you from having food with others. Some people may experience sweating after eating spicy or hot food. Other get affected by it constantly after eating any type of food. It makes you self-conscious and destructs your confidence levels. So, you may feel hesitant to eat with others due to the condition. But, you can control the issue. Read ahead to know more about gustatory sweating. With the valuable information, you can take effective steps to overcome the issue.

What Is Gustatory Sweating?

Gustatory sweating is an odd condition that can prevent you from socializing. Having food with friends and family opens a way to socialize. Sweating during or after eating the food can make you feel embarrassed. Do you want to know what it actually means? Gustatory sweating occurs due to the nerve damage in your parotid gland. If the nerves surrounding or in the gland gets affected, it results in the condition.

The parotid gland is present in your cheek. It is responsible for the saliva production. The nerve damage can result in the sweating on one side of the face. The condition is also known as Frey’s syndrome. Some other underlying medical conditions in your body can also cause bilateral gustatory sweating. You need to find the exact reason for the problem to overcome it.

History Of Gustatory Sweating

Learning about the term Gustatory sweating for the first time? Though you are relatively new to the term, the issue is old one. The medically documented phenomenon dates back three hundred years. The scientific documents unearthed shows the researches during the period carried out tests to determine the reason for a human seat under normal conditions. The study also extended to understand the pathological sweating experienced by other people. The first report of the issue is reported as early as 1740. But, the actual exploration and explanation came in 1888. Paul Raymond offered the first official account of gustatory sweating. It attributes the issue to war injuries, hunting accidents or severe infections. Lucja Frey is credited for providing much more information on the phenomenon. The German documents found after the world war II offers insight on the work of Frey on the subject. It offers valuable information that associates the condition to problems with the parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous system. Due to the comprehensive work on the subject, the issue is named after Lucja Frey as Frey’s syndrome.

Difference Between Regular Sweating And Gustatory Sweating

Sweating is a natural process that occurs for balancing your body temperature. You may confuse the normal sweating and the Frey’s syndrome. So, here is the explanation that can eliminate your doubts regarding the two types.

Normal Sweating

It is common that you may sweat after or during eating your food. While having food you may experience sweating on areas like scalp, neck or face. It is more pronounced after eating very hot or spicy food. It is due to your body’s response to the food you eat. The spicy or hot food can change the temperature in your body. So, your body reciprocates to the stimulation through sweating. It is a normal reaction that causes no issues in our body. Therefore, you need not worry about it.

Gustatory Sweating

It is the condition that occurs due to the problem in the parotid gland. The problem caused due to injury, illness or surgery can damage the nerves in and around the gland. So, while having food, you may start to sweat. It is due to the fact that the nerves try to heal themselves. But, the damaged nerves can mix up with other nerves. It results in your body producing sweat instead of saliva. Subsequently, you start to flush and sweat. The reaction is mostly triggered by food items that can produce a lot of salivae. Gustatory sweating makes you flush in the areas like face, ears, neck, upper lip, and scalp.

Frey's Syndrome

Frey’s syndrome specifically causes sweating in one side of the face. While gustatory sweating occurs on both sides of the face. Apart from the damage in the parotid glands, other conditions can also lead to the issue. If you suffer from Parkinson’s disease or diabetes, you can sweat a lot. The diseases leading to nerve damage in the mouth can make you sweat. It happens because the nerves get confused and produce sweat instead of saliva.

Unlike regular sweating gustatory sweating can make your social life hell. You cannot have a meal with your friends or talk about food. Just thinking about food can trigger the reaction. So, you may feel distressed and embarrassed. It can put a lot of stress in your life. Therefore, you need to seek advice from your doctor. If the problem is due to an underlying disease, you need treatment.

Gustatory Sweating Causes

Gustatory sweating can cause due to different issues. Read ahead to know the issue that can result in the embarrassing problem.

Injury To Parotid Gland


It is the most common cause that results in it in the gustatory sweating. You can find the parotid gland on both sides of your face. You can find it just in front of the ear and below it. The glands can communicate with your mouth. The duct facilitates the communication. So, it results in the saliva production. At times, surgery to the parotid gland can result in injury. The injury can result in the damage to the surrounding nerves. The common surgery that can cause the issue is the parotidectomy. Your doctor removes the whole parotid gland. Other issues that can lead to the injury are:

  • War-related injuries
  • Injury during facelift surgery
  • Trauma to the face due to occupational accidents
  • Damage to the face of the baby with forceps during delivery


Diabetes can damage the nerves near your parotid gland. It occurs due to neuropathy. Therefore, it results in the medical condition known as secondary hyperhidrosis. Diabetes patients are more vulnerable to nerve damage. It causes excessive sweating in diabetic patients while they eat. Diabetes also increases your chance of developing Frey’s syndrome due to nerves regeneration in an abnormal way.

Frey’s Syndrome

It occurs when the sympathetic nerves revive in an abnormal location. The trauma due to surgery or injury can lead to the condition. Your doctor may refer to the problematic nerve regrowth in medical term as aberrant nerve regeneration. When you consume food that can cause salivation, the sympathetic nerves get stimulated. But, you can experience flushing and sweat in the place of saliva. It happens because of the incorrect way of the nerve regeneration. Therefore, you can sweat when you think, talk or eat food.

Other Underlying Conditions

Gustatory sweating can also occur due to some underlying medical conditions. The common issues associated with the problem are:

  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Shingles
  • Tuberculosis
  • Bell’s palsy
  • Injury

Triggers Of Gustatory Sweating

It is important to know what makes you sweat. It will help you overcome the problem. You can sweat profusely with the following triggers

It can develop on one side of your face. It mostly develops on the affected parotid gland.

Diagnosing Gustatory Sweating

Some people may experience sweating after eating a hot or spicy meal. It is a common phenomenon that requires no medical attention. Your body is just reacting to the change in simulation triggered due to the food. You need medical attention for profuse sweating that can affect your life. The gustatory sweating triggered by tasting, smelling, or talking about the food is a serious issue. So, you need to make an appointment with your doctor.

Your doctor conducts the following to assess your symptoms and diagnose the problem effectively:

Understanding The Symptoms

The medical professional asks you questions about the symptoms you experience. It will also help you understand when the condition gets severe.

Medical History

The doctor records the medical history complete with your previous diseases, allergies, and other problems. Hence, it is helpful in determining what is best to treat the issue.

Iodine Starch Test

A minor iodine starch test can help the doctor understand the underlying cause of the issue. So, the doctor swabs the iodine solution in the affected area. Then, the test is performed after the application of starch like cornstarch over the iodine for performing the test. The doctor stimulates the mouth with the food that can lead to sweating. Mostly acidic food is provided to trigger the sweating. The issue is detected when the discoloration appears on the affected area. After the diagnosis, further tests can reveal the underlying problems that lead to gustatory sweating. It can reveal the cause like injury, damage to the nerve, or other issues. The identification of the problem is effective in developing a treatment plan.

Treatment Of Gustatory Sweating

The treatment of gustatory sweating depends on the main issue that causes it. So, your doctor monitors the symptoms to determine the actual problems. Depending on the problem, you can adopt the following treatment options:


Damaged nerves are the primary cause of the issue. While the more severe issue is due to diabetes. You can avoid excess sweating and manage the symptoms. Hence, you can use antiperspirant sticks to avoid sweating. Consult your doctor to find the one that suits your skin best. Applying it to the affected areas can reduce the sweating. Using prescription creams like glycopyrrolate cream can limit the sweating. Seek advice from the medical professional before using it.

Oral Medications

Oral anticholinergic medications can block your nerves that trigger sweat in our body. Therefore, your doctor prescribes medications like benztropine, propantheline, and oxybutynin to overcome gustatory sweating. The medication has side effects. Therefore, talk to your doctor about the adverse issues you face.




Botox injections (botulinum toxin type A) can successfully treat Frey’s syndrome. By injecting it to the affected areas, you can manage gustatory sweating. But, the results are temporary. You need to repeat the injection after nine or twelve months to overcome the excess sweating. It also has side effects that make it a bad choice. So, the FDA (United States Food And Drug Administration) has revoked its approval to use Botox. You need to understand the severity of the side effects before opting the method.


Reconstructive surgery can overcome the gustatory sweating caused due to nerve damage. But, the surgery is risky with a lot of complications. You need to find the best surgeon to undergo such procedures. So, you need to talk to your doctor before deciding on the surgery.

Seek the advice and help of a medical professional to manage the issue. It will help you identify the actual issue causing gustatory sweating. Subsequently, you can get treatment to manage the issue.

Natural Remedies To Control Gustatory Sweating

Gustatory sweating is a harmless condition that can cause issues in your personal and professional life. But, you can adopt some home remedies to curb the issue. The relatively side-effect-free natural remedies are worth a try.

Passion Flower

You can consume the passion flower extract in your tea for easing the gustatory sweating. It soothes your brain cells. So, it can curb the excessive sweating. You can also consider taking the passion flower extract supplements to ease the issue.

Herbal Paste

The herbal paste made of Indian rose chestnut, powdered cuscus grass, bay leaf, black sesame seeds, and honey is good to ease the excessive sweating. Consuming the paste twice a day is beneficial to overcome the gustatory sweating. But, take care to take it an hour before having your meals.


Sage is one of the herbal remedies that can ease the issue. You can consume it as a tea once or twice a day for a week or two for getting relief.

Fruit Juices


Cooling your body can reduce the gustatory sweating. So, drinking lime juice or grape juice is effective for controlling the excessive sweating. Tomato juice is also good for easing the problem.

Dietary Restriction To Control Gustatory Sweating

Making some changes in your diet can ease the symptoms. A small change can help you overcome the embarrassing issue of gustatory sweating. Therefore, include the changes in your diet to ease the problem:

  • Avoid spicy, sour, and hot food.
  • You also need to avoid caffeinated beverages, chocolate, and alcohol from your life.
  • Never drink hot drinks as it can elevate your body temperature. You need to lower your body temperature to ease the symptoms. So, take beverages that can cool your internal body temperature. Drinking buttermilk is good.
  • Stay hydrated. Water can help lower your body temperature. Hence, drink 8-10 glasses of water to prevent sweating.
  • Some food items can trigger gustatory sweating. Hence, avoid food containing sodium glutamate and fatty foods.
  • Include fresh fruits and vegetables. It will help your body cool. Also include milk, milk products, whole grains, and lean animal proteins to your diet for maximum benefits.


Gustatory sweating may cause no complication to your health. But, it may restrict your urge to go out with friends to eat. You can adopt some changes in your diet to deal with the problem effectively without medical help. But, if the excessive sweating is more profuse, then you need treatment. It will help you avoid embarrassment. Seeking doctor’s assistance can help you address the underlying medical condition. So, you can get treatment for the problem. It will help you overcome the problem.

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