Hyperhidrosis is a medical term used for excessive sweating.
Excessive sweating is something people think is common or embarrassed to speak to a doctor about. It can be a medical condition. According to researchers hyperhidrosis can be seen in people:
- Who has family history of heavy sweating
- Medical conditions that cause sweating
- Foods and medicines can cause sweating
- In women it can be due to menopause (pre or post)
- People sweat excessively even in cold climate
In most cases if excessive sweating occurs in more than one areas of body then it is likely to have family history of hyperhidrosis. For many excessive sweating can start at any age – many children sweat a lot while they sleep.
- Visible sweating on cloths
- Sweating that interferes in all day to day activities
- Change in skin color in sweat areas to white, soft and peeling of skin
- Rashes and skin infections
- Constant sweat odor
Types of hyperhidrosis:
- Sweating in one or few areas of body: Focal sweating – in few parts of the body – like Face, underarm, palms, feet (Facial, Axillary, Palmar, Plantar Hyperhidrosis)
- Sweating in both sides of body: in underarms, hands and feet
- Sweating after a person wakes up with damp sheet and wet clothing
- Sweating once a week due to certain activities
- Sweating due to medical conditions such as – Diabetes, frostbite, gout, menopause, obesity. People with medical conditions either sweat in certain body parts or while they are sleeping.
Diagnosis: Generally, your doctor should examine and prescribe medicines or find solutions based on your conditions. Your doctor may recommend you to see a dermatologist.
Dermatologist will give ask specific questions and will conduct physical examination. This includes clear examination of areas of the body that sweat excessively and sweat test (example: application of powder that turns purple in the area where you sweat). Your other medical condition and types of medications that you are on, also will help for diagnosis.
- Antiperspirants: Affordable solution. Regular or clinical strength antiperspirants helps to reduce sweating.
- Iontophoresis: No sweat machine is called iontophoresis. Immersing hands or feet in shallow pan of tap water. It is a device that sends a low voltage current through water. This treatment session for 30-40 minutes a day – weekly 3 times.
- Botulinum toxin injections: It is available in some countries. FDA has approved this treatment for underarms sweating problem. It helps post-menopausal women who sweat a lot.
- Prescription medicine: Temporarily prevents patient from sweating. Oral medications are not preferred due to long term side effects of medicines.
- Surgery: Removing sweat glands is an option.
- Others like: miraDry, lasers and ETA -Endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy surgery are also helpful.
All these above treatments have some side effects including dry mouth, dry throat, dry skin, discomfort, skin irritation, muscle weakness in case of botulinum injection, surgical removal of sweat glands leaves excision marks or infection.
How to manage hyperhidrosis?
- Do not wear synthetic and heavy clothes. These clothes can trap sweat. Wear breathable fabrics like cotton.
- Carry extra clothing with you when you are going for outdoor activities or hitting gym
- Control spicy foods and alcohol, caffeine drinks
- Change socks often
- Shower twice a day and use antibacterial soap to control bacterial infection
- Underarm lines will help to absorb sweat and also in the shoe insert liners
- Use antiperspirants when you are stepping out.
- Drink plenty of water.
- After hot bath allow body to cool couple of minutes before wearing shirts.
Talk to your doctor about excessive sweating and find a solution. There is no need to be embarrassed as it is one of the health issues many people face. Talking about and finding solution for excessive sweating helps to improve quality of life.
- Image credit: Photo by Sarah Cervantes on Unsplash
Author: Sumana Rao | Posted on: February 14, 2020