What is Hyperhidrosis?
Hyperhidrosis is excessive sweating. This means that it is not necessarily caused by being hot or exercising like regular sweating but can occur unprompted. It is a widespread problem and can affect focal areas (often the face, armpits, hands and feet) or the whole body. While sweating is a natural part of life, abnormal sweating can negatively impact the sufferer’s quality of life. Fortunately, excessive sweating can be treated effectively.
Who suffers from Hyperhidrosis?
Excessive sweating is common. While it is something that can develop at any point in someone’s life, it most frequently becomes apparent during puberty. It is estimated that 1% of the population are affected by Hyperhidrosis.
What are the causes?
Overactivity of the sweating response causes hyperhidrosis. This is not always because of another medical condition but can result from anxiety, pregnancy, diabetes, obesity, menopause, and infections, amongst other conditions.
What are the symptoms?
The severity of symptoms can vary from person to person. The sweat may result in:
– Pools at focal points (on your back and under your armpits)
– Dampening of clothing to the point of discomfort
– Itching and inflammation in affected areas
– Body odour
How can you reduce symptoms?
Without directly treating hyperhidrosis, you can minimise symptoms without a prescription by:
– Wearing loose-fitting clothing
– Avoiding synthetic fabrics (e.g. nylon)
– Wear socks that absorb moisture
– Using foot powders
– Swapping to soap substitutes that are gentler to the skin
– Try and avoid wearing the same shoes too often
– Avoid enclosed boots
– Use wipes that prevent the part of the synthetic system that encourages abnormal levels of sweat
– Avoid consuming things that trigger sweating (e.g. drinking alcohol and eating spicy food)
– Using strong antiperspirants rather than everyday deodorants block the pores causing excess sweating.
It should be noted that these are temporary fixes that will not get to the root of the problem but may reduce discomfort temporarily.
How can you treat severe excessive sweating?
If none of the above options creates the desired results, you may want to consider more effective treatments. One of which is botox. Injecting botox into the armpits or hands can switch off the body’s response to sweat excessively. This can be effective from 24 hours after the treatment up until 2-6 months later. You can then decide whether to repeat the treatment once it has worn off. Alternatively, you can take oral medications, use microwave energy to permanently stop the sweat glands, laser treatment, and surgery.