Overview of hyperhidrosis
Hyperhidrosis is abnormally excessive sweating that is not necessarily related to heat or exercise. You may sweat so much that it seeps through your clothes or falls off your hands. Besides disrupting normal daily activities, this type of intense sweating can cause social anxiety and embarrassment.
Treatment for hyperhidrosis usually helps, starting with strong prescription antiperspirants. If antiperspirants don’t help, you may need to try different medications and treatments. In severe cases, your doctor may suggest surgery to either remove the sweat glands or to separate the nerves responsible for excessive sweat production. Sometimes an underlying cause can be found and treated.
What causes hyperhidrosis?
Albeit neurological, endocrine, irresistible, and other fundamental sicknesses can some of the time cause hyperhidrosis, most cases happen in sound individuals. Heat and emotions may trigger hyperhidrosis for some, but many people with hyperhidrosis sweat nearly every waking hour, regardless of their mood or the weather.
Symptoms of hyperhidrosis
Hyperhidrosis is characterized as perspiring that upsets ordinary exercises. Episodes of excessive sweating occur at least once a week for no apparent reason and affect social life or daily activities.
Signs and symptoms of hyperhidrosis may include:
- Palms that are curled or wet
- Soles of feet are wrinkled or wet
- Frequent sweating
- Noticeable perspiration is absorbed through clothing
People with hyperhidrosis may experience the following:
- Irritated and painful skin problems, such as fungal or bacterial infections
- Worried about stains on the clothes
- Hesitant about physical contact
- Socially withdrawn, sometimes leading to depression
- Choose a job where physical contact or human interaction is not a requirement for the job
- Spend a significant amount of time each day dealing with sweat, such as changing clothes, wiping, placing tissues or sanitary pads underarms, washing, or wearing bulky or dark clothes
- You worry more about body odour than others
Experts aren’t sure why, but excessive sweating during sleep is not common for people with primary hyperhidrosis (the type not associated with any underlying medical condition).
The consistency of excessive sweating in hyperhidrosis is most consistent with primary hyperhidrosis. Excessive sweating affecting only one side of the body is more suggestive of secondary hyperhidrosis and further investigation of a neurological cause is recommended.
Treatment options for excessive sweating
There are many treatment options for excessive sweating.
Your doctor may prescribe an antiperspirant that contains aluminium chloride. Antiperspirants are stronger than those available over the counter and are often used to treat mild cases of hyperhidrosis.
This procedure uses a device that delivers low-level electrical currents while you are immersed in water. The currents are often delivered to the hands, feet, or armpits to temporarily block the sweat glands.
Anticholinergic drugs can provide relief from generalized sweating. These drugs, such as glycopyrrolate (Robinol), prevent acetylcholine from working. Acetylcholine is a chemical that your body produces that helps stimulate the sweat glands.
These medications take about two weeks to work and may cause side effects such as constipation and dizziness.
Botox (botulinum toxin)
Botox injections can be used to treat severe hyperhidrosis. It blocks the nerves that stimulate the sweat glands. You usually need several injections before this treatment is effective.
If you only experience underarm sweating, surgery may be able to treat your condition. One procedure involves removing the sweat glands in the armpits. Another option is to perform a laparoscopic thoracic sympathectomy. This includes severing the nerves that carry messages to the sweat glands.
You can also try to reduce sweating:
- Use an over-the-counter antiperspirant on the affected area
- Shower daily to get rid of bacteria
- Wearing shoes and socks made of natural materials
- Allow your feet to breathe
- Change your socks frequently
What’s the outlook?
Primary focal hyperhidrosis is a treatable condition. Your doctor will help you create a treatment plan so that you can manage your symptoms.
Excessive sweating brought about by a fundamental condition may disappear with the condition being dealt with. Treatments for secondary generalized hyperhidrosis depend on the underlying condition causing the sweating. Talk to your doctor if you think your sweating is a side effect of this medication. They will determine if you can switch medications or reduce the dose.
Focal hyperhidrosis cannot be prevented. You may be able to prevent some cases of generalized hyperhidrosis. The key is to get an accurate diagnosis and treatment for the underlying condition causing the symptoms.