Hyperhidrosis: Top Treatments For Excessive Sweat You Must Know
Hyperhidrosis is a condition which makes a person sweat excessively. The condition can make things really problematic and embarrassing. Know top treatments for hyperhidrosis here.
Hyperhidrosis is a condition in which a person sweats more than usual
- Hyperhidrosis makes a person sweat profusely
- It causes over functioning sweat glands
- The condition worsens with stress or nervousness
Hyperhidrosis is a condition which makes a person sweat excessively. The condition can make things really problematic and embarrassing. A person suffering from hyperhidrosis often suffers from social anxiety. The abnormally excessive sweating is usually not related to heat or exercise. It makes a person to such an extent that sweat may soak through clothes and drip off from hands. Hyperhidrosis can disrupt normal day-to-day functioning of a person. The condition, however, can be treated with the help of antiperspirants. At times, other medications and therapies might also be needed. In some severe cases, a surgery is needed to remove sweat glands or disconnect the nerves which cause overproduction of sweat. Most people sweat while exercising or exerting themselves, or when they are in a hot environment. The ones suffering from hyperhidrosis sweat much more than others. Hyperhidrosis usually causes excessive sweating in feet, hands, underarms while walking. The sweating occurs on both sides of the body. You need to see your doctor in case your sweating is disrupting your daily routine, it is causing emotional distress and social withdrawal, you suddenly begin to sweat more than usual and you experience night sweats for no specific reason.
Causes of hyperhidrosis
In normal circumstances, sweating is your body's mechanism to cool itself. When your body temperatures rise, the nervous system automatically triggers sweat glands. Also, sweating occurs naturally on palms when a person is feeling nervous. The most common form hyperhidrosis is known as primary focal or essential hyperhidrosis. This kind of hyperhidrosis signals your sweat glands to become overactive. They become over functional even when they have not been triggered by a physical activity or a rise in temperature.
The condition tends to worsen in those who take stress or get nervous. There is no medical reason for primary focal hyperhidrosis. At times, this kind of hyperhidrosis runs in families.
Secondary hyperhidrosis is the one which occurs because of a medical condition. This kind of hyperhidrosis is less common and causes sweating all over the body. Some conditions which may cause heavy sweating include the likes of diabetes, thyroid problems, low blood sugar, menopausal hot flashes, heart attack, certain nervous system disorders and infections.
Complications of hyperhidrosis
Sweating excessively can make you prone to skin infections. Also a major complication of sweating profusely is that a person feels constantly embarrassed because of clammy or dripping hands and clothes soaked in sweat. The condition might even make you change your professional or educational goals.
Treatment of hyperhidrosis
The easiest and most effective way of treating hyperhidrosis is by using antiperspirants. Antiperspirants are usually used by people on a daily basis. Antiperspirants contain aluminum salts. On rolling them on skin, they form a plug which blocks perspiration. Over-the-counter antiperspirants are less irritating than the ones prescribed by a doctor. Many antiperspirants are sold in combination with a deodorant. This helps in keeping controlling odor from your sweat.
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Apart from this, there are a few medical treatments for hyperhidrosis:
This treatment involves sitting with your hands, feet or both in a shallow tray of water for around half an hour. While doing this, an electrical current travels through water. This treatment is believed to block sweat from getting to the skin's surface. This treatment is repeated for at least a few times in a week. After a few sitting, the sweating can reduce significantly. However, the treatment must be availed under medical supervision. Pregnant women, people with pacemakers or medical implants like joint replacements, people with cardiac conditions or epilepsy should refrain from using iontophoresis.
2. Botulinum toxin (botox)
Botulinum toxin is another treatment for hyperhidrosis. As part of this treatment, the same medicine - Botox injections - is given as the one which is used for treating wrinkles. It helps in treating excessive sweating in underarms. Some doctors also use on palms and soles. Botox prevents release of the chemical which signals sweat glands to activate and cause excessive sweat.
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3. Anticholinergic drugs
When the above treatments don't work, anticholinergic drugs are prescribed by doctors. Oral anticholinergic drugs stop activation of sweat glands. However, this treatment for hyperhidrosis can have some side effects like heart palpitations, blurred vision and urinary problems.
Surgery is recommended as a treatment for hyperhidrosis for only those who are suffering from a severe form of this condition. It is meant for those who didn't respond to other treatments. Surgery involves cutting, scraping or suctioning of the sweat glands. Endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy (ETS) is another surgery, which involves cutting nerves in armpit which activate sweat glands. This surgery is the last resort for treatment of hyperhidrosis.
Besides, excessive sweat can be dealt with by not wearing heavy clothes which trap sweat. Opt for wearing only light and breathable fabrics such as cotton and silk. Use antibacterial soap while bathing every day. Use underarm liners and shoe inserts to absorb sweat. Avoid eating spicy foods and alcohol as they make you sweat even more.
Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.
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