Hyperhidrosis
Hyperhidrosis is a condition that involves excessive sweating on certain areas of the body
Hyperhidrosis
Hyperhidrosis is a condition that involves excessive sweating in certain areas of the body.

Sweating is natural for all humans. The essence is to cool down the body and maintain proper thermoregulation. However, when an individual sweat excessively and uncontrollably especially on the hands or palm, feet and armpit he/she is said to have hyperhidrosis.


What Is Hyperhidrosis?

Hyperhidrosis is a medical termed condition that occurs when the sweat glands are overactive – thus leads to excessive sweating even when there is no enough reason for sweating much. People with this condition, sweat (especially on their hands, feet or armpit) without season, be it cool or hot weather.

If you have this condition, you may find your hands, feet or armpit constantly sweaty and have no idea of the cause of excessive sweating.

A recent study showed that a few numbers of people have this condition and symptoms are usually at its peak in early adults (18-54 years old). Although the symptoms may have started during childhood or soon after puberty.


Symptoms Of  Hyperhidrosis

Signs and symptoms of hyperhidrosis often become noticeable during childhood and adolescent which may include:

  • Clammy or wet palms of the hands
  • Clammy or wet soles of the feet
  • Sweating frequently
  • Obvious sweating that gets clothes soaked

People with hyperhidrosis may likely experience the following:

  • Irritating and painful skin problems, such as fungal or bacterial infections
  • Worrying about having stained clothing
  • Reluctant to make physical contact
  • Worry about having soaked socks or foot odor
  • Self-conscious
  • Socially withdrawn, sometimes leading to depression
  • Select employment where physical contact or human interaction is not a job requirement
  • Spend a large amount of time each day dealing with sweat, such as changing clothes,
  • wiping, placing napkins or pads under the arms, washing, wearing bulky, or dark clothes
  • Worry more than other people about body odor


Common Body Areas Affected

Hyperhidrosis is characterized by abnormal, profuse sweating that can affect one or a combination of body areas such as hands, feet, and armpits. Excessive sweating often interferes and may even ruin the day’s activities.

For example, patients with palmar hyperhidrosis(sweaty hands) have wet and moist hands that make it challenging grasping objects. Also, the skin on the hands may be white from the constant moisture. They may even start peeling from being so much wet.

People with axillary hyperhidrosis(sweaty armpits) sweat profusely from their underarms causing them to stain their clothes shortly after they dress.

Excessive sweating of the feet (plantar hyperhidrosis), makes one’s socks and shoes wet, which leads to increased foot odor.

In many cases sweating can be quite severe, affecting everyday life and causing social embarrassment. It is thought that excessive sweating may be brought on by stress, emotions or exercise. However, it also can occur spontaneously.


Causes Of Hyperhidrosis

There are several factors that can cause hyperhidrosis or worsen the condition. They include:

  • Low blood sugar
  • Prolonged stress
  • Anxiety
  • Infection
  • Genetics
  • Certain medications
  • Excess alcohol consumption
  • Spicy foods and coffee
  • Thyroid issues
  • Menopause or perimenopause

If you have sweaty hands, armpit or feet, try to seek treatment on time to avoid further complications.


Tips To Control Sweaty Hands

Wash hands regularly – Wash your hands regularly to remove odors and keep them fresh. Try not to use soap too often, though – it can dry out your skin and make your hands sweat more.

Stay away from stress – Feeling stressed can make you sweat more but if you’re already sweating, that in itself can cause you to feel stressed and anxious. Consider meditation and yoga as a way to manage your stress and anxiety. Avoid anxious and uncomfortable situations. If possible, alleviate the stress associated with them.

Keep powder handy – If your sweaty palms are making holding things tricky, simply soak it up with powder. pour a good amount of baby powder into your hands, spread and apply gently until even. This will help with your grip and keep your hands dry for long.

Eat the right foods – A good start is to try and remove highly processed foods and refined sugars from your diet. These types of foods take a lot of effort for your body to digest and cause it to generate much more heat than normal.
Switch to whole grains, and if you need a sugar fix, snack on some naturally sweet fruit.
Spicy foods, peppers, and chilies will naturally make you heat up too. Look for calcium-rich foods like yoghurt to cool your body down. Calcium acts as a natural temperature regulator for the body, as does sage and peppermint.
Also, don’t forget to drink plenty of water. When your body is hydrated, it’s much easier for it to stay cool.

Have a handkerchief or alcohol wipes handy – If your case of sweaty hands is mild, simply include alcohol wipes or handkerchief to your mobile items. Having them handy can make you access them easily as you can use either of them to soak up moisture throughout the day. This will help beat your clamminess. Cloth handkerchiefs make great re-usable hand towels, while disposable paper towels and alcohol wipes offer instant convenience.


When To See Your Doctor 

Visit your doctor if you feel that your sweating is interfering with your daily activities, or you suddenly start sweating excessively. On average, a person with hyperhidrosis should seek medical help after living with the condition for at least 5years.

Many people with hyperhidrosis are too embarrassed to seek medical help or believe that nothing can be done to improve it. But the truth is, treatment is available. you should also visit your doctor if you are having night sweats because it can sometimes be a sign of something more serious.


Medical Treatments Available

Controlling excessive sweating is the major focus in the treatment of hyperhidrosis. Start hyperhidrosis treatment with the control tips mentioned above, and then, consider medical treatments if improvement is not noticed after trying them out. The medical treatment available for treating Hyperhidrosis include:

Antiperspirant – If your excessive sweating is majorly affecting your hands and armpits, your doctor may prescribe high-quality antiperspirants for you to use. To use it, for underarms, apply evenly on underarms to keep it dry. Also, to dry up the unwanted moisture on your palms spread a little antiperspirant on your palms and evenly apply. Make sure you dry your hands with a towel before you apply your antiperspirant so that it can do its job of plugging your sweat pores properly. In addition, use an antiperspirant with aluminum compounds as its active ingredients. Aluminum is one of the strongest, most effective antiperspirant chemicals available. For serious situations, you may even want to investigate prescription antiperspirants (like Drysol) which have higher concentrations of aluminum.

Botulinum toxin injections: Treating hyperhidrosis with these injections will temporarily block the nerves that cause sweating. The effect of the injections usually lasts for six(6) to twelve(12) months and the treatment process will need to be repeated afterward. Note that this treatment may cause a few pain and also make some people experience muscle weakness temporarily in the area they have earlier taken treatment.

Prescription Creams – Your doctor can ask you to go for prescription creams if your face and head are affected. Using prescription cream that contains glycopyrrolate may give you more effective results. But be sure to consult your doctor before using any prescription cream.

Antidepressants – Excess perspiration(sweating) can be a result of anxiety which antidepressants may help mild the condition. So, if anxiety is causing you to sweat excessively, your doctor can prescribe antidepressants for you.

Oral Medication – Oral medications are primarily made available to you by your doctor. Some of these oral medications block the chemicals that enable specific nerves to communicate with each other, which can help to reduce sweating in the body. However, note that oral medications can have a number of side effects, which include dry mouth, bladder problems, and blurred vision. Therefore it is important to discuss with your doctor extensively about the risk and benefit of any oral medication before going for it.

Surgery. Your doctor can recommend surgery if your case is severe. The surgery options open to you include; sweat gland removal, nerve surgery, and microwave therapy. You should only consider surgery after you have been diagnosed and your sweating condition is seen to be serious by your doctor.


Complications Of Untreated Hyperhidrosis

If hyperhidrosis is not treated, it can lead to the following complications:

  • Warts: This refers to skin growths caused by the HPV (human papillomavirus).
  • Nail infections – untreated hyperhidrosis can lead to body infections especially toenail infections.
  • Bacterial infections – This infection commonly affects hair follicles and in between toes.
  • Heat rash (prickly heat, miliaria): An itchy, red skin rash that often causes a stinging or prickling sensation. Heat rash develops when sweat ducts become blocked and perspiration is trapped under the skin.
  • Psychological impact: Excessive sweating can affect the patient’s self-confidence, job, and relationships. Some individuals may become anxious, emotionally stressed, socially withdrawn, and even depressed.


Summary

Sweating for everyone is natural and there is a health purpose for it. However, excessive sweating may be a result of lifestyle changes or medical conditions that require medical help. Everyone’s experience with this condition is different and thus – treatment too. Therefore to reduce sweating if you have this condition, make some lifestyle changes as mentioned above and visit your doctor for treatment if symptoms persist afterward.

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