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Excessive Sweating Hyperhidrosis Facts About Sweat Diagnosis and Support

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Last updated 01/19/2023

Sweating due to anxiety can be a vicious cycle. Because you may be anticipating your sweating and actually causing it. Excessive sweating hyperhidrosis.

You know your excessive sweating has an impact on your quality of life. Hyperhidrosis can be a debilitating condition affecting relationships, work and your daily activities. To sum up, this happens no matter the cause of the sweating. So, let’s take a glance at this.

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What is Hyperhidrosis?

Hyperhidrosis (polyhidrosis or sudorrhea) is a condition of abnormal excessive sweating. It can be present at birth or develop in later years. But most cases involving excessive sweating usually begin during the person’s teenage years.

This is having no relation to heat or exercise. I mean it is expected that you sweat during working out, in a hot environment or under stress. However, when you feel you sweat more this could be due to a medical condition. In addition, you may sweat so much that your clothes get wet or your hands drip.

The sweating can involve only one specific area or the entire body. Hyperhidrosis typically affects the hands, feet, underarms and face. In other words, it occurs with one episode per week when awake and affecting both sides of the body.

Symptoms of Excessive Sweating:

  • Clammy or wet palms of your hands
  • Clammy or wet soles of your feet
  • Sweating frequently
  • Excessive sweating is noticeable and soaks through clothing

Other than disrupting your routine, heavy sweating can lead to emotional stress as well. This can make the situation worse. Most importantly, it is not life threating but can be uncomfortable and cause embarrassment.

Sweating can also cause body odor adding fuel to the fire. Thus, it can control your thoughts.

According to MedicalNewsToday the average time is nine years before a person with hyperhidrosis seeks medical advice. Most importantly, word requires understanding this condition can be treated.

Excessive Sweating Hyperhidrosis (Hh) Facts

  • Affects some 4.8% of the population and about 8.8% of those 18-39 years old
  • Said to be more common than these conditions: autism, melanoma or psoriasis
  • Surveys say 55% of those with this condition began at or prior to being age 10
  • Those with hyperhidrosis avoid the public, handshakes and other forms of touch
  • Hyperhidrosis sufferers are also prone to anxiety, depression, attention deficit disorder and skin infections
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Understanding Sweat

Sweat is very important to your survival as it serves to cool your body protecting it from overheating. According to sweathelp there are two to four million sweat glands on the body. In addition, they are activated by nerves.

Stimuli these nerves respond to:

  • The brain saying your body is too hot (temp wise)
  • Hormones
  • Emotions
  • Physical activity or exercise

How Does Hyperhidrosis Occur?

Hyperhidrosis happens when your nerves that stimulate your sweat glands (especially eccrine glands) causing them to perspire become over active. This can cause sweating of four or five times more than necessary or normal. You sweat more even though your body doesn’t require regulating its temperature. Therefore, it may seem like your sweat glands are stuck in the “on” position.

In addition, the sweating can be so extreme that your clothes become soaked, or you literally drip perspiration. Thus, the situation becomes uncomfortable, dangerous and disabling.

And you don’t sweat out toxins. Sweat consists of 99% water, pieces of carbs, salt, protein and urea. To sum up, your kidneys and liver take care of detoxing your body.

Because of this lack of awareness and education hyperhidrosis is underdiagnosed. Therefore, treatment is not sought.

Do you Have Hyperhidrosis?

To determine if you have hyperhidrosis, you could ask yourself these questions. Have you observed visible excessive sweating for at least six months? Is there a reason for your excessive sweating (exercise, climate)?

If your answers are yes, do you meet at least two of the following scenarios?

  • Excessive sweating is bilateral and relatively symmetrical. So, you sweat the same on both the left and right side of your body.
  • Your sweating affects your daily activities
  • This happens at least once per week
  • You noticed your excess sweat beginning before age 25
  • Family history is positive for pfh. (Meaning other family members also have excessive sweating).
  • Sweating stops when you’re sleeping

You could have primary focal hyperhidrosis if you answered yes to at least two of the above statements. Firstly, scheduling an appointment with a specialist would be a good next step. In conclusion, some dermatologists have a theory that 90% of those complaining of excessive sweating will have a pfh diagnosis.

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Complications From Hyperhidrosis

Having this condition and not treating it can lead to complications.

Nail infection

Toenail infections are especially common.

Warts

These are growths on the skin caused by HPV (human papillomavirus).

Bacterial Infections

Bacterial infections are common around hair follicles and between the toes.

Heat Rash

Heat rash (prickly heat aka miliaria) presents an itchy red rash on skin that usually causes a stinging or prickling feel. The rash occurs due to sweat ducts being blocked. Thus, perspiration is caught under your skin.

The Impact Psychologically

Excessive sweating can have an impact on your self-confidence, job performance and your relationships. You can feel anxious, emotionally stressed, socially withdrawn and even depressed.

When to see Your Doctor About Your Sweating

Immediately visit your physician if your heavy sweating includes:

  • Lightheadedness
  • Chest pain
  • Nausea

Other than these:

  • When sweating interferes with your daily routine
  • When it causes emotional distress and avoiding social situations
  • It suddenly is more than normal
  • You are having night sweats for no reason
  • When it effects your job

Excessive Sweating Hyperhidrosis Diagnosed

The physician may try to rule out underlying conditions, like hyperthyroidism or low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). Further, this is done through blood and urine test.

Your dermatologist will give you a physical exam. As a result, a closer look is included at body areas that sweat more.

A questionnaire may be given to you (be honest this is to assist) about your excessive sweating.

  • Do you carry items to deal with your excessive sweating episodes like napkins, antiperspirants, towels or pads?
  • When you’re out in public does your sweating affect your behavior or mental state?
  • Has hyperhidrosis effected your employment at all?
  • Has there ever been a time you lost a friend because of your sweating?
  • How frequently do you wash, shower or bath?
  • Do you spend a lot of time thinking about your excessive sweating?

Sweat Test

There is a test given to determine if you do have hyperhidrosis. This is called Thermoregulatory Sweat Test (TST). In short, it contains a powder that is sensitive to moisture.

A coating of this powder is applied to your skin. You are then exposed to high heat and humidity via a sweat cabinet. As a result, these trigger sweating of your entire body.

When excessive sweating happens at room temperature the powder on your skin transforms its color to purple. Observation is done on your hands during the heat exposure. To clarify, those who don’t have hyperhidrosis usually don’t have an excess of sweat with the palms of their hands.

However, those who have hyperhidrosis do. Above all, this test also assists your physician determine the severity of your condition. Further, if you have an underlying condition other test may be done.

pexels-ron-lach-9144529 excessive sweating

Treatments for Excessive Sweating

There are several options to effectively treat hyperhidrosis symptoms. But the biggest challenge is the majority of people who don’t pursue medical advice. Either because of embarrassment or they aren’t aware treatment exist.

Steps to Help Symptoms

Some adjustments to your daily activity and lifestyle can improve your symptoms.

Deodorant Sprays

Consider natural products like Freedom Deodorant offers. Most importantly, certain prescriptions for antiperspirants contain aluminum chloride. This plugs the sweat glands.

When antiperspirant is applied it sits on top of your skin. As you sweat, it is pulled into your sweat glands plugging them. After that, your body senses these glands are plugged, and this should signal it to quit creating so much sweat.

Armpit Shields

These are pads worn in the armpit area to absorb perspiration. Along, the same lines as sanitary napkins. Thus, they protect your garments.

Clothing

Opt for clothing with a looser fit. Some synthetic materials like nylon can form worse symptoms.

Shoes

Similarly, to clothing synthetics in shoes can also sculpt bad situations. Consider a natural material like leather.

Socks

Some natural fibers are better at absorbing moisture. Try fabrics like cotton or even bamboo.

Wearing a Mask

You may be sweating more under your mask. This pandemic has added stress and additional body heat. Most importantly, keep your mask, face and hands clean.

Switch your mask frequently to a fresh, clean one. In addition, cool your face at breaks with an ice roller, aloe vera products, or facial sprays.

Essential Oils

Essential oils to help hyperhidrosis:

  • Lemon
  • Lime
  • Peppermint
  • Pine Sylvester
Wrapping it up

Hyperhidrosis known as excessive sweating can be a debilitating condition causing more embarrassment, anxiety and depression. Many aren’t aware they have this condition and therefore don’t seek treatment. Moreover, there is an awareness campaign. Most importantly, there are treatment options available.

Mary

Mary is the founder of All About Our Skin. Former esthetician and CPC. Enjoys researching skincare and has been studying our skin for the past fifteen years.

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1 thought on “Excessive Sweating Hyperhidrosis Sweat Diagnosis and Support”

  1. Along with the impairments to work and social life that hyperhidrosis can bring, persons who suffer from it also tend to spend a lot of time dealing with sweat, changing clothes, washing them more frequently, taking more frequent showers, and applying absorbent materials to the underarms. Additionally, the disease influences clothing choices, leading people to favour dark, thick clothing. There are several efficient medications, treatments, and no sweat sprays available if you’re looking for a remedy that works for hyperhidrosis.

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