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Excessive Sweating Hyperhidrosis Facts About Sweat Diagnosis and Support

pexels-mary-taylor-6009257 excessive sweating hyperhidrosis

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. It 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.

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 affects your quality of life.

According to MedicalNewsToday the average time is nine years before a person with hyperhidrosis seeks medical help. Most importantly, word needs to get out that this condition can be treated.

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

Most importantly, knowing which type of hyperhidrosis you have is vital to your health and which treatment.

Looking at individuals like children involved with play, in sports, music or arts

Teenagers just dealing with peer pressure and trying to fit in

Or adults making a living and in relationships.

These hurdles whether physical, social and emotional having hyperhidrosis can be difficult and impossible without others understanding.

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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

Explaining Hyperhidrosis

If you have excessive sweating your sweat glands (especially eccrine glands) overreact to stimuli. This can cause sweating of four or five times more than necessary or normal. Thus, they produce more sweat than you need. 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.

How do you Know it’s Hyperhidrosis?

Symptoms of Excessive Sweating:

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

If you have hyperhidrosis you could experience:

  • Worrying over stained clothing
  • Avoiding physical contact
  • Self-conscious
  • Socially withdrawn, possible depression
  • Choosing employment not involving physical contact or human interaction
  • Constant worry about body odor

A large portion of your time includes:

  • Changing clothes
  • Wiping
  • Placing napkins or pads under your arms
  • Washing
  • Wearing bulky or dark clothes
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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 trapped 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.

Excessive Sweating Hyperhidrosis Causes

The condition can be linked to an underlying health problem, or for no known cause. According to the International Hyperhidrosis Association about 2.8 percent of Americans have this condition.

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 help) 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, this trigger sweating of your entire body.

When excessive sweating happens at room temperature the powder on your skin changes 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.

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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 search for medical advice. Either because of embarrassment or they aren’t aware treatment exist.

Steps to Help Symptoms

Some changes 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. Then your body senses the glands are plugged, 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 make symptoms worse.

Shoes

Similarly, to clothing synthetics here can also make things bad. 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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