Hyperhidrosis can be irritating, inconvenient, and embarrassing. If you haven’t heard of hyperhidrosis, you may know it better by its layman term, “excessive sweating.” While it’s normal to sweat in the heat or when exercising, some people sweat excessively. This syndrome can greatly impact our daily life, causing us anxiety, stress, and embarrassment. But there are ways to treat it, medically and with adjustments to your lifestyle. Let’s take a closer look at what it is, what causes it, and how to treat it.
Hyperhidrosis: What Is It and What Causes It?
When does sweating become hyperhidrosis? How do you know if you’re sweating too much? Your body sweats to cool you down. But if you have hyperhidrosis, your body will sweat even when you don’t need to cool down. You may easily sweat through your clothes, have to worry about unpleasant smells due to sweat, and even suffer from painful skin problems due to fungal or bacterial infections.
Hyperhidrosis can happen on any part of the body. While it commonly affects the face, armpits, and feet, it can affect any part of your body or your entire body. When hyperhidrosis happens on a localized spot, it’s called focal hyperhidrosis. When it affects the entire body, it’s called generalized hyperhidrosis.
So, what causes hyperhidrosis? There are many factors. It can happen because of a medical condition (like hyperthyroidism, diabetes, or menopause), due to certain medications, or simply due to unknown reasons. While hyperhidrosis usually starts during a person’s teenage years, it can start at any time.
If you have hyperhidrosis, you’re not alone. In the United States, around 7.8 million people suffer from hyperhidrosis, which is about 2.8% of the population. While hyperhidrosis can be embarrassing and cause us to feel stressed or anxious, there are many ways to treat hyperhidrosis to minimize its effect on your life.
How to Treat Hyperhidrosis
When it comes to treatments, there are several different things to try. For a less severe case, trying over the counter products and changing your clothing choices can be helpful. Here are some tips for treating mild hyperhidrosis:
- Wear loose, breathable clothing.
- Avoid wearing man-made fabrics (like nylon or polyester) and tight clothing.
- Wear socks that absorb moisture.
- Change your socks two or more times a day.
- Avoid activities that cause increased sweating, like eating spicy food.
- Try using stronger antiperspirant deodorants.
- Try using foot powders.
- Try using sweat shields under your clothing to protect your clothes from sweat.
While these simple remedies can help those with mild hyperhidrosis, those with a more severe case may need to see a physician to try other treatments. Some signs of more severe excessive sweating include severe sweating more than once a week, sweating that interferes with your daily life, heavy sweating that has been happening for more than six months, a family history of excessive sweating, night sweats, and a lack of results from the simple remedies we listed above.
Botox and Hyperhidrosis
There are several medical treatments for hyperhidrosis, including medications, surgery, and Botox. Many people are surprised that Botox, which is more commonly known for its wrinkle-reducing properties, can be used to treat excessive sweating. But Botox is actually an FDA-approved treatment. Botox works to control the symptoms of excessive sweating by temporarily blocking the chemical signals from the nerves that stimulate the sweat glands. When the sweat glands don’t receive these signals, they stop producing sweat, giving patients with hyperhidrosis relief from excess sweating. Dr. Zadeh also uses an innovative radiofrequency treatment, ThermiDry which has been shows to improve excessive underarm sweating.
If you have been suffering from excessive sweating of the underarms, hands, feet, or other areas contact us to set up a consultation with Dr. Zadeh to see if any of our sweat reducing treatments are right for you.