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Hyperhidrosis

In hyperhidrosis, people get excessive sweating. It is a common problem that can make people unhappy. This condition is also called as sudorrhea or polyhidrosis. You may experience sweating in a particular area or the whole body. The areas of the body which are commonly affected in hyperhidrosis are hands, armpits, face, and feet. It is not a life-threatening condition but it can make people uncomfortable and embarrass. It can give them psychological trauma. A lot of remedies are available to reduce the problem of hyperhidrosis. This problem can be present at the time of birth or it can develop sometime later in life. Though, most of the cases of hyperhidrosis are prone to start during the teenage years of a person. Sometimes hyperhidrosis may not have any apparent cause. The other times it can occur due to an underlying health condition including a tumour, menopause, obesity, gout, hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid gland), diabetes mellitus, or mercury poisoning. Some people may experience severe symptoms of hyperhidrosis due to which they become anxious and uncomfortable. The biggest problem is that many people do not know that there are treatment options available for hyperhidrosis or if they know they may feel embarrassed to share this problem with someone.

Symptoms

Generally, people get sweat when they work out, are under stress, are in a hot environment, or are anxious. The sweating which is experienced by people with hyperhidrosis is far more than the normal sweating. People with hyperhidrosis generally experience sweat in their hands, armpits, face, and feet. Though, it can affect the whole body. It generally affects both sides of the body. This problem occurs at least once a week. Check out the various symptoms or signs of hyperhidrosis:

-  Wet or clammy palms of the hands

-  Wet or clammy soles of the feet

-  Sweating that can be easily noticed

-  Sweating that soaks your clothes

-  Frequent sweating

Sometimes hyperhidrosis may lead to:

-  Skin problems including bacterial or fungal infections

-  Self-consciousness

-  Stained clothing

-  Depression

-  Unwilling to make a physical contact

-  Worrying about body odour

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Causes

Sweating can occur when you are under some stress. You automatically get sweat when the temperature of your body increases.

Primary idiopathic hyperhidrosis is the most common type of hyperhidrosis. The cause of this type of hyperhidrosis is unknown. It can occur even if you have not put your body under any stress or the temperature of your body has not increased. This problem may be associated with a hereditary component.

On the other hand, secondary hyperhidrosis occurs due to an underlying health condition. This type of hyperhidrosis is less common. Generally, in this type, you get sweat all over your body. Check out various medical conditions that can lead to secondary hyperhidrosis:

-  Tumour

-  Menopause

-  Low blood sugar

-  Obesity

-  Gout

-  Hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid gland)

-  Diabetes mellitus

-  Mercury poisoning

-  Heart attack

-  Some forms of cancer

-  Infections

There are certain medicines that can cause you the problem of excessive sweating.

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How is it diagnosed?

The biggest problem associated with hyperhidrosis is that most of the people do not know that the condition of excessive sweating can be resolved. Even if they know, they feel embarrassed to share it with someone. The symptoms of hyperhidrosis should not be ignored. It is important that people should reach out to the best doctor if they experience the symptoms of hyperhidrosis. Your doctor will ask you about the symptoms that you are experiencing and medical history. He or she will conduct a physical examination and you may be asked to get some tests done to find out the exact cause. Check out the various tests that can be done:

- Lab tests: Your doctor may ask you to get urine, blood and other lab tests done to determine if sweating is occurring due to some medical condition including a tumour, menopause, obesity, gout, hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid gland), diabetes mellitus, or mercury poisoning.

- Sweat test: Many tests are available to determine the areas in which excessive sweating occur and understand the severity of your problem. These tests include skin conductance, a thermoregulatory sweat test, and an iodine-starch test.

Your doctor may recommend you to a skin specialist if required.

Prevention

There is no way to prevent the condition of hyperhidrosis. There are some tips that will help to reduce the chances of developing hyperhidrosis:

-  Diabetes is a medical condition that can lead to hyperhidrosis so you should manage your diabetes.

-  Obesity is also the cause of hyperhidrosis so you should maintain a healthy weight.

-  You should do physical exercise daily to keep yourself fit and fine.

-  You should have a balanced diet.

-  You should avoid taking spicy and hot foods.

-  You should avoid going outside in the peak sun hours.

-  You should have a plenty of water.

-  You should wear loose and comfortable clothes during hot weather.

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Treatment

Check out the various treatment options available for hyperhidrosis:

- Iontophoresis: Your doctor may recommend you to for iontophoresis to treat the condition of hyperhidrosis. In this, the feet and hands are submerged in a water bowl. An electric current which is painless is given through the water. Most of the patients need this treatment 2-4 times for 20-30 minutes.

- Anticholinergic drugs: Anticholinergic drugs are generally used for treating the problem of hyperhidrosis. Anticholinergic drugs include oxybutynin, glycopyrrolate, propantheline, benztropine, and others. These medicines generally help to improve the symptoms of hyperhidrosis within the time period of 2 weeks.

- Botulinum toxin (Botox injections): Botox injections are used to block those nerves that trigger the sudoriparous glands or sweat glands. Many injections are given to the patients with hyperhidrosis in order to get effective results.

- Endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy (ETS): Endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy (ETS) is a surgical procedure that is generally recommended in severe cases of hyperhidrosis when other treatment options do not work. In this surgical procedure, the nerves are cut which trigger the sweat glands. Endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy is used for treating hyperhidrosis of hands, armpits or the face. It is not recommended to treat hyperhidrosis of the feet with the help of ETS as sometimes it may lead to permanent sexual dysfunction.

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Complications

Check out some of the complications associated with hyperhidrosis:

- Infections: People who get excessive sweat are more prone to get skin infections and especially toenail infections.

- Social and emotional effects: Excessive sweat can cause a bad odour. This makes people embarrass and they are unwilling to make a physical contact. People may not want to select those jobs which require physical contact. Sometimes, it may lead to depression. It can affect the personal as well as professional life of the people.

- Other Complications: Some of the other complications that are associated with hyperhidrosis are warts, bacterial infections, and heat rash.

Myths

Check out some of the common myths about hyperhidrosis:

Myth #1: It is not possible to control hyperhidrosis.

Fact: You can say that there is no proven cure for hyperhidrosis. But there are many ways that can help you to treat the condition of hyperhidrosis. Many people have this misconception that they cannot treat the problem of excessive sweating but this is not the case. A lot of solutions are available that can provide a relief to the people suffering from hyperhidrosis.

Myth #2 Deodorant can stop the problem of hyperhidrosis.

Fact: Due to this misconception, people spend a lot of money on deodorants. But deodorants cannot solve the problem of those people who get excessive sweat. If you really want to control the problem of hyperhidrosis then you should get a real antiperspirant to block the sweat glands.

Myth #3: The only solution that is available for hyperhidrosis is prescribed medicines.

Fact: It is a misconception. Prescription medicines have a lot of side effects and these medicines are not required at all. Many antiperspirants are available over-the-counter including SweatBlock that help to provide a relief from the condition of hyperhidrosis.

Myth #4: It is safe to get a surgery in case of hyperhidrosis.

Fact: It is not true. There are many cases of successful surgical procedures done to get rid of symptoms of hyperhidrosis. But there are some cases that have not gone successfully. As per the International Hyperhidrosis Society, surgery is the last option. There are some cases in which people have lost their life due to some complications during the surgical procedure.

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Conclusion

Hyperhidrosis is also known as sudorrhea or polyhidrosis. Hyperhidrosis is a condition of excessive sweating. This condition does not threaten the life of people but it can make them embarrass and anxious. Sometimes, it can lead to psychological trauma. This problem may present from the birth or it may appear sometime later in life. Hands, armpits, face, and feet are some of the areas that are generally affected in case of hyperhidrosis. People should seek medical help if they experience the symptoms of hyperhidrosis. This condition should not be ignored. Primary idiopathic hyperhidrosis has no apparent cause. Secondary hyperhidrosis can occur due to an underlying health condition including a tumour, menopause, diabetes mellitus, hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid gland), obesity, gout, or mercury poisoning.

You should reach out to the best doctor as soon as you experience the symptoms of hyperhidrosis. Your doctor will conduct a physical examination and he or she will ask you about your symptoms and medical history. Many people think that it is not possible to treat the problem of hyperhidrosis but this is not the case. Many treatment options are available for hyperhidrosis. Botulinum toxin (Botox injections), anticholinergic drugs, endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy (ETS), and iontophoresis are some of the treatment options available for hyperhidrosis.

It is not possible to prevent the condition of excessive sweating or hyperhidrosis. But you can reduce the chances of developing hyperhidrosis by following some important tips. Diabetes and obesity can lead to hyperhidrosis so you should manage your diabetes and a healthy weight. You should involve yourself in physical exercises daily. You should have a balanced diet. You should avoid having spicy and hot food. You should drink a lot of water. You should not wear uncomfortable and tight clothes. There are certain medicines that can lead to the problem of excessive sweating or hyperhidrosis.

A lot of complications are associated with hyperhidrosis. Skin infections, toenail infections, bacterial infections, warts, psychological impact, and heat rashes are some of the major complications of hyperhidrosis. Hyperhidrosis can affect the personal as well as professional life of the people. People do not want to make a physical contact as they fear that other people can notice their sweat and bad odour. People have many misconceptions about hyperhidrosis. The only solution that is available for hyperhidrosis is prescribed medicines is one of the common myths. It is safe to get a surgery in case of hyperhidrosis is another popular myth.

If you are looking for the answers to various questions including:

-  What is hyperhidrosis?

-  What are the signs or symptoms of hyperhidrosis?

-  What are the causes of hyperhidrosis?

-  How is hyperhidrosis diagnosed?

-  How is hyperhidrosis prevented?

-  How is hyperhidrosis treated?

-  What are the various complications associated with hyperhidrosis?

-  What are the various myths about hyperhidrosis?

Then you are in the right place, please refer to the above-mentioned information.

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Last updated on : 25-10-2018

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