5 essential things to know about hyperhidrosis

5 essential things to know about hyperhidrosis

While sweating is normal, excessive sweating can be a cause for concern. A condition called hyperhidrosis causes excessive sweating. This condition is also known as sudorrhea or polyhidrosis. The sweating caused by this condition can affect a part or the entire body. Hyperhidrosis can cause extreme discomfort and, in some cases, can be a reason for embarrassment too. Here are a few things to know about excessive sweating or hyperhidrosis.

The causes of hyperhidrosis depend on the type of the condition. Primary hyperhidrosis is a genetic disorder that is caused mostly due to an abnormality in the sweat glands. The glands are triggered whenever the nerves overact. Secondary hyperhidrosis is caused due to an underlying health condition. These include diabetes, gout, spinal cord injury, menopause, obesity, hyperthyroidism, mercury poisoning, and among others. The use of certain medications can also cause excessive sweating.

One of the most prominent symptoms experienced by people with hyperhidrosis is excessive sweating for more than six months. An episode of excessive sweating may last for a week. These episodes will be frequent over a period of six months or more, disrupting normal everyday activities. Other symptoms include wet or clammy palms and soles of feet. A person may also experience frequent skin infections and irritations.

The diagnosis begins by conducting blood and urine tests to eliminate other underlying health problems that may be the reason behind excessive sweating. The pattern of sweating will be analyzed. Furthermore, patients have to answer a questionnaire regarding the severity of the condition, how it has affected the patient’s daily life, and how they manage the various symptoms. In some cases, doctors also use the thermoregulatory sweat test to diagnose hyperhidrosis. In this test, a particular powder is used to detect excessive sweating. This powder is sensitive to moisture and changes color when exposed to sweat.

Excessive sweating or hyperhidrosis is treated by a dermatologist or a skin specialist. They usually recommend a slew of treatments that involve the sweat glands. Common treatment methods include iontophoresis, botulinum toxin (Botox), and endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy. The use of anticholinergic medications is also effective in the treatment of excessive sweating.

Lifestyle changes
Along with treatments prescribed by doctors, one can also make some lifestyle changes for better management of hyperhidrosis symptoms. Using prescription antiperspirants containing aluminum chloride can plug the sweat glands and prevent excessive sweating. Armpit shields are also available to protect clothes from sweat. Instead of wearing tight-fitting clothes made from synthetic fiber, opt for loose, breathable clothes made from natural fibers. The same is applicable for shoes and socks.

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