Excessive SweatingThe clinical name is “hyperhidrosis,” but if you suffer from excessive sweating, you probably call it embarrassing, uncomfortable, and upsetting. Hyperhidrosis has thousands of Americans wiping their palms before a handshake, wearing a sopping wet shirt in the first five minutes of a workout, and shopping for only white or black clothing.
Normal sweating, moisture excreted from pores, is your body’s natural way of cooling down from physical activity, high external temperature, fever, reaction to medication, or emotional stress. There are variations in “normal,” but excessive sweating goes beyond what your body needs to regulate temperature or happens for no apparent reason. It can be more than a hassle – it is a medical condition, and may be a warning sign of a more serious situation.
Primary focal hyperhidrosis, or localized sweating, affects up to 3 percent of our population and usually starts in childhood. It is not a health threat – just a nuisance. Certain parts of the body (usually face, head, hand, feet, underarms, or groin) produce excess sweat due to a mild nervous system malfunction. This form of hyperhidrosis is often hereditary.
Secondary general hyperhidrosis, or generalized sweating, occurs all over the body, often at night. It is more serious because, as the name (secondary) implies, it is caused by an underlying health issue. Triggers include thyroid disorders, pregnancy, menopause, diabetes, alcoholism, infectious disease, leukemia and lymphoma, rheumatoid arthritis, Parkinson’s disease, stroke, and heart disease.
Accurate diagnosis of your excessive sweating and an effective management plan are essential to your physical and emotional wellbeing. You get that compassion and professionalism from our doctors and staff at the Lupo Center for Aesthetic and General Dermatology.
Based on a thorough analysis of your individual situation, our doctors may recommend:
- Prescription antiperspirants and topical creams.
- Iontophoresis – low-level electrical impulses that help disable the output of sweat glands.
- Prescription drugs to get sweat glands under control or address underlying medical conditions.
- Botox injections. This therapy is very effective in interrupting the signal from the nerves that triggers hyperhidrosis. It is FDA approved for excessive underarm sweating, and successfully used off-label for other areas of the body.
- Surgery as a last resort in only the most severe cases.