Published: 09/17/2014 - Updated: 10/10/2018
Author: Miriam Reyes
Hyperhidrosis consists of excessive sweat production. It is estimated to affect 5% of the population, and is a chronic condition.
Even though it may seem insignificant, excessive sweating can cause skin diseases, dehydration, and emotional problems, as a consequence thereof.
How does hyperhidrosis affect our life?
Even though it might seem like a fairly unimportant detail, people that suffer from excessive sweating are affected in different aspects of their life, from their social life to work.
As a consequence, it creates emotional stress that only makes the condition worse.
Hyperhidrosis can cause embarrassment, thereby causing those that suffer from it to be afraid to even shake hands, which could affect their social life.
In work, some activities could be more difficult, like grabbing tools or other types of objects necessary for work. That’s why hyperhidrosis could cause one to feel limited, which could cause them to seek out a professional to change their situation.
Types of Hyperhidrosis
Hyperhidrosis is considered a hereditary illness, and usually develops during infancy or puberty. It appears more severely in men than in women, but both sexes can be affected.
Hyperhidrosis is characterized by excessive sweating that occurs for no apparent reason. This means that it is not related to physical exercise, or high temperatures. It can be classified in two types:
Primary: this type occurs with no organic reason. For example, it occurs as a response to stress, physical or intellectual effort, pain, etc.
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Secondary: this is associated with an organic cause like diabetes, or thyroid problems. It also occurs during menopause, or as a result of some pharmaceuticals.
Areas commonly affected
Hyperhidrosis generally affects areas of the body where a large number of sweat glands are concentrated, like the hands and feet, armpits, the face, and the craniofacial area.
It is most common in the armpits, which generally begins during puberty.
Excessive sweating on the hands or feet could develop during infancy, continuing on through life.
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Lastly, excessive facial sweating is frequently related to blushing, or facial redness.
Learning the cause of hyperhidrosis is absolutely fundamental in order to choose the most appropriate treatment. For example, if you have a thyroid problem, an antiperspirant cream is probably not the most appropriate solution, since the root of the problem, in this case, is your thyroid function. In this case, a medical evaluation is appropriate.
Deodorants and antiperspirants: Hyperhidrosis is frequently accompanied by bad odor, as it promotes proliferation of certain bacteria. Using deodorants and antiperspirants could be a good alternative for reducing the bad odor and for keeping bacteria at bay. However, keep in mind that antiperspirants frequently contain aluminum or zirconium, which could affect and irritate the area of skin it is applied to, if it is sensitive to those components.
Type A Botulinum toxin: Also known as Botox, this consists of applying a small dose of this substance via intradermic injections to prevent the release of Acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that stimulates the sweat glands.
Iontophoresis: this technique uses ions and molecules to achieve various benefits. For hyperhidrosis, electrodes are used on the hands and feet to block sweat production.
Surgery: this is known as sympathectomy surgery, this procedure cuts or destroys nerves in the sympathetic nervous system by use of chemical substances. Not all people with hyperhidrosis are candidates for this type of surgery; you must first have an evaluation before opting for this procedure.
A few ingredients exist that are commonly in the house, and that can be used as home remedies to control excessive sweating.
Cornstarch or cornflour is absorbent and also has a very discreet and soft odor, which is why this powder can be used in problematic areas. To apply, dry the sweat from the area with a kerchief, and then sprinkle the corn starch, as if it were baby powder. Remove the first application and apply a new layer. This will make sure it doesn’t clump.
Tea tree oil
This is an essential oil extracted from the tea tree. It is astringent and antibiotic. It prevents fungal growth, which is a common problem for people that suffer from hyperhidrosis. To use it for this purpose, dilute the tea tree drops in water, because it is very potent. Use this water to moisten the sweaty areas.
This remedy is widely used against excessive sweating. Apply warm sage tea to the sweaty areas with a cotton ball, and allow to dry.
For foot sweat, you can also add dried, crushed sage leaves to your shoes, in addition to applying the sage tea.
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