Hyperhidrosis is a condition when a person sweats excessively.
Sweating is normal, especially when you feel hot in heated environments or when you are exercising. However, if you sweat too much even when the weather is cold, you might have hyperhidrosis.
The exact cause of hyperhidrosis is unknown. In some cases, hyperhidrosis occurs due to side effects of drugs or an underlying disorder.
In some cases, persistent hyperhidrosis can interfere with daily activities, such as difficulty holding stationery, shaking hands, or driving.
Causes of Hyperhidrosis
Among the factors that cause a person to experience hyperhidrosis, one of them is the influence of other illnesses – usually, diseases related to nerves, endocrine, and other systemic diseases that can cause excessive sweating.
However, majority of people with hyperhidrosis are actually in good physical health – they simply tend to sweat a lot most of the time.
Your body may produces sweat due to the influence of moods and feelings. Excessive sweating in people with hyperhidrosis may be triggered by mood, but the sweating does not stop even after the mood has improved.
There are two types of hyperhidrosis based on the cause:
- Primary hyperhidrosis: excessive sweating that occurs due to a medical condition in one or more parts of the body — for example in the armpits, palms, forehead, or feet. The nervous system encourages the sweat glands to work more actively. This type of hyperhidrosis is usually genetic.
- Secondary hyperhidrosis: hyperhidrosis caused by certain medical conditions, such as diabetes, hyperthyroidism, tumors, and so on. Symptoms appear when your entire body produces excessive sweat, especially during sleep.
When to See a Doctor for Hyperhidrosis?
Hyperhidrosis or excessive sweating is considered a skin problem. Therefore, you should consult a dermatologist.
Before consulting a dermatologist, you can consult a general practitioner first to confirm the symptoms. The general practitioner may recommend medicines and suggest some home remedies. If symptoms do not improve for more than 6 months, the doctor will refer you to a dermatologist.
If your doctor confirms that the hyperhidrosis is caused by an underlying disease, you will be advised to undergo a series of laboratory tests. The tests vary from patient to patient, depending on your medical history.
You should consult a doctor if you have the following symptoms:
- Changing clothes many times a day due to sweating
- Sweating, even though the weather is cold and you are not exercising.
- Sweating while sleeping
- Other symptoms such as shortness of breath, chest pain, high fever, and weight loss
Symptoms of Hyperhidrosis
The main symptom of hyperhidrosis is excessive sweat production even in cold weather. Other symptoms that may appear include:
- Dripping and visible sweating. A person with hyperhidrosis will sweat excessively
- Sweating even when in a cold room and not exercising.
- Difficulty performing simple activities, such as holding stationery or opening door knobs due to sweaty palms
- Skin in the affected areas can turn white and can even peel off.
- Skin infection in the areas of skin often exposed to sweat.
Treatment for Hyperhidrosis
Hyperhidrosis is not always a serious condition. In some cases, excessive sweat production begins to appear in children or adolescents, then resolves on its own when entering adulthood. This usually occurs in people with genetic hyperhidrosis.
However, persistent hyperhidrosis needs to be treated with special care. Hyperhidrosis treatments include:
- Consume medications to reduce sweat production. This type of medicine is called an antiperspirant, which works to block the sweat glands.
- Lontophoresis is a treatment using a weak electric current passed through water or a wet pad. The current will temporarily block the sweat glands. This treatment is usually performed when hyperhidrosis occurs in the hands and feet.
- Botox injections for excessive sweating around the armpits. The effects of these injections can last up to 12 months and should be repeated routinely
- Medical surgery. Surgery is only recommended if other treatments do not work. Hyperhidrosis surgery is performed by plastic surgeons using the endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy technique – a small incision and nerve cutting technique that activates the sweat glands in the armpits.
Treatment Cost for Hyperhidrosis
The cost for Hyperhidrosis treatment varies – depending on the patient’s condition, symptoms, the causes and treatment method chosen.
For more information regarding the estimated costs of Hyperhidrosis treatment, contact Smarter Health.
Prevention of Hyperhidrosis
Hyperhidrosis can arise as a result of underlying diseases, such as diabetes, tumors, hyperthyroidism, and so on.
The main preventive measure to avoid systemic diseases is by maintaining a healthy lifestyle. You should start consuming healthy foods such as vegetables and fruits, and avoiding fast food. In addition, regular exercise can also maintain your health and prevent stress.
For smokers, trying to quit smoking and avoiding smoky environments can also be preventive measures to treat hyperhidrosis.
In some cases, hyperhidrosis is a genetic disorder. Therefore, it is important for parents to be aware of their own health condition.
Home Remedies for Patients Diagnosed with Hyperhidrosis
Hyperhidrosis is not a life-threatening disease. In some cases, symptoms of excessive sweating can be treated at home. Several home remedies to treat hyperhidrosis are:
- Wear loose-fitting clothes to prevent sweat from sticking easily and reduce signs of excessive sweating.
- Wear socks that are soft and sweat-absorbent. Make it a habit to change your socks at least twice a day.
- Wear leather shoes and try to wear different shoes every day.
- Bathe with antibacterial soap to reduce the growth of bacteria. Be sure to dry yourself completely after showering.