Excessive Sweating: Causes, Diagnosis And Treatment

Sweating occurs in unusual situations such as warm weather, physical activity, stress, and feelings of fear, anger, or without any trigger at all. It may also be due to health conditions like menopause or hyperthyroidism.

Sweating is a natural response; however, don’t ignore if there is excess sweating. Hyperhidrosis is a condition that results from excess sweating. Hyperhidrosis makes you sweat more than usual for no apparent reason.

Cause of Excessive Sweating

The underlying cause depends on the type of hyperhidrosis you have.

Primary focal hyperhidrosis– this is the first stage of hyperhidrosis wherein sweating mainly occurs on your feet, hands, face, head, and underarms. It usually starts in childhood. About 30 to 50% of people with this type have a family history of excessive sweating.

Secondary generalized hyperhidrosis– this is caused by a medical condition or as a side effect of certain medications. You might sweat all over your body, or in just one area. You might also sweat while you’re sleeping. The conditions that might cause this type include:

  1. Heart disease

  2. Cancer

  3. Adrenal gland disorders

  4. Stroke

  5. Hyperthyroidism

  6. Menopause

  7. Spinal cord injuries

  8. Lung disease

  9. Parkinson’s disease

  10. Infectious diseases, such as tuberculosis or HIV

You may have hyperhidrosis if you experience these symptoms-

  1. Excessive sweating that occurs for at least six months without an apparent reason

  2. Sweating on both sides of the body in roughly the same amount

  3. Incidents of excessive sweating at least once a week

  4. Sweating that interferes with your daily activities

  5. Excessive sweating that had started when you were younger than 25 years old

  6. Not sweating in your sleep

  7. A family history of hyperhidrosis

Do not ignore these symptoms and meet the doctor immediately if you have

  1. Sweating and weight loss

  2. Sweating while sleep

  3. Sweating that occurs with a fever, chest pain, shortness of breath, and rapid heartbeat

  4. Prolonged sweating

Diagnosis of Excessive Sweating?

The following tests help diagnose hyperhidrosis-

A starch-iodine test – iodine is put on the sweaty area, and starch is sprinkled when the iodine dries. If the starch turns dark blue, you have excessive sweating.

The paper test – a special paper is kept on the sweaty area, and the paper is weighed after it absorbs your sweat.

The thermoregulatory test – this test uses a special powder sensitive to moisture; the powder changes color in areas of excessive sweating.

Treatment of of Excessive Sweating

Excess sweating is a very real and embarrassing problem, but there are some effective ways to treat it. Can excess sweating be managed? Yes! There are various treatment options for excessive sweating. You can try these proven techniques for combating excessive sweating.

Specialized antiperspirants– These contain aluminum salts, and when you roll them on your skin, they form a plug that blocks perspiration. Some antiperspirants are sold combined with deodorant, which doesn’t stop you from sweating but helps control the odor from the sweat.

Not just for underarms, antiperspirants can also be applied in other areas of the body like hands and feet where you sweat more.

Iontophoresis – this medical treatment involved sitting in a shallow tray of water for about 20 to 30 minutes, while a low electrical current travels through the water. The process blocks sweat from getting to your skin’s surface.

Botulinum toxin – this FDA-approved drug reduces sweat in the underarms and other areas of the body like hands and feet.

Medications – if iontophoresis and botox don’t work, the doctor might prescribe anticholinergic drugs which stop the activation of sweat glands.

Surgery – this is recommended for severe hyperhidrosis that hasn’t responded to other treatments. The surgery involves scraping out sweat glands.

Home Remedies of Excessive Sweating

You can manage excessive sweating at home by following these tips-

  1. Avoid wearing heavy clothes as they trap sweat. Wear soft cotton clothes and washing them regularly.

  2. Your feet can sweat too-wear socks that absorb the sweat and keep the feet dry.

  3. Use antibacterial soap for bathing every day as it helps control the bacteria that can inhabit your sweaty skin and cause odors. Use antiperspirant only when the body is completely dry after bathing.

  4. Avoid spicy foods and alcohol as both make you sweat. The same is with hot drinks like tea and coffee.

  5. Using antiperspirants on the affected area


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