Hyperhidrosis is a condition characterized by abnormally increased sweating, in excess of that required for regulation of the body temperature. Although primarily a physical burden, hyperhidrosis can deteriorate quality of life from a psychological, emotional, and social perspective. It has been called by some ‘the silent handicap’.
- Primary idiopathic hyperhidrosis:“Idiopathic” means “of unknown cause.” In the majority of cases, the hyperhidrosis is localized.
- Secondary hyperhidrosis:The person sweats too much because of an underlying health condition, such as obesity, gout, menopause, a tumor, mercury poisoning, diabetes mellitis, or hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid gland).
Signs and symptoms of hyperhidrosis may include:
- Clammy or wet palms of the hands
- Clammy or wet soles of the feet
- Frequent sweating
- Noticeable sweating that soaks through clothing
Four Ways to Cure Hyperhidrosis:
1. Antiperspirants – deodorants do not stop sweating, but antiperspirants sprays do. Some prescription antiperspirants include aluminum chloride, which plugs the sweat glands.
2. Iontophresis– the hands and feet are submerged in a bowl of water. A painless electric current is passed through the water. Most patients need two to four 20-30 minute treatments.
3. Botulinum toxin (Botox injections)– Botox injections block the nerves that trigger the sweat glands. Patients with hyperhidrosis may need several injections for effective results.
4. Clothing – certain synthetic fibers, such as nylon, may worsen symptoms. Loose clothing is better.
Primary focal hyperhidrosis is a treatable condition. Your doctor will help you develop a treatment plan so you can manage your symptoms. Excessive sweating caused by an underlying condition may go away when that condition is treated. Treatments for secondary generalized hyperhidrosis depend on the underlying condition causing your sweating. Talk to your doctor if you think your sweating is a side effect of a medication. They’ll determine if it’s possible for you to switch medications or lower the dosage.