Hyperhidrosis & Excessive Sweating Treatment
What is hyperhidrosis?
Hyperhidrosis–commonly known as excessive sweating or profuse sweating–is a common condition that affects people of all backgrounds and ages. The condition is bothersome and embarrassing for those who suffer from it, and often needs medical attention. However, many are too reserved about their sweating to talk about it with a doctor.
Unfortunately, hyperhidrosis goes far beyond just being embarrassing and annoying. In severe cases, it limits a person’s ability to grip tools (like a pencil or hammer) and could even prevent someone from entering or exiting a room using a normal doorknob. In addition, hyperhidrosis causes people to change clothes more frequently and avoid tight-fitting or certain colors of clothing.
What is the cause of hyperhidrosis?
There are two types of hyperhidrosis with two different causes. Each type of hyperhidrosis is described below:
Secondary Generalized Hyperhidrosis
Secondary hyperhidrosis is a kind of excessive sweating that is caused by something else–commonly another health condition or medication side effects. Because secondary excessive sweating has a known cause, it’s much easier to treat than other kinds of hyperhidrosis. Often, the secondary condition is resolved, or a person’s medication is switched or discontinued, and the condition resolves itself.
Primary Focal Hyperhidrosis
This type of excessive sweating is not caused by an underlying medical problem or medication. Instead, primary focal sweating is the only known medical problem and those with this type of hyperhidrosis tend to experience excessive sweating in many places on their body. Often beginning during a person’s childhood, primary hyperhidrosis has been thought to run in families. However, there’s no specific cause for primary hyperhidrosis that is currently understood by researchers.
What type of doctor treats hyperhidrosis?
Your local dermatologist can help you reduce and relieve your excessive sweating using a variety of hyperhidrosis treatment options. A dermatologist who specializes in skin conditions like hyperhidrosis can complete a full diagnostic evaluation of your skin and determine the cause of your excessive sweating, possible causes, and treatment options that may work for you.
When should I see a dermatologist for excessive sweating?
Visit a dermatologist if you notice any of these symptoms of hyperhidrosis:
- Sweat marks on your clothing
- Sweating when you are not hot
- Sweating on the palms of your hands
- Sweating on your feet
- Chronic skin conditions, including fungal or bacterial
- Feeling uncomfortable about how much you sweat
- Sweating more than usual for you
What is excessive sweating a sign of?
In most cases, excessive sweating is the sign of an underlying condition or medication side effects. It could also be a normal reaction to excessive heat, nervousness, stress, or anxiety. In some cases, it could be a sign of a more serious condition. Ask your dermatologist if you notice signs of excessive sweating.
Can hyperhidrosis be dangerous?
Sometimes, excessive sweating is the sign of a more serious health condition, such as a heart attack. It is very important to seek medical help immediately if any of the following symptoms occur in addition to excessive sweating:
- Rapid heartbeat
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
Is there a cure for hyperhidrosis?
Depending on which kind of hyperhidrosis you are suffering from, you may be able to overcome your condition. For those who suffer from secondary excessive sweating, simply changing your medication or finding a cure for the underlying condition that is causing the problem. The most common underlying conditions that can be treated to relieve secondary excessive sweating include:
- Generalized anxiety disorder
In addition, symptoms can be relieved when the following triggers are limited:
- Excessive heat
Talk to your dermatologist about how to manage your symptoms of excessive sweating. Your doctor can offer a personalized treatment that is suited to your personal needs and helps you get back to a normal lifestyle.
What is the best treatment for hyperhidrosis?
Your dermatologist might recommend one of the following treatment options to reduce or completely stop your excessive sweating:
- Prescription antiperspirant medicine
- Antidepressant medications to alleviate excess sweating
- Prescription ointments or creams for excessive sweating
- Botox for excessive sweating
Talk to your dermatologist today to determine if any of these solutions may be the best option for you.