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Excessive Sweating and Hyperhidrosis FAQs

See Also: Sweaty Feet - Chafing - Sweat Rash - Body Odour - Sweaty Palms - Sweaty Groin - Facial Sweating
excessive sweating

What is Excessive Sweating & Hyperhidrosis?

Everybody sweats, it is a normal function of the human body. Some of us however, suffer from excessive sweating - high occurrences of sweat that can be problematic in social & practical situations. Severe cases of prolonged excessive sweating without any obvious triggers are known as Hyperhidrosis (cases with physiological & pathological attributions are sometimes known as Diaphoresis). Most commonly, these sweating conditions affect the underarms (Axillary Hyperhidrosis), the feet (Plantar Hyperhidrosis), and the palms (Palmar Hyperhidrosis). Other areas less commonly affected are the face (Facial Hyperhidrosis, facial flushing, Erythrophobia, or Gustatory Sweating when linked to the consumption of food), groin (Groin Hyperhidrosis), and the buttocks. Hyperhidrosis is thought to affect 1% of the nation.

Why do we suffer from Excessive Sweating & Hyperhidrosis?

We can distinguish between cases of excessive sweating & Hyperhidrosis by looking at the causes of the condition. Excessive sweating tends to be conditional - a result of hot weather, strenuous exercise, social phobia & anxiety); Hyperhidrosis is largely unpredictable, and controllable - the result of over-active sweat glands. All sufferers of Hyperhidrosis and excessive sweating conditions are encouraged to consult their GP or healthcare professional for a qualified diagnosis, as the symptoms may indicate a serious underlying cause such as thyroid problems or diabetes. Many people with Hyperhidrosis let their condition go undiagnosed and untreated as they are unaware of it's status as a medical condition.

How do we treat Excessive Sweating & Hyperhidrosis?

Luckily, there are a number of ways to treat excessive sweating & hyperhidrosis , from mild to severe cases, and in most parts of the body. Your first attempt at treatment should be a 10%-20% aluminium chloride antiperspirant, designed specifically for excessive sweating & Hyperhidrosis. Products like Driclor, Anhydrol Forte, Perspirex & Odaban are very popular treatments. Driclor & Anhydrol Forte are strong antiperspirants (containing 20% aluminium chloride) for use on the underarms , hands, and feet. Perspirex is a roll-on antiperspirant for underarm sweating, stronger than most standard antiperspirants. Odaban is a spray-applicated product, containing 20% aluminium chloride, and may also be used on the face and other areas.

If none of these treatments are successful, it is recommended you consult your doctor. More severe solutions for Hyperhidrosis include prescriptive medication, Iontophoresis (electrical treatment of the sweat glands), Botulinum Toxin (Botox) injections (that aim to block the sweat glands), and Endoscopic Thoracic Sympathectomy (ETS) – a surgical procedure most effective for sweating of the hands.

How can we prevent Excessive Sweating & Hyperhidrosis?

There are a number of things that we can do to help manage the severity of the effects of excessive sweating & Hyperhidrosis. To stem the impact of any body odour, you may wish to try experimenting with your diet. Foods like onions, garlic, spicy dishes, and fish are all believed to affect the scent, and stimulants such as nicotine and caffeine (in tea, coffee and chocolate) are believed to increase levels of perspiration. You may wish to shave armpit hair if this is where the sweating occurs, as hair tends to hold sweat and gives odour-creating bacteria an ideal breeding ground. If sweaty feet are a problem, you should attempt to avoid synthetic materials in socks like nylon, and regularly check your feet for dead skin and any fungal infections.
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