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Excessive Sweating – Do You Suffer From Hyperhidrosis?

Updated on August 4, 2009

Yes, it is true…everyone sweats! Unfortunately, some people sweat more than others. I tend to sweat a lot during high stress situations (like when I must give an important speech to a large group of people). While sweating is perfectly normal, some people actually sweat so much, they are afraid to leave the house! Excessive sweating, also known as Hyperhidrosis usually begins in childhood or during the adolescence years. The most commonly affected areas of the body are the face, palms, feet and of course, under the arms.

Approximately 1 to 3 percent of the population has Hyperhidrosis. This condition does not discriminate as it affects both men and women alike. Though excessive sweating is not life-threatening (or even considered a medical emergency for that matter) it can be quite embarrassing a wreak havoc on an individual's self esteem…not to mention, their life in general!

What is the Cause of Excessive Sweating?

Well, my friends, excessive sweating remains a medical mystery as no one is really 100% certain as to why some individuals sweat more than others. However many professionals feel that Hyperhidrosis most likely has something to do with the Autonomic Nervous System. You see, the Autonomic Nervous System is what activates the sweat glands (as a response to heat). Sweating is completely natural and is the body's way of cooling down. For some reason some people's Autonomic Nervous System goes in to over-drive, therefore the sweat glands respond by producing too much sweat. There are, in fact, two different types of Hyperhidrosis. The first one is "generalized" which means the entire body is affected and the second type is Localized Hyperhidrosis (which usually starts during puberty). Localized Hyperhidrosis is usually caused by anxiety, certain odors, spinal cord injuries and even foods!

Sweaty or wet palms is a sign of excessive sweating!
Sweaty or wet palms is a sign of excessive sweating!

What Can YOU Do?

Many individuals that suffer from Hyperhidrosis do so alone. First of all, they are very embarrassed and secondly, they do not know of the various treatments that are available. So…"What are the treatmenst?" Well, I'm glad you asked!

  • Special Deodorants – Most doctors start with special deodorants that are designed to specifically treat Hyperhidrosis. Drysol, for example, is a very strong deodorant that contains aluminum chloride. You must have a prescription in order to buy this product. It really does work well when it comes to controlling sweat; however, it has been known to irritate the skin. If you want to attack your sweating problem by purchasing an over the counter deodorant, it is important to make sure that aluminum zirconium is one the main ingredients.
  • Medications- There are medications that your doctor may prescribe if you suffer from excessive sweating. They are taken orally and once again, a prescription is required. These drugs are known as anticholinergics and must be taken with great caution as they can stop the sweating process all together. This can be quite dangerous for athletes and people who work outside in hot conditions.
  • Cosmetic Surgery Options – Certain cosmetic surgeries may help when it comes to Hyperhidrosis. Botox and Tumescent Liposuction are both options, however, Botox is only a temporary solution and Tumescent Liposuction is only used to treat excessive under arm sweating.

Though excessive sweating can be embarrassing, don't worry…you are NOT ALONE! If you feel that you sweat "too much," it is important that you make an appointment with your general doctor and discuss your symptoms and feelings with him or her. As I mentioned above, there are several treatment options available and YES, they can change your life! As always, it is very important you educate yourself on your condition in order to figure out what the best course of treatment is for you. Good luck and stay cool!


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