Skin Diseases - Hyperhidrosis

Hyperhidrosis (Excessive sweating)

Excessive sweating happens when a person sweats more than is necessary. Yes, it’s necessary to sweat. Sweating cools the body, which prevents us from overheating. People who have hyperhidrosis, however, sweat when the body does not need cooling.

Many people who have hyperhidrosis sweat from one or two areas of the body. Most often, they sweat from their palms, feet, underarms, or head. While the rest of the body remains dry, one or two areas may drip with sweat.

If you have this medical condition, you may notice:

  • Visible sweating: When you are not exerting yourself, do you often see beads of sweat on your skin or have sweat-soaked clothing? Do you sweat when you’re sitting?
  • Sweating interferes with everyday activities: Does sweating cause difficulty holding a pen, walking, or turning a doorknob? Does sweat drip heavily on to your papers or computer?
  • Skin turns soft, white, and peels in certain areas: Does your skin stay wet for long periods?
  • Skin infections: Do you get frequent skin infections on the parts of your body that sweat heavily? Athlete’s foot and jock itch are common skin infections.

Anxiety and embarrassment:

Hyperhidrosis can cause people to feel extremely anxious and embarrassed. Adults may hide the sweat stains by wearing layers of clothing or changing frequently throughout the day.

Treatment:

Treatment depends on the type of hyperhidrosis and where the excessive sweating occurs on the body. Your dermatologist also considers your overall health and other factors.

Treatments that dermatologists use to help their patients control hyperhidrosis include:

  • Antiperspirants (topical and oral).
  • Iontophoresis (the no-sweat machine).
  • Botulinum toxin injections.

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