Hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating)
Hyperhidrosis is the condition characterized by abnormally increased sweating/perspiration, in excess of that required for regulation of body temperature. It is associated with a significant quality of life burden from a psychological, emotional, and social perspective.
As such, it has been referred to as the 'silent handicap'. Hyperhidrosis can either be generalized or localized to specific parts of the body. Hands, feet, armpits, and the groin area are among the most active regions of perspiration due to the relatively high concentration of sweat glands. When excessive sweating is localized (e.g. palms, soles, face, underarms, scalp) it is referred to as primary or focal hyperhidrosis. Generalized or secondary hyperhidrosis usually involves the body as a whole and is the result of an underlying condition.
The cause of primary hyperhidrosis is unknown. Generally It happens, at this case in excess, when the body is overheating or due to psychological stress caused by various factors. A common complaint of patients is they get nervous because they sweat, then sweat more because they are nervous. Nervousness or excitement can exacerbate the situation for many sufferers. Other factors can play a role, certain foods and drinks, nicotine, caffeine, and smells can trigger a response.
Sweat is the body’s way of cooling down when it feels like it is overheating. A general misconception is that sweat is the body’s way of getting out toxins. Although it may sound reasonable in reality toxins are flushed out by four primary toxin removal systems, (if this assumption was correct people living in cold conditions would suffer from over intoxication)
1. The disposal of cellular waste products, especially lactic acid.
2. The removal of larger waste products through your lymph (smaller waste products go into your veins and are exhaled or sent directly to your liver).
3. The processing of toxins by your liver, most of which then go into bile and then into your digestive tract for final clearance (some are made water-soluble and go to your kidneys to be excreted in urine).
4. The final clearance of waste products by your digestive tract.
If Hyperhidrosis is the cause of stress or nervousness then you should visit a psychologist in order to find out the cause and try to relieve it. Meanwhile, a person suffering from stress related hyperhidrosis can also benefit from using methods of reducing over-sweating like antiperspirants and Botox injections. Having said that, the best way is to find out the cause and work your way into less stress. Many times beta-blockers are prescribed to the patient for reducing anxiety.
There are several ways to treat hyperhidrosis. Most known methods are listed below:
Antiperspirants for hyperhidrosis have been used with success for many years in reducing excessive sweating. The easiest way to tackle excessive sweating is with an antiperspirant designed for this purpose. Normal 24hour antiperspirants are not meant to treat hyperhidrosis and sufferers will not see any results. Hyperhidrosis Antiperspirants such as odaban focus on reducing heavy sweating and if used correctly a person should see results from the first application. Most of these type of antiperspirants contain aluminum salts. The antiperspirant is applied at night in order to be absorbed by the skin. After that it formulates a gel like substance on the top of the sweat gland which reduces perspiration. This gel gradually dissolves and sweating slowly returns to normal levels at which point another application is needed. Only a thin layer should be applied to avoid irritation and also the armpit should not be shaved 2 days prior to the application in order to avoid having cuts in the area which could cause skin irritation Usage depends on the condition of the sufferer. While sweating is reduced to normal or below normal levels there is no need to re-apply. In that sense a bottle should last for several months. Suggestion: A natural deodorant can be applied along with the antiperspirant in order to control armpit odor.
Another treatment option for heavy sweating is injections of botulinum toxin A (Botox).Botox is FDA-approved for treating excessive sweating of the underarms, but some dermatologists may suggest that it may also use it on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet. A weak form of this medicine is injected into your underarms. When performed properly, patients have little pain or discomfort. The injections temporary block a chemical in the body that stimulates the sweat glands. Most patients notice results 4 to 5 days after receiving treatment. Reduced sweating lasts about 4 to 6 months and sometimes longer. When the excessive sweating returns, you can have another treatment.
This treatment is designed for the hands and feet. It uses electrical current to temporarily shut down the treated sweat glands. It is painless as the current is not strong and a session lasts up to 30 minutes. A person immerse their hands or feet in a shallow pan of tap water and the medical device sends a low voltage current in the water. This is a solution for palmar hyperhidrosis where other types of treatments fail.
Only offered as a last resort, endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy (ETS) is sometimes suggested by surgeons. The surgeon makes very small incisions and cuts the nerves in your armpit that normally activate the sweat glands. This procedure cannot be reversed and sometimes compensatory sweating is noticed where your body stops sweating in one area, but starts sweating in another.