Hyperhidrosis: A simple solution to excessive sweating
6 Jun 2018
Sure, everybody sweats. And yes, it’s true, men do sweat more than women. However, if you’re sweating excessively you could be suffering from hyperhidrosis. This is a medical condition that requires a bit more than switching to a heavy-duty deodorant as a fix.
Fortunately, hyperhidrosis is something that can be tackled. All it takes is a quick and simple non-invasive procedure that can be done in your lunch break. But first, let’s talk a bit more about sweat.
Hyperhidrosis – The biology bit
Sweating is one of several ways our body attempts to regulate our temperature, but we don’t just perspire when we’re hot. Our emotions affect our sweat glands too which is why we also perspire when we’re nervous. We don’t sweat as much when we’re children – that’s when our sweat levels are on par with the ladies. But, when we hit puberty, our hormones activate all our sweat glands – and we have roughly 3 million of them!
Contrary to popular belief, sweat on its own doesn’t really smell. It only produces a body odour when its contents, protein and fat, combined with the bacteria on your skin. This particular mix is what creates the pungency which is why a good topical sweat-buster will contain anti-microbial agents. This is also why underarm and groin sweat tends to be smellier. The sweat glands in these areas produce more protein and fat than other areas.
Don’t sweat it!
If you’re wanting to put the brakes on sweat, always pick an antiperspirant over a deodorant. An antiperspirant contains active ingredients like aluminium salts which form a gel that sits on top of your skin. This literally blocks your sweat glands to reduce the amount you perspire.
A straight up deodorant isn’t nearly as effective as an antiperspirant – it merely contains fragrances that mask the smell. This is why it’s important to always check the label of what you’re buying to ensure it says ‘antiperspirant’ or ‘antiperspirant deodorant’, meaning it’s a fragranced antiperspirant.
Sweating gets serious
If you suffer from hyperhidrosis, it’s not just a case of being a particularly sweaty guy, something many people are as the amount you perspire is dictated by your hormones. Hyperhidrosis is an actual medical condition, characterized by uncontrollable, very excessive and often very embarrassing sweating. It commonly affects the underarms, hands and feet, but any area that contains sweat glands can be affected.
There are two types. Primary hyperhidrosis is when you sweat excessively for no underlying reason. It often begins in childhood or puberty and isn’t related to any other medical condition. Your sweat glands are simply hyperactive and medical science isn’t one hundred percent sure why. Sometimes it runs in families and, weirdly, usually doesn’t occur when you’re sleeping.
The second type of hyperhidrosis is literally called ‘secondary hyperhidrosis’. This is when your excessive sweating is caused by something else. For example, it could be the side-effect of a medication you’re taking or a symptom of another disease or condition, something like leukaemia, diabetes or generalized anxiety. It can be focal, meaning it’s limited to just one or a few body parts, but usually, it affects your entire body and can happen both when you’re awake as well as asleep.
A real resolve
When it comes to treating hyperhidrosis, the first thing you need to do is figure out which type you have by visiting a doctor. Once you’ve been properly diagnosed you have several treatment options that range from using a clinical strength prescription antiperspirant to surgery to remove particular sweat glands. At Health Renewal, however, we offer treatment with a Botulinum toxin like Botox or Dysport.
Injecting your sweat glands with either of these can block the neurotransmitter that activates them, essentially paralysing them. The result isn’t permanent, but it lasts but up to four or five months and can be repeated as many times as needed. It’s a great option for anyone wanting to avoid something as invasive as surgery or for those wishing to treat secondary hyperhidrosis that they know is temporary.
If you’re sweating excessively and wanting a safe and effective solution that will help you stay dry, know that with a proper diagnosis and the right treatment, it’s really nothing to sweat about.