Ask the doctor: What can I do about excessive sweating?
Topical antiperspirants are the first-line treatment for underarm sweating and are also effective on hands and feet. The best choice is a preparation containing aluminum salts, such as aluminum chloride. The aluminum salt irritates the sweat gland and causes it to swell, preventing the sweat from leaving. Sep 15, · If excessive sweating has no underlying medical cause, it's called primary hyperhidrosis. It happens when excess sweating is not triggered by a rise in temperature or physical activity. Primary hyperhidrosis may be at least partly hereditary. If the excess sweating is due to an underlying medical condition, it's called secondary hyperhidrosis.
But people with hyperhidrosis a. You gingerly wipe your hands on your pants, trying not to look like you just emerged from a pool, only to realize your brow is breaking out in beads of perspiration, too.
Not to mention your feet, your armpits, and even your genital area. Why am Sweafing sweating so much? At best, excessive sweating is inconvenient. There is a what to do about sweating what does ed mean in citation of reasons why some people sweat more than others—it could be genetic, but it may also be a sign of an underlying health issue. Excessive sweating, or hyperhidrosis, is sweating that is above and beyond what is necessary.
Hyperhidrosis falls into two categories: wseating and secondary. What to do about sweating is a medical condition by itselfwhile the other is swfating side effect of another medical condition or medication. The type of hyperhidrosis you have will determine your treatment needs, so it helps if you can distinguish between the two.
Primary hyperhidrosis —This type of sweating usually starts in childhood and is symmetric on both sides of the body: both hands, both feet, both underarms, or whwt sides of the head or face.
It occurs during the day and stops when you sleep. The majority of what to do about sweating with excessive sweating fall into this category.
Though this form of sweating may run in your genes, there are ways to treat it, including topical creams and Botox. Talk to your doctor to learn more. Secondary or generalized hyperhidrosis —This type of sweating is not connected to family history and is usually more of a full-body issue.
Your sweat can sometimes be a sweaitng sign that something more serious is going on. You just started a new medication. Brock says. See the full list of medications known to cause excessive sweating at the IHHS website.
Your hormones are changing. Menopause is another common cause of excessive sweating. Many though not all women who get hot flashes report heavy sweating or chills. This often occurs at night and may be intense enough to wake you up from your much-needed beauty sleep. Your thyroid is out of whack.
An overactive thyroid hyperthyroidism causes symptoms like health palpitations, weight loss, high blood pressure—and yes, excessive sweating. Though mild cases sometimes go away naturally, your doctor may prescribe an antithyroid drug to help speed the recovery process.
Anxiety sweating is different than other forms of sweating because it comes from the apocrine glands, located in your armpits, groin, and breast area. It can also cause strong body odor.
If you find this is happening a lot, talk to your doctor about treatment options for anxiety. You might have an infection. Malaria and tuberculosis can both cause night sweats along with fever, muscle aches, fatigue, and a loss of appetite. You could have an underlying, untreated disease like heart disease, diabetes, or cancer. Finally, sweating could be sweatiny sign of heart failure, diabetes, or even lymphoma. Is this due to a malignancy? Is it due to hormone deficiency?
Your body is brilliant in its ability to regulate itself, and it knows how to provide warning signs when something strange is going on. Sarah Ellis is a wellness and culture writer who covers everything from contraceptive access to chronic health conditions to fitness trends. She has written for Elite Daily, Greatist, mindbodygreen and others.
What can we help you find? Healthy Living. April 13, Medical Reviewer. See Our Sources Primary vs. Secondary Hyperhidrosis: International Hyperhidrosis Society. What to Read Next. Start Survey.
HOW TO PREVENT SWEATING
Oct 31, · Lontophoresis is a procedure that involves running low-level electrical current through your body while you are submerged in water. This is most effective for sweating of the hands, feet, and. Mar 13, · Excessive sweating, or hyperhidrosis, can be the sign of an underlying health condition or a medication side effect. It can also be a genetic condition that starts during childhood. Here’s what.
I seem to sweat a great deal from my hands and underarms, more than my friends do. Sometimes I can't write or shake hands because my palms are dripping with sweat. Is there anything I can do about this embarrassing problem? Hyperhidrosis may be generalized but most often it involves the palms, underarms, feet, and groin.
As you've discovered, it can take a social toll, making handshaking unpleasant and some handwork impossible. Underarm sweating may require you to change your blouse two or three times a day. We need sweating to control body temperature; water evaporating from the skin cools the body. Sweating is under the control of the sympathetic nervous system, which orchestrates the body's reaction to stressful situations and emergencies—sometimes called the "fight or flight" response.
To put the organs of the body on alert, the sympathetic nervous system uses chemical messengers. It activates the sweat glands through the chemical messenger acetylcholine. People with hyperhidrosis produce several times more sweat than normal because they are particularly sensitive to this signal.
Hyperhidrosis seems to run in families, but we don't know much more about what causes it. Generalized sweating could be a sign of a hormonal condition, infection, cancer, or anxiety disorder that requires treatment.
To be sure, you should see your clinician. Most of the time, though, excessive sweating is not dangerous but simply embarrassing and inconvenient. You can read more about hyperhidrosis at www. Hyperhidrosis can be treated in several ways. Topical antiperspirants are the first-line treatment for underarm sweating and are also effective on hands and feet. The best choice is a preparation containing aluminum salts, such as aluminum chloride.
The aluminum salt irritates the sweat gland and causes it to swell, preventing the sweat from leaving. The more aluminum salt the antiperspirant contains, the longer it will work. Most over-the-counter products contain smaller amounts, but higher doses are available by prescription.
These are applied at night once or twice a week and may require sleeping with the armpits wrapped in plastic wrap, or plastic wrap and gloves or socks on the hands or feet. The main side effect is local irritation. Deodorants, by the way, reduce odor but don't decrease sweating. A procedure called iontophoresis has been used for more than 50 years to treat excessive sweating on the hands or feet, and more recently, in the underarm.
Your hands or feet are submerged in lukewarm tap water for 10—20 minutes while a mild electric current is passed through the water. Apparently this temporarily blocks the sweat gland, although experts don't know exactly how it works. The treatment is not painful, although it usually causes a tingling sensation in the hands or feet. Sweating symptoms usually improve after 5—10 sessions at the rate of three or four sessions per week.
Most people need one or two sessions per week thereafter to maintain sweat relief. The main side effect is dry or irritated skin. Your clinician may prescribe an FDA-approved iontophoresis device to use at home, but it may not be covered by insurance. You should avoid iontophoresis if you are pregnant or have a cardiac pacemaker or a metal orthopedic implant.
Botulinum toxin Botox injections are FDA-approved for treating underarm hyperhidrosis. They have also been found effective for hands and feet and are the treatment of choice for marked hyperhidrosis.
Multiple injections are required; for example, a typical underarm treatment involves 12—14 injections per armpit. Botox appears to work by temporarily paralyzing the nerves that release acetylcholine. Patients notice complete relief within a day or two, and the effects last 6—10 months. Injections into the palms and soles can be painful; those in the armpits, less so. Risks include bleeding at the injection site and muscle weakness in the hands.
Some doctors prescribe oral anticholinergic medications drugs that reduce the activity of acetylcholine to curb the sweat glands, but this approach is not approved by the FDA.
Anticholinergic medications can cause some undesirable side effects, such as dry mouth, constipation, impaired taste, blurred vision, and heart palpitations. In severe cases, surgery can be performed to cut the sympathetic nerves to the sweat glands sympathectomy.
Sympathectomy works best for sweaty palms. Disclaimer: As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of last review or update on all articles.
No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician. Ask the doctor: What can I do about excessive sweating? Ask the doctor What can I do about excessive sweating? Published: March, Ask the Doctor: What can I do to help minimize my wrinkles? Staying Healthy Women's Health. E-mail Address. First Name Optional. To learn more You can read more about hyperhidrosis at www.
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