Ever felt like having feet...
Are you a person who sweats a lot—to the point of impacting your self-esteem and quality of life? Well, you may want to look into a medical condition called hyperhidrosis.
Sweating is necessary for the sake of regulating our body temperature. However, when it occurs in excess it can become an unpleasant experience. Hyperhidrosis is a common condition characterized by excessive sweating, in which the secretion of sweat in amounts greater than physiologically needed for thermoregulation.
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.
Image credit: DermNetNZ
This excessive sweating can interfere with everyday activities. Hands can be so sweaty that it becomes difficult to turn a doorknob or use a computer. Sweat from the underarms often soaks through clothes, causing obvious sweat marks. Because the skin is often wet, skin infections can develop as a result.
If you have hyperhidrosis, you may experience the following:
Visible sweating — Sweat-soaked clothes or show beads of sweats on skin, even when no physical activity is taking place
Sweating interferes with daily activities, such as turning door knobs and writing
Skin turns soft, white, and peels in certain area
Frequent skin infections — Examples are Athlete’s foot and jock itch
The causes of hyperhidrosis remain poorly known, however scientists believe that genetics could be one of the reasons for causing hyperhidrosis.
In general, there are three types of sweat glands present in our skin—eccrine, apocrine, and apoeccrine glands. Eccrine sweat glands are responsible for hyperhidrosis, although apoeccrine glands might play a role in axillary hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating from armpits). Eccrine sweat glands are located throughout the body, but they are found in greatest quantity in the palms, soles, and, to a lesser degree, the armpits. Sweating on the face, chest, and back is generally due to heat stimuli, while sweating of the palms and soles is due to emotional stress.
Image credit: Mayo Clinic
The eccrine sweat glands are linked and innervated by our sympathetic nervous system. In patients with hyperhidrosis, it was found that their eccrine sweat glands are perfectly normal; however, the excessive sweating appears to be an exaggerated central response to normal emotional stress.
Dermatologists help many patients control excessive sweating. Before treatment begins, it is important to find out why a patient has excessive sweating.
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 — It is applied to underarms, hands, feet or hairline. The antiperspirant sits on top of your skin. As you sweat, the antiperspirant is pulled into your sweat glands. This plugs the sweat glands. When your body senses that its sweat glands are plugged, this should signal your body to stop producing so much sweat.
Iontophoresis (the no-sweat machine) — It requires you to immerse your hands or feet in a shallow pan of tap water. As you do this, a medical device sends a low-voltage current through the water. Total treatment duration is about 20 minutes at an initial frequency of every 2-3 days, then stretched till once every 2 weeks. However, not every individual is suitable for this treatment – people with pacemakers, abnormal heart rhythm , pregnant women and with severe skin lesions should not be on iontophoresis treatment.
Anticholinergics, a prescription medication — Anticholinergics is a group of medications that can effectively treat sweating that involves the entire body. They also can be an effective treatment for post-menopausal women who sweat excessively only from their head. Nonetheless, anticholinergics do come with certain side effects, such as dry mouth,dry eyes, blurry vision and heart palpitations.
Botulinum toxin (Botox®) injections— Apparently, Botox® injections are not only useful in restoring a youthful image, it can also be injected into underarms to temporarily block the sweat glands. Reduced sweating lasts about four to six months, and sometimes longer. When the excessive sweating returns, you can be retreated.
Surgery — i) Surgically remove sweat glands ii) sympathectomy
If you have any questions related to skin conditions, you can consult our professional doctors and healthcare professionals on Doc2Us. Doc2Us is a mobile application that allows you to talk to a doctor or any healthcare professionals via text chat at any time and from anywhere. For better communication, you can even send our online doctor images or voice messages related to your medical inquiry.
Download Doc2Us app on Apple App Store, Google Play Store and Huawei App Gallery; or use our web chat at https://web.doc2us.com/
Note: Doc2Us is not for medical emergencies. In the event of urgent medical conditions, please call 999.
Disclaimer: As a service to our users and general public, Doc2Us provides health education contents. 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.
Ever felt like having feet...
Diabetes is a growing concern ...
I am sure having to grow up in...
Do you have that pooping s...
Whether a pregnancy test t...
A toddler blinking hard or fas...
Introducing DOC2US, your personal pocket doctor at your fingertips. With its name synonymous to “talk to us”, DOC2US is a mobile application that allows you to talk to a doctor or any healthcare professionals via text chat at any time and from anywhere.