Sweating is a normal, healthy function that helps us regulate body temperature. It’s triggered by certain physiological events, including hormone fluctuations and stress, but we mainly sweat when we’re overheated. However, some people sweat heavily even when they aren’t working out, hot, or overly anxious. If you start sweating profusely for no discernable reason, hyperhidrosis might be the cause.
Hyperhidrosis is a condition that causes aggressive sweating from the face, hands, armpits, and feet. While the most common form typically isn’t an indication of a serious underlying medical condition, it can nonetheless be inconvenient and embarrassing. At IDI, we offer a broad spectrum of treatment options for patients struggling with excess sweating.
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What is Hyperhidrosis?
Hyperhidrosis occurs in approximately two percent of the American population. The overproduction of sweat in the hands and feet is usually first noticed during puberty, with excessive underarm sweating generally occurring in the late teens and early 20s. In severe cases, it can cause sweating so excessive that it can make routine tasks, like gripping objects, difficult.
Excessive sweating is the result of overstimulation of the nerves that control the release of sweat. While this overactivity often doesn’t have an explanation, it can occur under conditions of heightened emotion or stress, resulting in an outpouring of perspiration that can be both socially awkward and physically uncomfortable.
Most cases of excessive sweating don’t have an underlying medical cause. It is believed that some people are genetically predisposed to the condition, and it is thought to be a heritable trait. This is known as primary hyperhidrosis.
However, certain illnesses are associated with excessive sweating. When it occurs due to a medical abnormality, it is known as secondary hyperhidrosis.
Medical conditions that lead to secondary hyperhidrosis include but aren’t limited to:
- Certain infections
- Heart disease
- Narcotic dependency/withdrawal
Abnormal sweating caused by potentially dangerous medical disorders should be addressed by a physician. Treating the illness that causes the overstimulation of nerves can help to resolve the issue. Your doctor will discuss your medical history and perform a sequence of tests to determine the presence of a medical condition that could be exacerbating the problem.
If no underlying cause can be found, there are a series of treatment options available that can control excessive sweating.
Several treatments can successfully address excessive sweating. These include:
- Prescription-strength antiperspirant
- Topical 20% aluminum chloride
- Botulinum toxin (Botox, Dysport) injections
- Surgical intervention
The team at IDI will help you determine the most effective course of treatment for your goals and lifestyle.