By Medicover Hospitals / 24 Dec 2020
Sweating from sweat glands, often in reaction to heat, exercise, or stress. Sweating can have causes that are not due to an underlying disease. Examples include hot temperatures, exercise, stress, or spicy food.
What is sweating?
Excessive Sweating Causes
Excessive Sweating Treatment
When to see a Doctor?
What is Sweating?
Sweating is a body’s response to exercise, heat, and stress. It is body’s mechanism to maintain its body temperature. Perspiration is commonly known as sweating. Sweat is a salt-based fluid from your sweat glands. Sweating is common, but no sweat or too much sweat can both cause problems.
When the outside temperature changes, your body temperature also changes, or by your emotional state.
The common areas of sweating areas of the body:
- 1. Armpits
- 2. Face
- 3. Palms of the hands
- 4. Soles of the feet
Excessive sweating is an abnormal condition that is not necessarily related to heat or exercise. Excessive sweating is commonly known as Hyperhidrosis.
Hyperhidrosis is characterized into two types:
- It can be localized to a particular body area or maybe diffused, involving much of the skin.
- Axillary hyperhidrosis is excess sweating of the underarms.
- Palmoplantar hyperhidrosis is excess sweating of the palms and soles of the feet.
- Excessive sweating is a treatable condition, and those affected can expect significant improvement.
- Primary Hyperhidrosis
- Secondary Hyperhidrosis
Primary hyperhidrosis causes excessive sweating of the feet, hands, face, head, and underarms without any noticeable reason. Primary hyperhidrosis is also known as Primary focal hyperhidrosis.
Secondary hyperhidrosis is caused by sweat all over the body and can be caused by excessive heat or, by medical condition or medication (heart disease, cancer, diabetes, menopause, stroke, spinal cord injuries, and use of some antidepressants).
Excessive Sweating in Women:
Excessive sweating is not common in healthy women, but there are some reasons why a woman might have excessive sweating:
- Menopause, due to change in hormone levels
- Low blood sugar
- Diabetes, which may include nocturnal hyperhidrosis, caused by low blood sugar during the night.
- Pregnancy, due to shifting hormones.
- Hormone imbalance
- Sweat-causing medications, including chemotherapy, hormone treatment, some blood pressure medications, and certain antidepressants.
- Anxiety Disorders
- A family history of excessive sweating
Excessive Sweating Causes:
- Diabetic Hypoglycemia
- Warm Temperature
- Spicy Food
- Emotional stress
What causes excessive sweating of the face and head?
Sweating on the face and the head is a common problem and can be even more stressful and embarrassing than other excessive sweating types. Excessive sweating of the face and head is known as craniofacial hyperhidrosis.
Causes of excessive sweating on the face and head:
- Extreme stress and anxiety disorders.
- Taking certain Medications.
- Hyperthyroidism ( Hormones ).
- Hyperhidrosis affects your entire body or just certain areas, particularly your palms, soles, underarms or face.
As a first step, a doctor may try to rule out any underlying condition, such as an overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism) or low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) by ordering blood and urine tests.
Patients will be asked about their sweating habits - which parts of the body are affected, how frequently sweating episodes occur, and if sweating occurs during sleep.
The patient may be asked a series of questions or completed a questionnaire on the impact of excessive sweating; questions may include:
Thermoregulatory sweat test: Ta moisture-sensitive powder is applied to the skin. When excess sweating occurs at room temperature, the powder changes color. The patient is then exposed to high heat and humidity in a sweat room, which triggers sweating throughout the body.
When exposed to heat, people who do not have hyperhidrosis tend not to sweat excessively in the palms of their hands, unlike patients with hyperhidrosis. This test also helps the doctor determine the severity of the disease.
- Do you carry anything to deal with episodes of excessive sweating, such as napkins, antiperspirants, towels, or sweat pads?
- Does hyperhidrosis affect your behavior or mental health while in public?
- Has Hyperhidrosis Affected Your Job?
- Have you ever lost a friend to hyperhidrosis?
- How often do you change your clothes?
- How often do you wash or shower/bathe?
- How often do you think about excessive sweating?
Excessive Sweating Treatment:
There are medication, Surgical, and other procedures for treating excessive sweating:
- Prescription antiperspirant: The doctor may prescribe an antiperspirant Drysol, Xerac Ac. It’s usually applied to the affected skin before you go to bed and washed off after getting up. This product can cause skin and eye irritation.
- Prescription creams: A prescription cream that contains glycopyrrolate may help in craniofacial hyperhidrosis.
- Antidepressants: Some medications used for depression can help in decreasing sweating.
- Botulinum toxin injections: Botox injections are used to treat severe hyperhidrosis. Botox injections block the nerves that stimulate the sweat glands.
- Sweat Gland Removal: If excessive sweating occurs just in the armpits, the surgeon removes the sweat glands. A minimally invasive technique called suction curettage may be performed for removal of sweat glands.
- Endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy (EST): Endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy (EST) is the surgical intervention performed in which the excessive sweating has not responded to other treatments. In this procedure, the nerves that carry messages to the sweat glands are cut. Endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy used to treat hyperhidrosis of the face and hands or armpits.
- Microwave Therapy: A device that delivers microwave energy which is used to destroy sweat glands. Treatments involve upto 20-30 minutes sessions for three months. Side effects may change skin sensation and cause some discomfort.
When to see a Doctor?
Seek immediate medical attention if your profuse sweating is accompanied by dizziness, chest pain, or nausea.
Contact the physician if:
- Extreme stress and anxiety disorders.
- Sweating disrupts your daily routine.
- You feel night sweats without any apparent reason.
- Sweating causes emotional distress or social withdrawal.
The following suggestions can help you deal with sweating and body odor:
- Use an antiperspirant: Non-prescription antiperspirants contain aluminum compounds that temporarily block sweat pores. This lowers the amount of sweat that reaches your skin. This type of product can help with minor hyperhidrosis.
- Apply astringents: Apply over-the-counter products with tannic acid (zilactin) to the affected region
- Bathe every day: Regular bathing helps control the number of bacteria on your skin. Dry yourself completely, particularly between the toes and under the arms.
- Choose shoes and socks made of natural materials: Shoes made from natural materials, such as leather, can help prevent foot sweating by allowing your feet to breathe. When you are active, moisture-wicking sports socks are a good choice.
- Change your socks often: Change the sock or hose once or twice a day, thoroughly drying your feet each time. You might want to try tights with cotton soles. Use over-the-counter foot powders to help soak up the sweat.
- Air your feet: Go barefoot when you can, or at least slip off your shoes now and then.
- Choose a fabric suitable for your activity Wear natural fabrics, like cotton, wool, and silk, which give your skin to breathe. When you exercise, you may prefer fabrics designed to wick moisture away from your skin.
- Try relaxation techniques: Consider relaxation techniques (yoga, meditation, etc.). This may help you learn to manage the stress that triggers sweating.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Some home remedies can help you to reduce sweating by:
Taking anti-diarrheal medications (such as Bismuth subsalicylate, Loperamide).
Using antiperspirants on the affected area
Bathing daily to get rid of bacteria
Wearing shoes and socks made from natural materials
Letting your feet breathe
Changing your socks Frequently
There are several health benefits of sweating which include:
Physical exertion benefits from exercise
Elimination of chemicals and toxic amounts of metal from the body.
There are some tips to control or reduce sweating:
Apply antiperspirant before bed
Wear breathable fabrics
Avoid spicy food
Reduce caffeine intake
Some Medical Treatments
To stop excessive sweating:
Use an antiperspirant
Limit spicy, fatty, or salty foods
Wear breathable clothing
Hyperhidrosis is an abnormal condition that is not necessarily related to heat or exercise. Hyperhidrosis is commonly known as Excessive sweating. It can be localized to a particular body area or maybe diffuse, involving much of the skin.
Yes, there are many treatments for Hyperhidrosis. Some of the treatments for Hyperhidrosis are:
Wear breathable clothing
Botox (botulinum toxin)
By Changing Lifestyle