Hyperhidrosis: What You Need to Know

Everyone sweats – it is a natural bodily function, which helps removes toxins from your body. But there comes a point where you may be sweating too much. This may be an indication of a more serious health condition called Hyperhidrosis.

Hyperhidrosis is when you sweat excessively at random times. It usually begins at puberty and affects areas of the body such the armpits, hands, and feet. Typically you sweat because your body is trying to cool itself down. If you have Hyperhidrosis, however, you may sweat without warning or reason. You could simply be sitting down in a room with the air conditioning on. Before you know it, the sweat will quickly have soaked through your clothes. Many who have this condition find it to be extremely embarrassing and may lower an individual’s self esteem as a result.

What are the symptoms of Hyperhidrosis?

Symptoms of Hyperhidrosis include:

  • Visible sweating
  • Sweating that interferes with everyday activities like holding a pen or turning a doorknob.
  • Skin that turns soft
  • White color or peeling in certain areas, as well as skin infections

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, we recommend that you consult a Dermatologist immediately to give you a more accurate diagnosis.

Who is affected by Hyperhidrosis?

It is estimated that 3% of people in the United States suffer from Hyperhidrosis. Unfortunately, Hyperhidrosis can affect anyone. It doesn’t matter if you live in a cold climate or a warm one; you are still be at risk for Hyperhidrosis.  Hyperhidrosis can also affect people of all races and ethnic backgrounds. While excessive sweating can begin at any age, symptoms of Hyperhidrosis usually begin to surface for many people when they are a child or teenager.

Hyperhidrosis is also hereditary. Since it is a genetic disorder no one is at risk to “catch it” by coming into contact with an individual suffering from this condition. In other words, it is not contagious.

What are the causes of Hyperhidrosis?

The number one cause of Hyperhidrosis is having a family member who sweats excessively. That would lead you to having a greater chance of receiving that same gene. A medical condition, a reaction to a medication, or even because of an unhealthy diet can potentially cause excessive sweating. Medication and diet in particular have been known to trigger Hyperhidrosis because they can irritate a nerve ending, which results in the production of sweat.

Can Hyperhidrosis be treated?

While Hyperhidrosis is an unpleasant experience, it can be treated! There are a variety of treatments available for different degrees of Hyperhidrosis because each case is different. First and foremost, you must consult your Dermatologist. After your dermatologist completes an exam and evaluates your overall health, they will decide on the right treatment for your body.

An antiperspirant is a very common treatment for Hyperhidrosis. This is a strengthened deodorant that is applied to your underarms, hands, feet, or hairline. Your dermatologist may also recommend Iontophoresis. You will need approximately six to ten treatments of an electric current for 20 to 40 minutes because it shuts down your sweat glands.

Another available treatment is Botulinum Toxin Injections. These injections temporary block the chemical in your body that stimulates the sweat glands. This reduces sweating and lasts about 4 to 6 months, and sometimes longer. When your excessive sweating returns, you can be retreated.

Prescription medicine is another quick and effective treatment. Oral medication effectively prevents the entire body from sweating.

Finally, surgery is also a very effective treatment because a dermatologist can remove your sweat glands from your underarms. This surgery is quick, invasive, and can be performed right in your dermatologist’s office!

If you are concerned about excessive sweating that may in fact be Hyperhidrosis, contact Short Hills Dermatology Consultants at (973) 232-6245 for a consultation to discuss treatment options today!

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