Health & FitHow to Tell If Your Excessive Sweating Could Be Hyperhidrosis
Why Do I Sweat In My Sleep?
Are you waking up after perspiring in the middle of the night? Finding your sheets or pajamas soaked in the morning? Don’t sweat it. You’re not the only one.
Take it from this Italian girl, the fear of sweating too much at the wrong moment, or while wearing the wrong outfit (hello silk!), is a very real thing. But where do you draw the line between normal and excessive sweating? Are aluminum chloride deodorants safe to wear every single day? And, is it OK (re: not unhealthy) to get sweat-halting, such as your wedding? (Asking for a friend). As it turns out, hyperhidrosis, aka excess sweating, is more common — and relative — than you might think.
What exactly is hyperhidrosis?
Very simply speaking, hyperhidrosis is "the excessive production of sweat" by the body, explains Lily Talakoub, a board-certified dermatologist atin Vermont.
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There are two types of hyperhidrosis: primary and secondary. Primary hyperhidrosis, which is the most common type, has no known underlying physical cause. "Primary hyperhidrosis is due to overactive signaling of sweat glands to secrete sweat without stimuli," explains New York City-based dermatologist Dhaval Bhanusali.
In other words, yourwithout any explicable reason (like feelings of anxiety, hot temperatures, or exercise). This kind of hyperhidrosis can occur at any given time or during any season of the year, even if the person is not physically warm or is completely at rest. "Primary hyperhidrosis is most commonly seen in the underarms, palms, and soles of the feet," says Bhanusali.
Other less-common areas can also include the head, back, and even face. So basically, it can pretty much happen anywhere on your body.
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Secondary hyperhidrosis, on the other hand, is excessive sweating that's caused by an external factor such as medication or illness, like a tumor, diabetes, or thyroid issues.
Of these two types, there are also different degrees of hyperhidrosis that experts differentiate between: mild, moderate, and severe. "If you sweat through a shirt when you are at rest in normal temperature, I would say that is moderate hyperhidrosis," Talakoub says. "If you have sweat dripping down your hands and through your socks [when you're] at rest with no [other] triggers, then that is severe hyperhidrosis."
How can you tell the difference between normal and excessive sweating?
Of course, the next question then becomes: What's the threshold between normal and worrisome sweat levels? Are there any other symptoms to look out for that don't involve perspiration?
"Excessive sweating, or how someone perceives it, is very personal in that what might be excessive to you is normal or not troubling to somebody else," explains, surgical director at Columbia University Hyperhidrosis Center.
One in 20 people deals with excessive sweating. Here's how to know if you have it too.
Hyperhidrosis or excessive sweating is a condition that affects one in 20 Americans. Here's what you should know about the symptoms and treatment.
Because sweat is not really a quantifiable thing, like blood pressure, it's really complicated to measure someone's sweat-levels throughout any given day. With enough time and "sophisticated equipment," it is doable, but even so, "there's a big variability in how much people sweat under similar situations," Gorenstein says. "So, it's hard to exactly define exactly what hyperhidrosis is, but it could be something along the lines of: increased amounts of sweating, which causes social or personal embarrassment, withdrawal and/or avoidance behavior." That "sophisticated equipment" is known as an evaporimeter, says Gorenstein, and it's a machine that measures the rate of water evaporation (aka sweat).
That is, hyperhidrosis is a relative disorder, and most people diagnose themselves. For someone whose job depends on their physical appearance, like an actor or a performer, sweating too much would be a bigger deal than to, say, someone who works from home, for example.
Is hyperhidrosis treatable?
Good news: Yes, there are currently many different treatment options, including topical creams, injections, and oral medications. What your physician prescribes for you will likely depend on the area wherein you're experiencing the hyperhidrosis, as well as the severity.
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The first line of treatment is usually topical aluminum chloride, which is the same ingredient in, just in prescription-strength form. The effectiveness of this line of treatment varies, depending largely on the severity of the sweating — generally, the more severe it is, the less likely that aluminum chloride products will be effective. They will, however, work for mild hyperhidrosis, although these creams have to be applied onto the affected areas every single day.
Another, longer-lasting hyperhidrosis treatment, which you've probably seen advertised on TV and in magazines, is. Yes, the very same injectable that you might get to can also help stop excessive sweating. Experts agree that this line of treatment is most effective in the underarm area, where it can work for up to six months. On other areas of the body, however, such as the hands and feet, Botox isn't the best line of treatment because it's both painful and shorter lasting (between two to three months), Gorenstein explains.
Another treatment option that's, which is a medicated cloth towelette that temporarily stops sweating when worn in your underarms. Other possible options include (also most effective in the underarm area) and even oral drugs, such as beta blockers and anti-depressants, although the results here are mixed and, of course, they also present other unwanted side effects.
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And to muddy the waters, even doctors don’t universally agree on how often you need to jump into the shower.
For really, really extreme cases of hyperhidrosis, there's also the option of an endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy: an outpatient surgical procedure in which signals in the sympathetic nerve (in the chest) are permanently interrupted.
For all the rest of us, who are perhaps prone to over-sweating, yet not to the point of seeking out medical help, there's always trusty, like . Next time you're in the deodorant aisle in the drugstore, just look for stick or spray options that are formulated with aluminum chloride.
But, is it unhealthy to stop sweating in certain areas of your body?
This was my biggest question, because sweating happens naturally for a physiological reason, right? So, is stopping your body from its natural-sweating process unhealthy in the long-term?
"No, not really," Gorenstein says. "The function of sweating is to eliminate waste products [from the body], but minimally compared to the liver and kidneys," he says. "Sweating [also] allows you to cool yourself as the body heats, but you have sweat glands all over your body, so even if you're not sweating in your underarms, you're not ever going to overheat."
That being said, no, it's not "unhealthy" to say, get a shot of Botox in your underarms before a big event, or even to continue the treatment indefinitely. However, if you do think you have hyperhidrosis of any degree, it's very important to consult a board-certified dermatologist who can first and foremost rule out any underlying medical causes.
The best strategies against armpit sweats
You've hardly gotten a fresh T-shirt and you've got huge sweat stains under your armpits? There is no summer feeling. Sweaty clothes are uncomfortable and can be a great psychological burden, even if the sweat after showering is odorless. Stop it. We show you the 8 best strategies against underarm perspiration:
>>>1. Air to the skin
With breath-permeable clothing made of natural fibers such as cotton, linen or leather, you will not sweat so quickly. On the other hand, tight plastic clothing does not release the sweat to the outside - heavy sweating is the result. A better moisture transport promises so-called "anti-smelly clothing" whose fibers are equipped with silver ions. Its effect should continue even after frequent washes, a trial is definitely worth it.2. Take a lukewarm or cold shower
If you already have a lot of sweating anyway, you should lower the water temperature: Showering too hot or bathing opens the pores and thus promotes perspiration. So if you want to stay cool in the long run, shower yourself in the next walk under the shower with cold and thus the pores closing water.
>>>3. Use antiperspirants for underarm perspiration
Antiperspirants with highly concentrated aluminum salts are applied to the dry skin and close the exits of the sweat glands - the sweat flow is thus regulated. But beware: sometimes antiperspirants can cause skin irritation such as redness and itching and should therefore never be used immediately after the underarm shave. However, if you do not experience these symptoms, antiperspirants are an effective remedy for underarm perspiration.
>>>4. Sauna against sweating under armpits
Combat sweating with sweating? This is how it works: Regular sauna sessions train the body's cooling system and thus regulate perspiration in the long term. It is important to compensate for the loss of fluid and salt after the sauna with water or apple juice.5. Sage against excessive sweating
Effective agents against underarm perspiration can also be found in nature: Various medicinal herbs can contract the sweat glands so that they release less sweat. One of the most famous is sage. Sage is available as an essential oil, capsule preparation or tea. Also suitable for external use arewith essential oils, for example with Australian tea tree or peppermint.
>>>6. Bathing with tanning agents as anti-sweating method
Tanning substances (also known as astringents) are well-suited not only against underarm perspiration, but also in case of excessive perspiration on hands and feet ), because they condense the sweaty feet. Reason enough to jump into the bathtub again. Appropriate bath additives with active ingredients such as phenol-methanal-urea-polycondensate can be found in the pharmacy.7. Eating Properly to Prevent Excessive Sweating
If you want to avoid underarm sweating, be aware of what ends up on your plate: yogurt, fruit and raw foods are easily tolerated and will not further boost sweat production , Foods rich in zinc, such as nuts and whole grains, also make your sweat smell less severe. But avoid hot coffee and tea, alcoholic drinks, high-calorie foods and hot spices like pepper and chilli, as they all act sweat-inducing.
>>>8. In case of persistent heavy sweating off to the doctor
Soaked clothes and wet hands are a permanent problem for you? Do not be afraid to go to the doctor. You may be suffering from morbid sweating, called hyperhidrosis. Depending on their severity, dermatologists may prescribe special therapies such as iontophoresis: weak electric currents are applied to armpits, hands or feet in special water tubs, reducing sweat gland activity. A sweat gland suction can also help with heavy sweating. However, you should first put under the knife, if other ways against armpit sweating did not work for you. The surgery is similar to a liposuction, per side remain only 3 punctate scars.
>>>Conclusion: Armpit sweat can effectively fight you
Whether you're looking for breathable clothes, healing herbs like sage or regular sauna sessions, do not go out of your way to get a grip on your armpit sweat problem , In cases of hardship, a visit to a dermatologist pays off, where you can find out about therapies such as iontophoresis or sweat gland exhausts.
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