Everyone sweats, but have you ever felt like you sweat way too much? Sweating is an important part of our body’s temperature regulation, and it helps cool us down when we start to overheat during activities like exercise. However, it is possible to sweat excessively, and the condition even has its own name: hyperhidrosis.
What is hyperhidrosis?
Hyperhidrosis is a medical condition in which a person sweats excessively because of overactive sweat glands. Sweating is one way the body regulates its temperature, but with hyperhidrosis, the sweating happens independent of this. This means that a person who has hyperhidrosis may sweat even if they aren’t hot or exercising. Hyperhidrosis sweating can also occur in distinct areas as opposed to the whole body, and common spots are the underarms, hands, back, or feet. Sometimes hyperhidrosis can be hereditary, but usually it’s either related to another medical issue going on or there is no apparent cause.
While hyperhidrosis isn’t life threatening, harmful, or something to be ashamed of, it’s definitely not fun to constantly worry about dripping sweat. If you find that you avoid wearing certain colors because sweat will show through, need to change clothes multiple times to stay dry, or are scared of even shaking hands because of sweaty palms, there are solutions. Sweating should not be a source of anxiety or prevent you from doing your daily activities!
If you think you have hyperhidrosis it’s important to speak to a doctor, like a dermatologist who specializes in skin. They will be able to come up with a treatment plan specifically for you, but here are two common treatments:
- Stronger antiperspirants: Topical creams or liquids can be prescribed. Normally they are applied to the skin before bed, and contain aluminum chloride which blocks sweat glands.
- Botox: For more serious cases of hyperhidrosis, Botulinum Toxin injections (commonly called Botox) might be used. Botox blocks the nerve signals that tell your glands to sweat.
If you are affected by hyperhidrosis, you are not alone! Don’t be afraid to speak with a healthcare provider to find a solution.