Tobi is driving in his well air-conditioned car and his is sweating profusely. This is something he had been troubled by for years. Doctor after doctor have told him because he drinks water too much; he has tried cutting his water intake, but that is not helping. It is embarrassing for him today because he has a presentation in about half an hour, and his jacket is all soaked in sweat.
Hyperhidrosis, or excessive sweating, is not an uncommon complaint. People try to wrap their heads around why they are the only ones sweating in a well air-conditioned room when they are not performing any physical exercise. Sometimes, there’s something deeper to it.
Causes of Excessive Sweating
Sweat is produced by our sweat glands, which are in the skin pores. These glands usually release sweat to control the body’s temperature. For instance, when you are in a hot room or have been exercising, your body temperature goes up, and one of the ways the body tries to control this rise is by releasing excess heat as sweat.
However, under certain conditions, these sweat glands could be triggered unnecessarily. Some conditions that cause this include:
- Anxiety disorders, including panic attacks
- Nerve problems, which cause undue or inappropriate stimulation of your nerve glands
- Infections, including Tuberculosis
- Medical problems, including diabetes or low blood sugar
- Cancers, especially cancers of the lymphatic glands
- Medications, such as antidepressants
- Spinal cord injury, which impairs how nerves function to control sweating and other functions.
- In some cases, there could be a genetic predisposition to excessive sweating, which runs in the family
Complications of Excessive Sweating
Besides the constant stress and worry excessive sweating causes, it could also lead to some health problems including:
- Skin changes, including wrinkles and cracks
- Body odor
- Excessive skin itch
- Maceration on the sole of your feet
Is there a Cure for it?
The type of hyperhidrosis that runs in the family often has no cure. This type of hyperhidrosis usually causes excessive sweating in localized areas of the body, including armpits, hands, feet, and head. Excessive sweatiness that affects all parts of the skin often has a secondary cause, which if treated, causes the symptom to stop. Some of these treatment options include:
Lifestyle changes: Changing your routine, including showering more often and wearing breathable shoes and fabrics could help reduce sweating.
- Medications: There are some medicines that reduce sweating. However, these medications could come with some discomforting side effects, including dry mouth and problems peeing.
- Antiperspirants: Antiperspirants work by blocking sweat glands, preventing them from releasing sweat and causing body odor. Your doctor may prescribe some of these to help improve the symptom.
- In severe cases, you might just need much more than lifestyle changes and antiperspirants. You may need botox injection, which helps to stop an overactive nerve that triggers excessive sweat production.
- You may also benefit from microwave therapy, which delivers heat to destroy the glands permanently.
- Doctors could also recommend hyperhidrosis surgery, a procedure that is done by removing sweat glands from the underarm or removing the nerves that cause these symptoms.
Excessive sweatiness could be an embarrassing problem. It could rob you of your confidence and also disrupt your daily life. However, if it persists, it helps to see your healthcare provider to discuss the possible causes and the best treatment for you.