HealthBeyond normal sweat, understanding and tackling hyperhidrosis that affects 3% of the global population

Beyond normal sweat, understanding and tackling hyperhidrosis that affects 3% of the global population

The cause of secondary hyperhidrosis can be thyroid diseases.
The cause of secondary hyperhidrosis can be thyroid diseases.
Images source: © Licensor | © Marina Jefferson

7:32 PM EST, January 15, 2024

Approximately 3% of the world population suffers from hyperhidrosis, which is characterized by excessive sweating to the body's thermoregulation needs. Hyperhidrosis can be classified into two types: primary and secondary.

Primary hyperhidrosis

Primary hyperhidrosis is a condition characterized by excessive and unexplained sweating that typically originates before the age of 25. It's a result of having excessively active sweat glands.

Symptoms of primary hyperhidrosis include frequent sweating that persists for at least 6 months without considerable breaks, occurring at least once a week for no apparent reason.

Primary hyperhidrosis can cause sweat to appear symmetrically on the body, such as on both hands or both feet, and can disrupt daily activities due to the discomfort it creates. Moreover, it does not occur while sleeping.

Secondary hyperhidrosis

Unlike primary hyperhidrosis, secondary hyperhidrosis is linked to underlying health conditions or medication. It usually begins abruptly in adults, affects the entire body rather than specific areas, and can also occur during sleep.

Other symptoms that might indicate an underlying cause of excessive sweating include: diarrhea, weight loss, rapid heartbeat (tachycardia), and fainting episodes.

Possible causes of secondary hyperhidrosis include thyroid diseases, diabetes, menopause, neurological disorders, heart diseases, anxiety disorders, and certain medications.

Methods to alleviate excessive sweating

The choice of clothing should consider the issue of excessive sweating. Lightweight garments crafted from natural materials, moisture-wicking socks, and leather shoes are all recommended.

Incorporating frequent bathing into one's hygiene routine is a given, as it selecting antiperspirants with aluminum salts. When it comes to diet, it is crucial to avoid spicy seasonings and caffeine-infused beverages.

Botulinum injections(Botox) have recently gained widespread recognition for their effectiveness in blocking the nerve signals that stimulate sweat glands in the hands and feet.

If excessive perspiration begins to impact your daily life noticeably, consulting a medical professional is advised. They may prescribe oral medications or even suggest surgical intervention (e.g. sympathectomy).

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