Sweating is a totally natural way for your body to cool itself down when it starts to overheat, however some people seem to sweat far more than others which can cause numerous sociological problems especially within those under the age of 25. The good news, is that it’s entirely treatable and something that you do not have to suffer with.
Hyperhidrosis is the medical condition that affects around 5% of both men and women in the UK cause them to sweat profusely all day, everyday. It occurs in both men and women in equal numbers and cause major distruptions to there social environment and can effect all aspects of their life. Typically those suffering from Hyperhidrosis sweat up to five times as much as normal.
Excessive sweating usually starts in childhood and whilst there is no known cause or cure, there are a number of preventative treatments that you can look at to reduce your sweating.
Hyperhidrosis Vs. Diffused Hyperdrosis
Generally hyperhidrosis only occurs in a small specific area o the body and is not cause by a medical condition or medication that you’re taking. The most common areas of the body for hyperdidrosis to occur are the armpits, part of the face, palms of your hand and your feet with excess sweating only occurring during the day when your active.
Diffused Hyperdrosis is generally caused by an underlying medical condition or medicine that you’re taking to treat your body such as with diabetes. Unlike Hyperhidrosis, diffused Hyperdrosis tends to be on a much larger scale and may occur during the night.
Should You Get Treated?
Sweating is totally natural, even if you suffer from Hyperhidrosis there are thousands of people across the UK today being treated for the same thing. It’s not un-common, it should not be something your too embarrassed about to speak with your doctor and is something that you need to take seriously.
Excessive sweating has been the route cause of low self-esteem, low personal and social problems with those suffering from hyperdidrosis tending to shy away from social events to avoid any embarrassment.
Over the years I have met hundreds of patients that have finally plucked up the courage to get treated in their 30’s, only to find out the treatment was so simple they regretted taking so long making a decision.
Tips to Reduce Your Sweating
Before we look at medical treatments to stop your excessive sweating, lets look at a few tips to help you keep your life under control. In order to keep your body cool and allow it to regulate itself avoid digesting chemicals such as alcohol, cigarettes and drugs. They will cause a delay in blood circulation and have the opposite affect to cooling your body as it will no longer be able to regulate itself.
It’s very important that you’re drinking plenty of water to ensure that you flush out excess toxins and waste products and keep your body hydrated at all times. I would also highly recommend that you drink cold water especially on a hot day as it will help to regulate your body temperature and keep your sweat glands under control.
One point, you can drink to much water which will have the opposite affect by washing out minerals from your body. Make sure that you combine drinking water with natural fruit juices that are high on electrolytes.
Caffeine cause you to sweat in two ways. Firstly its a natural stimulant and therefore will speed up the body causing you to sweat more, but secondly caffeine also causes anxiety which in turn cause you to sweat more as you become nervous.
Both what you eat and how much you eat have major consequences on how much you sweat. Remember your eating for energy and not to strain your body as this will cause it to sweat.
Firstly, watch out for the size of your portions. If you find yourself overly full after your meals, you will be straining your body as your body needs to use more energy to digest the food. A full stomach will cause an average person to start sweating meaning that if you suffer from Hyperidrosis you will be seriously sweating as your body tries to digest.
Secondly, watch out for the type of foods that you consume and focus on eating healthy foods that are light of chemical toxins. This means avoid sugar, processed foods to include those pre-made, pre-package or frozen meals and especially avoid spices. Instead focus your diet on whole grains that are high in Vitamin-B and fiber, fresh fruits especially melons and berries, vegetables or salads and proteins to include fish, eggs and small amounts of red meats.
What you wear will have an important impact on how your body regulates itself and in turn how much you sweat. It’s important that you give the body the best possible chance to regulate it’s own temperature and this means that you need to focus on wearing natural fibers. Cotton and wool are generally considered the best materials as they provide space for evaporation and free flowing air as long as they are worn loosely. It’s also a great idea to leave you top button undone and your collar open as this will help heat to escape from your body as your core body temperature starts to increase.
Other that choosing what to wear, thinking smart is also important. Carry and extra shirt, wear an under-shirt made of cotton to absorb the sweat and starching your shirts which will help to prevent your shirts sticking to your body are all great ways to keep cool.
If you’re going to be outside, try to cover your head. DuraCool make a range of cooling towels that will bring down the temperature by 10 degrees and help to keep you cool. Check them out here. They are brilliant, however you’re effectively putting a wet towel on your head and those towels do tend to drip slightly.
We have talked about what to wear to keep cool above, however your body structure will also play an important role. Two inches of fat around your waste will do a fantastic job of keeping you warm in the winter, however it’s not much good when you’re trying to keep cool. If your fat percentage if down near the 10% mark, your body will have a much easier job of regulating its temperature and therefore getting yourself down to the gym and loosing those excess kilos will have a greater affect than anything else we have talked about in this section.
Other than loose weight, think smart by shaving your excess hair especially around your armpits and groin area. Sweat tends to accumulate around the hair fonicals causing bacteria which causes an unpleasant odor.
If you want to stay away from medical treatments, other that your diet and what you wear, you can also thinking about your actions. It’s important that you plan ahead and keep calm. The minute that you become nervous, you trigger the sweat glands to start producing more sweat.
If you need help controlling your emotions, try Yoga as it teaches you to control you’re breathing, keeping you calm during those difficult periods, however with all forms of exercise, i would recommend that you don’t go for an intense work out or yoga session directly before you need to leave the house. Exercise is fantastic to keep the body healthy, however it will cause you to sweat and increase the body temperature which will take some time to cool down especially if it’s hot outside.
Excessive Sweating Treatments Available to You
Before you start taking any forms of excessive sweating treatments that are not natural, it’s important that you consult your doctor and ask for advice. It may seem like a treatment is the way to go, however you need to think about the side affects that could cause you great problems.
Generally it’s considered that prescription antiperspirants that contain aluminium chloride are a great cure to excessive sweating. They work by blocking the sweat ducts from producing sweat and can have had great results with many of my patients, however they also cause skin irritations and in extreme cases bleeding and serious scaring. Consulting your doctor will help you to understand if you’re to suffer from side effects and the best excessive sweating treatments for your needs.
If antiperspirants don’t work, the next option for you is to start taking anticholinergic drugs or beta blockers such as benzodiazepines. In the short term they are fine, however we would generally recommend that you don’t take drugs over the longer term due to the side affects that come with it.
In the short term, drugs such as glycopyrrolate will provide a great way to reduce the activeness of the sweat glans, however they will not help the body to regulate temperature and have been associated with heat stoke where effectively the body overheats. Other serious side affects include trouble breathing, chest pains and memory loss meaning that for anyone with high blood pressure or chest problems, drugs are not an option.
The next level up from taking medications is to start having the sweat glands injected with Botulinium Toxin (Botox) to effectively switch off the sweating glands. Botox injections will solidify the skin around the sweat glands making sure they cannot produce sweat, however they are not for everyone and you need to know the side effects before you start taking injections.
The key problems with taking injections is that they do not last forever. As with taking Botox to reduce wrinkles on your skin, injecting Botox to stop you sweating will only last for a few month before you need to repeat the process. The other key side effect is the feeling which some patients do not like. Botox freezes any movement around the skin and this can cause loss of movement in your facial muscles or given that you can have Botox in your hands and feet, loss of feeling and therefore problems with walking and even picking up items. Something to think about and discuss with your doctor before you start taking injections.
If all else has failed, the last resort is surgery. Surgeons have two options if patients want to find a more permanent cure for excessive sweating. First up, patients can have a procedure called Iontophoresis which uses an electrical machine to pass an electrical current through the skin. The results are few similar to Botox, however are more permanent where the skin effectively solidifies around the sweat glands stopping them from producing sweat. If you want to use Ionophopresis, I would highly recommend that you try Botox first to make sure that you’re happy with the results and the the side effects that come with this type of treatment.
The second and more severe surgical procedure is too simply cut out the sweat glands however this is very intrusive and can leave substantial scars and skin grafts which are needed to cover up those scars.
I would highly recommend that you don’t you use surgery until you have tested and tried every method possible on the market today, however once you have tried everything, the final stage is surgery. If you gives you the confidence that you need to live your life and have discussed the possible outcomes with your doctor, then there is no reason why it cannot be supported.
Remember, excessive sweating is not something you need to be embarrassed about, concerned with, or afraid about. It’s perfectly natural and most importantly you’re not the only person that has this problem. Please consult with you doctor and get the help that you need to carry on living your life to the fullest.