It is estimated that between 1 and 3 in every 100 people have to deal with excessive sweating. Whether you are male or female, excessive sweating can make you feel insecure and self conscious, ruin your clothes, embarrass you at the gym or just in daily life.

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What exactly is excessive sweating?

It is hard to say exactly what ‘normal’ sweating is as each person varies. However, if sweating has begun to interfere with your everyday life, it is definitely an issue and could be hyperhidrosis.

How do you know sweating is interfering with your everyday life?

  • You avoid physical contact, such as shaking hands, because you feel self-conscious about your sweating,
  • You don’t take part in activities, such as dancing or exercise, for fear they will make your sweating worse. Excessive sweating is interfering with your job – for example: you have difficulty holding tools or using a computer keyboard or you’re having problems with normal daily activities, such as driving,
  • You’re spending a significant amount of time coping with sweating 
  • frequently showering and changing your clothes
  • You become socially withdrawn and self-conscious

So what exactly are the causes of excessive sweating?

If excessive sweating does not have an underlying medical cause, it is called primary hyperhidrosis. This happens when the nerves responsible for triggering your sweat glands are overactive, therefore cause extra perspiration.

In many cases, hyperhidrosis has no obvious cause and is thought to be the result of a problem with the part of the nervous system that controls sweating. This is known as primary hyperhidrosis.

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Hyperhidrosis that does have an identifiable cause is known as secondary Hyperhidrosis. This can have many different triggers, including:

  • Diabetes
  • Generalised Anxiety Disorder
  • Heat Exhaustion
  • Endocarditis
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Obesity
  • Menopause
  • stress

The sweating can affect the whole of your body, or it could only affect certain areas common areas that are affected by excessive sweating include:

Both sides of the body are usually affected equally – for example, both feet or both hands.

The good thing is that the sweating doesn’t actually have a serious threat on your overall health, but it can be embarrassing and distressing. It can affect the quality of your life and lead to feelings of insecurity, stress and anxiety.

How Can you Treat Excessive Sweating?

If you suffer from hyperhidrosis, you should not be embarrassed. Most people who suffer with excessive sweating are too embarrassed to seek medical help about their issue as they feel nothing can be done about it. However, excessive sweating can be challenging to treat and it may take a while to find a treatment right for you.

It’s usually recommended  to start with the least invasive treatment first, such as powerful antiperspirants. Lifestyle changes like wearing loose and light clothes, avoiding triggers, such as alcohol and spicy foods, wearing black or white clothes to help minimise the signs of sweating are recommended.

If this isn’t enough for you, you could be advised to try treatments such as iontophoresis (the affected area is treated with a weak electric current passed through water or a wet pad), botulinum toxin injections, and even surgery in a few extreme cases.

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