Sweating is a natural reaction where the skin produces moisture to cool your body down. Excessive sweating, or hyperhidrosis, can develop at any age and affect any part of your body, but usually affects the palms, armpits and soles of the feet.
Between 2-4% of Australians suffer from hyperhidrosis. Excessive sweating can be embarrassing and uncomfortable, but you should take solace in the fact that 97% of excessive sweating cases are treatable.
Causes of excessive sweating
In the majority of hyperhidrosis cases, there is no known cause. This form of excessive sweating is called ‘idiopathic’. However, some people may suffer from excessive sweating due to:
- Hormonal changes
- Being overweight
Special antiperspirants. These will usually help with mild to moderate hyperhidrosis. Antiperspirants work by blocking the sweat gland to reduce the amount of sweating. They don’t have to be used just on the armpits, and can prove useful on hands and feet as well.
Botox injections. These have proven to be one of the most successful treatments for excessive sweating with a 95% success rate. Injections are mainly used for excessive armpit sweating but can also be used on the face with the added bonus of keeping away wrinkles. Treatments last for six months.
Tablets or creams. Anti-cholinergic tablets and creams act on the central nervous system to interrupt the normal operation of sweat glands. These are prescription only and your doctor or dermatologist can prescribe them to you. Unlike antiperspirants and injections, these can result in side effects including a dry mouth and lethargy.
Surgery. In severe cases, where other treatments fail, surgery may be offered to stop the nerve endings sending signals to the sweat glands.
Relaxation. If your excessive sweating is caused by anxiety or stress, regular relaxation sessions can help to keep the sweating under control. True relaxation is a habit and needs to be learned by your body, so it will take time before improvements are seen. Teach your body to relax by sitting down away from distractions for 20 minutes and concentrating on your breathing.
Sage or camomile tea. Tea can be used as part of your relaxation session, perhaps afterwards as you gear back up to continue your day. Or it can be drunk throughout the day to help balance the hormones in your body, calm the sweat glands and help you feel soothed.
Change your diet. Even if you’re not overweight, a healthy diet can help to balance your hormones and improve your overall well-being. Stay away from caffeine which can stimulate the anxiety hormones and your sweat glands.
Excessive sweating is unpleasant but does not need to be suffered in silence. If natural remedies do not help, consult with doctors like Dr Roger Bell about other options and to check for a cause for your excessive sweating.Read More