Excessive Sweating, also known as Hyperhidrosis. People with Hyperhidrosis experience profuse sweating even without any reason. Most of the time, excessive sweating is not something to be worried about but in the cases where there might be an underlying health cause then it shouldn’t be missed.
Too much sweating in hands, underarms, face and feet without any reason falls under ‘Primary Hyperhidrosis’. Whereas, on the other hand ‘Secondary Hyperhidrosis’ is due to any health condition like diabetes or hyperthyroidism or medication.
Detecting and revealing the underlying reason or condition and taking proper treatment is undoubtedly a better way to control and further decrease excessive sweating. Get to know more about Excessive sweating – causes and treatment.
What Is Excessive Sweating?
Excessive sweating or Hyperhidrosis is the over sweating of the body with or without any underlying reason or cause. Hyperhidrosis is a condition where the sufferer sweats to the extent that moisture may drizzle or run from the hands.
Usually when circumstances (like fever, exercising, nervousness or anxiety or stress etc, need the sweat glands to perspirate and shut off when there are no such issues. But in those 1 or 2% of people with Hyperhidrosis, these glands fail to shut off resulting in moisture dripping.
Excessive sweating causes and treatment for the same depends on what is the type of sweating being experienced. This excessive sweating is not always harmful and, in few cases, Doctors even are unaware of why this excessive sweating happens. Whereas, in some cases, it is due to the underlying medical conditions that are to be examined and understood.
What Causes Excessive Sweating?
Hyperhidrosis is of 2 types;
- Primary hyperhidrosis and
- Secondary hyperhidrosis.
It is a situation where your sweat glands if considered as a switch, are flipped up. Eccrine glands are the sweat glands for people with primary hyperhidrosis and these glands are more on the feet, palms, armpits and face. And as a result of circumstances, these glands get sweat.
It is unlike its other type and sweats all over the body or just in 1 general area. This sweating is more often observed during sleep. Many medical conditions are considered as the cause for excessive sweating like;
- Parkinson’s disease
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Heart problems
- Respiratory problems
- Alcoholic case
- Other cause can be medications like
- Drugs for Alzheimer’s
- Diabetes drugs like sulfonylureas and insulin
Proper understanding of the cause for this secondary hyperhidrosis is needed for treatment and so inform all the details about your medical conditions and any medications being taken for being treated better.
Is Excessive Sweating A Sign Of Cancer?
Excessive sweating during nights is noticed if the cancer treated patient suffers fever or is undergoing chemotherapy or due to hormone altering drugs. Night sweats is noticed in cancer treating patients. Also, if excessive or night sweating is noticed because of cancer then along with this there will be other symptoms too. Also, excessive sweating is noticed in only some types of cancers.
So, not all with excessive sweating or night sweating have cancer and at the same time, not all cancer patients experience excessive sweating. It depends on the bodily conditions of the sufferer.
[Also Read: Questions to ask doctor about cancer]
How To Stop Excessive Sweating?
Some tips to stop or regulate excessive sweating include but not limited to;
- Avoid heavy clothing and prefer light clothes that are more breathable.
- Use antibacterial soaps and bath or shower daily and dry completely prior to and post applying the antiperspirant.
- Make use of shoe inserts and underarm liners that absorb sweat.
- Avoid spicy food and alcohol.
- Try to maintain a cool environment specifically during nights.
- Control your emotions like anxiousness, nervousness or stress.
Treatment For Excessive Sweating
Excessive sweating causes and treatment are interrelated, if the cause is understood then the treatment is respectively made.
So, your doctor will treat the underlying cause before treating the excessive sweating issue as, if the cause is fixed then the problem also gets fixed.
If the cause is unknown or unidentifiable then your medical practitioner may work on controlling the sweating by;
- Prescribing antiperspirants, cloth wipes or topicals.
- Antidepressants that work on controlling your anxiety.
If these methods didn’t work and if the problem still persists then the options left are;
- Botox injections to temporarily block the sweat gland stimulating nerves
- Iontophoresis, a medical device that can temporarily block the sweat glands.
- Endoscopic Thoracic Sympathectomy surgery
- Surgery that removes the Sweat glands
When To See A Doctor For Excessive Sweating?
Excessive sweating sometimes is ok, especially if it happens if the weather is too hot or as such then there is nothing much to worry about. But, in case if excessive sweating is happening even at normal conditions, then it is worth visiting a doctor.
Excessive sweating is a symptom of many other very severe and serious conditions. So don’t neglect and visit your doctor if you notice;
- Sweating even if it’s not hot.
- Skin colour changes to white and is peeling off
- Facing any skin infections due to excessive sweating like athlete’s foot, jock itch, etc.
- If the sweating is uncontrollable.
- If this is leading to emotional distress.
- Sweating more along with weight loss.
- Night sweating or sweating while at sleep.
- Sweating along with chest pain, fever, breathing shortness and rapid heartbeat.
- Sweating and inconvenience or pressure in the chest.
- Unexplainable and very long sweating.
So, with that all said about the excessive sweating causes and treatment, understanding the type of excessive sweating and also knowing the cause can be helpful in treating the condition. However, maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle will keep plenty of the problems away.
Sudheendra is a passionate blogger for 8 years and holds a Degree in Journalism & Mass Communications. His writings particularly focus on health, medicine, diet & lifestyle. For him, everything that interlinks and relates to health & medical world entices him. His write-ups aim at educating people not by just giving facts but by infusing human touch.