Have you ever broken out in a sweat on the coldest day of the year? Do you constantly have sweaty palms? Have you resigned to a life of loose t-shirts and singlets for fear you’ll have sweat patches if you wear anything that clings to your body?
Sweating is natural. It’s a necessary function of our body. When your body overheats, your nervous system stimulates your sweat glands to produce fluid that cools your body down to regulate your temperature. However, for some of us, this occurs more than needed – whether it’s summer, winter, hot or cold.
What is hyperhidrosis?
If you find that you excessively sweat, you may be suffering from a condition known as hyperhidrosis. And unfortunately it’s not temporary.
It can be generalised, causing you to excessively sweat all over your body, or it can be localised, so you only excessively sweat from specific parts of your body like your feet, palms, underarms or facial area. It can also be classified by onset, either congenital (present at birth) or acquired (beginning later in life).
The cause of hyperhidrosis? An overactive sympathetic nervous system. Anxiety or excitement can exacerbate the symptoms, which can become a vicious cycle, as some you might become nervous about sweating, which triggers the sweating and so on. Certain spicy foods, alcohol and even pregnancy can trigger symptoms too.
Around 30% of the UK population suffer from hyperhidrosis and they’re just the ones who haven’t been too embarrassed to seek help. Unfortunately, for many sufferers, it’s classified information; an embarrassing issue they keep to themselves. Good news is, there are treatments that can help.
Lifestyle changes, such as wearing loose clothing and regular meditation to help control your nerves, can help reduce symptoms. If you don’t want to give up wearing tight shirts, though, armpit shields can absorb excessive sweat and protect your clothes.
If this doesn’t help, you can try specially formulated deodorants, which works by plugging your sweat glands, or get long-term relief with the help of Botulinum toxin. The botox is injected into the skin of the affected areas, which blocks the signals from the brain to the sweat glands.