Connie Colbert, the Director of the Canyon Health and Wellness Clinic, describes what hyperhidrosis is, and what to do if you think you may have it.
What is Hyperhidrosis?
Hyperhidrosis is excessive sweating for no apparent reason, even if you’re not hot. It can occur on the bottom of the feet, the palm of the hands, the underarms, or the head. It typically occurs in just one or two areas of the body. The rest of the body remains dry.
Some sweating is a very normal thing. It happens when we’re exposed to heat, and even when we’re nervous.
Sweating is important because it helps to cool the body down, preventing overheating.
The problem with hyperhidrosis is it cools the body when it doesn’t need to be cooled.
Symptoms of hyperhidrosis are-
- Sweating that is visible when the individual is not physically active
- Sweating which interferes with everyday life
- Soft, white, or peeling skin due to it staying moist for long periods of time
- Skin infections on the parts of the body that sweat excessively (ex- Athlete’s foot)
Types of Hyperhidrosis
1. Primary/Essential Hyperhidrosis
Primary hyperhidrosis occurs when the nerves in the body that signal the sweat glands are overactive.
This problem increases when the individual is nervous.
This form of the condition most commonly causes isolated sweating, in one or two areas of the body.
This condition has been shown to run in families, but there has yet to be an underlying medical cause uncovered.
2. Secondary Hyperhidrosis
Hyperhidrosis can be caused by another underlying disease. This is the less common form of the disease, and tends to lead to overall excess sweating as opposed to excess sweating concentrated on a certain body part.
Conditions which may cause this type include-
- Heard attacks
- Withdrawal from opioids
- Nervous system conditions
- Thyroid problems
- Low blood sugar
- Hot flashes in menopause
Diagnosis for this condition is essential because with a proper diagnosis can come proper treatment. As a part of this process, it is important to uncover which type of the condition you have. The secondary type of the condition can be addressed by treating the underlying cause of the disease.
Primary hyperhidrosis can also be improved with treatments.
If you think you may have hyperhidrosis, Colbert recommends meeting with a dermatologist who can further direct you.
You can read more about this condition here.