Hyperhidrosis means excessive sweating. It occurs when the body produces a lot of perspiration for no particular reason such as being in a very hot conditions or exercising. Most of the sweat is produced in the armpits, palms of the hands, soles of the feet and forehead. The condition can be very bothersome for suffers and their quality of life is affected.
Sweating is a natural and helpful mechanism that helps the body maintain its temperature at the right level. When we’re too hot, our brain receives signals from within the body to do something about it. In response, our skin dilates blood vessels (which is why we go red when we’re hot) and the sweat glands release fluid onto the surface of the skin to cool it down.The reasons for hyperhidrosis are not well understood, but it seems to be a genetic condition involving the hypothalamus – the part of the brain that’s responsible for controlling body temperature.
A full history of the problem is taken to diagnose hyperhidrosis. Several treatments can help with hyperhidrosis ranging from self-help methods to medical techniques.
The first to try are topical products that can help you to absorb the excess sweat, such as talcum powder and cornstarch powder. These are usually only helpful in mild cases. Stronger antiperspirants can be used for the armpits, hands and feet. Application can be effective especially for underarm sweating, however they can cause the skin to become irritated over time.
Injections are used particularly to treat the armpits – a dermatologist will apply a numbing cream to the treated area before the procedure and then inject a special formula in a grid-like pattern. A typical session lasts 20 to 40 minutes and the effects of the treatment last from four to six months. Potential side effects can include pain, burning, stinging, swelling and/or bruising, and in some cases headaches and muscle weakness may occur.