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Don't Sweat It: Everything You Need to Know About Hyperhidrosis
Florida in the summer is a hot place to hang out, but if you find yourself sweating excessively even when you’re not hot or nervous, you could have hyperhidrosis.
Sweat is good
Sweating is an important biological function. When you’re hot, the thousands of eccrine sweat glands on your body release sweat and as it evaporates from the skin, it cools your body down.
Apocrine sweat glands are found mainly under the arms and in the groin area. These glands are stimulated by the body’s temperature as well as stress, anxiety and fluctuating hormones. They release a compound that, when degraded by the bacteria on your skin, produces the smells associated with body odor.
These natural functions are all well and good. Hyperhidrosis occurs when a person sweats more than is necessary.
Hyperhidrosis is not so good
Those who have hyperhidrosis sweat when their body doesn’t need to be cooled, often from one or two areas on the body rather than uniformly. Frequently, the areas that sweat excessively are the palms, feet, underarms or head. Though the rest of the body remains dry, these areas can literally drip with sweat.
Alarming in themselves, these symptoms can manifest in further trouble:
- Those with sweaty hands can have trouble turning doorknobs or using a computer mouse
- Skin lesions and infections can develop in areas of the skin that are always wet
- Underarm sweat can soak through clothes and cause embarrassing sweat stains
If you sweat when your body is at rest, frequently develop infections like athlete’s foot and jock itch or regularly have trouble gripping pens or doorknobs because your hands are sweaty, you might have hyperhidrosis.
There are two types of hyperhidrosis: primary and secondary. Primary hyperhidrosis means that the sweating is itself the problem and that the person is otherwise healthy. In other cases, the hyperhidrosis is symptomatic of another underlying issue. Examples of medical problems that can manifest in hyperhidrosis include:
- Injury, such as head trauma caused by an accident
- Overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism)
If you think you have hyperhidrosis, you’re not alone – dermatologists estimate that 3% of people in the U.S. experience excessive sweating. Talk to a professional to figure out what’s going on and find a treatment that will help you get your sweating under control.
The experts at Gardens Dermatology & Cosmetic Surgery Center have decades of experience treating hyperhidrosis and other skin conditions that might be troubling you. Learn more about hyperhidrosis or visit gardensdermatology.com to get more information and make an appointment.