Sick of the heat?
Excessive sweating (known medically as hyperhidrosis) affects an estimated nearly eight million Americans – or nearly 3 percent of the U.S. population. Several treatments are available; however, many people who could benefit from these treatments never learn about them because they may be too embarassed to speak with a health care professional about their problem.
Studies on Sweating
- Hands, feet, underarms and face are the problem areas that are most often effected.
- Although often emerging in adolescence, excessive sweating may not be recognized as a problem until several years later.
- Studies have shown that the sweat glands are normal in size, number and location in people with hyperhidrosis.
- Research indicates that the brain center that normally tells you when to sweat for heat balance is sending signals to sweat excessively from a localized area. Exactly why those signals are occurring is really not known.
The good news for people suffering with this condition is that research continues. This research has discovered that there is a good possibility that genetics plays a part; family histories of about half of the patients studied showed hyperhidrosis. It has been seen to skip generations.
Professionals searching for the answer to why do some people sweat more than others have concluded that there is no obvious cause for excessive sweating episodes. Although not directly caused by anxiety, worrying about sweating may increase a sweating episode. Obviously, before deciding on any treatment, a person should have a complete medical check-up to rule out medical conditions such as diabetes or hyperthyroidism, for which sweating is a symptom. Many drugs can also cause excessive sweating.
An Emotional Response
It would appear that this condition, although primarily a physiological issue, can be aggravated by emotional stimuli. Numerous approaches are used in an attempt to control it?ranging from herbal medications, bio feedback, lotions, pills to acupuncture. There are also certain surgical procedures that have had some success. Before deciding on surgery, patients suffering from excessive hand sweating should try the conservative approaches. Seek expert medical advice from someone specializing in this field.
Although the answer to the question, why do some people sweat more than others, is still not specifically answered, least there is some relief available and the number of options is increasing.
- For those who suffer specifically from excessive armpit sweating, there is a surgical cure (superficial liposuction) that is 95 percent effective.
- Botox recently has been used to treat excessive sweating successfully. However, Botox is only a temporary solution and injections must be repeated about once every six months.
- In a controversial procedure known as a sympathectomy, a portion of a nerve inside the chest is cut – permanently interrupting the nerve signal that causes the body to sweat excessively. Unlike other treatments, a sympathectomy is designed to be a one-time, permanent procedure. In the past, a sympathectomy was a major surgery because it required opening up the chest or back. Today, it is performed with tiny instruments and a camera that is inserted into the body through a small incision.
- Controversary still surrounds this procedure because a condition known as compensatory hyperhidrosis can result. If it does, sweating may disappear from the hands and armpits, but may increase somewhere else, such the legs, back or chest.
It is important for anyone suffering from this condition to seek medical help. There is no need for you to suffer embarrassments or humiliation.