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Excessive sweating


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Excessive sweating is not like the sweating you normally have every day. This typical condition has medical terminologies like hyperhidrosis, polyhidrosis and sudorrhea. You are most likely to experience abnormal perspiration in places where sweat glands are highly concentrated.

Primary hyperhidrosis is the most common type and it begins in the childhood. Excessive sweating is experienced in armpit, soles and palms.

Secondary hyperhidrosis is usually a side effect of an underlying medical condition wherein the entire body sweats


How does excessive sweating feel like?

Sweating profusely most of the time even while not working heavily is something you will be experiencing. 

  • You give a cold sweaty hand while doing handshake
  • Sweaty feet, armpit, trickling sweat from forehead
  • Your clothes become wet and frequent changing might be needed
  • Body odour from vigorous sweating, especially from armpit


What are the causes of excessive sweating?

Some common reasons that might cause you to sweat unusually could be extreme warm and humid weather, travelling in sun, exercise etc. However once you get back to normal environment, your sweating stops.

Medical conditions and circumstances that leads to excessive sweating are: 

  • Thyroid gland problems
  • Hypertension
  • Frey's syndrome
  • Side effect of blood pressure medicines, anti depressants, etc.`


When to see a doctor?

Excessive sweating is not a health complication. If you are already having a medical condition, then your doctor will let you know.

However, you should see your doctor when you or your child is sweating abnormally.

You must seek for emergency help if you break into cold sweat profusely all of a sudden and experience chills.


Diagnosis of excessive sweating

The treatment begins with evaluating your medical history and the symptoms. Your doctor will ask you questions regarding the body parts that sweat too much, the time pattern and the possible triggers. 

You must tell your doctor if you are taking any medicines, experiencing other symptoms like fatigue, drowsiness, anxiety, rapid or skipped heart beat, fever, appetite loss etc.

You might need to undergo the thermoregulatory sweat test, wherein your skin would be covered with powder which turns purple as soon as you start sweating. The temperature of test room is gradually increased to 38 degree C.

Your doctor might consider urine and blood tests to confirm an underlying medical condition.


Treatment for excessive sweating

If sweating is occurring due to some other medical complication, then your doctor would consider treating that first, which will subsequently reduce sweating as well. 

Other treatment options could be use of either OTC or prescription form of antiperspirants. Anti-cholinergic and Botulinum toxin could be used to alleviate sweating.

Body parts like armpits, palms, feet etc that sweat profusely may be subjected to electrical therapy. This treatment is known as iontophoresis.

Surgery is not usually opted unless there’s a serious need. It includes treating the spinal nerves and removal of sweat gland.


Home care for excessive sweating

You cannot give a halt to your day to day activities despite sweating profusely. But you can take some care to avoid odour and rate of perspiration.

We explain below: 

Wear clothes and socks made from natural fibre like cotton and avoid tight fitting clothes. You can carry an extra pair as well.

Take care of your feet. Change your socks everyday and dry your shoes after removing. Soak your feet regularly in warm water mixed with lemon juice and salt.

Keep paper towels, napkins, deodorant, perfumes, etc. in your handbag. Wipe of sweat on palms and face, wash your face often to make yourself more presentable. 

Lastly, drink plenty of water at least 2-3 litres everyday and fresh lemon juices.

Written by: healthplus24.com team
Date last updated: March 09, 2014

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