Have you ever felt your palms so sweaty that you avoided handshakes or holding hands with your partner? Or do you often choose dark-colored clothes to avoid visible sweat stains under your armpits?
If you don’t have a medical condition to trigger this type of excessive sweating (anxiety, heart-related problems, menopause), you may be afflicted by what health specialists call primary hyperhidrosis.
In short, hyperhidrosis is defined by excessive sweating that isn’t caused by physical effort or increased heat. You can sweat buckets even when it’s cold outside or you’ve just gone out for a light walk. Overall, the condition is not harmful to your health (as long as you make sure to stay properly hydrated) but it can be quite damaging for your self-confidence and social interactions.
According to recent studies, hyperhidrosis affects about 4.8% of Americans, but specialists think more people suffer from this condition but don’t talk to their doctor about it because they don’t consider it a medical problem. Also, the embarrassing symptoms of this condition are a factor in why many people decide to hide it and avoid seeking treatment.
Considering these aspects, we will discuss some of the most recommended forms of treatment and what you can do to keep excessive sweating under control.
Treatment Options for Hyperhidrosis
Clinical Strength Antiperspirants
Mild cases of hyperhidrosis are usually managed with the help of a specialized antiperspirant, which should be prescribed by your doctor. This type of antiperspirant may not be available over the counter, but even if it is, it’s difficult to choose one that’s really effective without specialized guidance (check this article to learn more about the best clinical strength antiperspirant and how to choose the right one).
However, antiperspirants are mostly effective for underarm sweating and not so much for palms and feet sweating.
Medical Procedures or Drugs
If the antiperspirant doesn’t work, your doctor may recommend a few medical procedures such as Iontophoresis or Botox injections. Both procedures require medical assistance and have the role of temporarily blocking the sweat glands in order to reduce the amount of sweat in the affected area.
Another option is represented by Anticholinergic drugs which prevent acetylcholine from working (a chemical that helps stimulate sweat glands).
Mild cases of excessive sweating can be managed by changes in dietary intake and various hygiene routines. For instance, while coffee has several important health benefits, it is not recommended if you suffer from excessive sweating since it is considered a stimulant. The same goes for spicy and sugary foods or beverages, and you should also avoid fatty foods.
When it comes to hygiene routines, here are a few tips:
- Regular showers to get rid of the bacteria (they cause the infamous body odor);
- Wear clothes, shoes, and underwear made from natural materials;
- Change your socks frequently.
No one likes to wear damp clothes all the time or feel like they’re walking through a swamp all day long! So, if you think you may be suffering from excessive sweating, discuss the situation with your doctor and pay attention to your diet and physical exercise routine.