Hyperhidrosis is a condition that causes people to sweat excessively. The condition is focal for some people, meaning that it simply affects one part of their body. For others, it affects the whole body. It is not a life-threatening condition. Understandably, it can be an embarrassing condition. It can put a hamper on a person’s ability to enjoy life, make new friends, and engage in romantic relationships.
Most people battling with this form of excessive sweating see it in their feet, armpits, hands, and groin. This is because these areas are where there are high concentrations of sweat glands. Some people are born with hyperhidrosis. Others develop it later on in life. It can be connected to an underlying health condition or can appear for no apparent reason.
Primary idiopathic hyperhidrosis is where a person has it and doctors do not understand why it’s there. Secondary hyperhidrosis is where doctors know that it is there because the person has a tumor, is dealing with diabetes, has gout, is obese, or has other issues.
Understandably, the symptoms associated with excessive sweating are embarrassing, can be very uncomfortable, and can lead to anxiety. It’s not uncommon for people to make major decisions in life, such as their career, the type of relationship they will get in, or the type of clothing they will choose, based solely on the way excessive sweating affects their lives.
What Causes Hyperhidrosis?
There was a time when the medical community mistakenly believed that the primary reason why a person suffers from excessive sweating is because they had an emotional or psychological disorder. They felt that individuals who were sweating excessively where anxious individuals, nervous, or overly stressed. However, research has shown that there is not necessarily a link between this type of excessive sweating and emotional distress.
In fact, people dealing with excessive sweating are no more prone to emotional disorders or anxiety than the general population. If they do have anxiety, the anxiety is connected to the fact that they are sweating so much and feel uncomfortable in social situations.
There are some studies that have outlined a possible genetic link to hyperhidrosis. Individuals who are experiencing excessive sweating as a secondary condition may have also experienced a spinal cord injury, diabetes, obesity, respiratory failure, infections, hypothyroidism, anxiety, substance abuse, as well as a whole host of other conditions.
There are a number of potential treatment options for hyperhidrosis. Many of these are pioneered by dermatologists. A popular form of non-surgical treatment is BOTOX® injections. BOTOX® injections can be used to relax the nerves that trigger sweat glands from activating. Individuals experiencing excessive sweating may need multiple injections to get the desired results.