In the heat, at the gym, on an exam, or on a date, everyone has ever felt that sweating treacherously exceeded the threshold of decency. While damp palms or a wet shirt sometimes get in the way of our lives, in most cases, doctors don’t consider excessive sweating to be a disease.
How much sweat is the norm?
Excessive sweating, or hyperhidrosis, is a vague concept. An office worker under an air conditioner can produce less than a liter of sweat per day, and a handyman on a hot day can produce several liters. Both will be considered the norm. It’s another matter if you sweat when others do not think to escape the heat.
Only the person himself can determine if he sweats too often and a lot. “If you think you sweat more than others, or more than you did before, you are probably not wrong.” He speaks Dee Anna Glaser, MD, professor of dermatology at the University of St. Louis and president of the International Hyperhidrosis Society.
Is hyperhidrosis just wet armpits?
Not necessary because sweat glands are found all over the body. Most often it is the armpits that become wet, as well as the soles, palms and forehead. The tide of generalized hyperhidrosis covers almost the entire body at the same time.
Some disorders can cause intense sweating in unusual locations. For example, perspiration may appear around the mouth or parotid region, especially when eating. This is how Frey’s syndrome manifests itself – a consequence of damage to the nerves of the parotid gland.
We usually sweat symmetrically. But hyperhidrosis due to the disease is often one-sided. Therefore, if you suddenly throws in sweat only the left leg, right palm or other part of the body, you should consult a doctor. Perhaps the problem is pretibial myxedema, osteoarthropathy or shingles.
Why does hyperhidrosis occur?
About 1% of people suffers from idiopathic primary hyperhidrosis. This means that the problem occurred for an unknown reason.
Another option is when sweating is a consequence of a particular condition or disease. For example, hyperhidrosis can appear in pregnant women and women in menopause, as the hormonal background changes. Together with the stabilization of hormones, sweating returns to normal.
Hyperthyroidism and anxiety disorders contribute to the intense work of the sweat glands. Intense night sweats can occur in people with tuberculosis. You can also sweat from hypoglycemic drugs for diabetes or from antidepressants.
Do we sweat more as we age?
Not unless it’s about menopause. Sweating is a physiological process designed to cool the body. Cooling mechanisms increase when we are nervous or hot. Celebrating a new birthday, we do not tweak the heating system to the maximum, so you should not attribute intense sweating to age.
Six questions your doctor will ask to diagnose hyperhidrosis
If you decide to seek medical attention, be prepared to answer the following questions.
Do you sweat in specific areas or all over your body?
In what situations do you experience hot flashes?
What medications have you been taking and for how long?
Have you had any recent surgery?
Have you started your menopause?
Do you have family members who complain of increased sweating?
How to treat intense sweating?
Treating the cause of hyperhidrosis is the main way to get rid of hot flushes. But even idiopathic hyperhidrosis can be controlled. Here are a few things you can do to eliminate excessive sweating.
Aluminum chloride deodorants that are applied to clean skin before bed and washed off in the morning.
Cream or tablets with glycopyrrolate, which reduces the activity of the sympathetic nervous system.
Botulinum toxin injections to temporarily block the nerves that cause sweating.
Surgery such as deactivating sympathetic nerves or removing sweat glands.