Excessive Sweating

What is Excessive Sweating?

Excessive sweating can be defined as sweating more than the usual amount of sweat. This is medically known as Hyperhidrosis. All of us may have already experienced sweating excessively under several circumstances especially when we are subjected to a great deal of stress or anxiety. This is also true when the environment is very humid or when you consume large amounts of spicy foods. However, when you profusely sweat for no reason it could mean another thing. Well, there could be numerous causes why people experience excessive sweating. Minor conditions may lead to this and serious ones, too. Thence, it is important to find out the exact cause why you excessively sweat. This condition is actually among those that stigmatize people. Excessively sweating in public is especially very unattractive. People who suffer from this condition usually isolate themselves with the fear of getting mortified in public. Thus, if you are among those unlucky ones who suffer from excessive sweating, you may find this article beneficial.


Causes of Excessive Sweating

There can be several culprits why people suffer from excessive sweating. The cause would usually depend on the type of hyperhidrosis that you have. You will learn the different types of hyperhydrosis below as well as their possible causes.

Idiopathic (Primary) Focal Hyperhidrosis

From the name itself, you can tell that this type of hyperhidrosis is the one which has unknown cause. Basically, you just excessively sweat inexplicably. In primary focal hyperhidrosis, the scalp, face, armpits, palms and soles of the feet are the common parts affected and these would sweat symmetrically which means you sweat on both palms/soles. Nevertheless, through rigorous studies, researchers have found the possible causes of primary focal hyperhidrosis. Your genes can also be one of the contributing factors why you excessively sweat. This can be the reason why there are those people who sweat more profusely than others. It could be that you have the gene which causes the glands in these specific areas to go overdrive. People usually experience this just before they hit the age 25. The condition would often get better in time but also has the tendency to get aggravated when triggered by factors such as stress and anxiety. When you think that you’re suffering from primary focal hyperhidrosis, there’s really no need for you to fret because this is oftentimes manageable by certain anti-perspirants.

Secondary Focal Hyperhidrosis

This is yet another type of hyperhidrosis. Unlike the primary type, excessive sweating rather occurs in a focal part in the secondary type. For instance, you sweat on one palm or on one sole only. This could be an indication of an underlying damage or injury to the spine which causes the glands on a specific area to overproduce sweat. In this case, you may have to undergo some diagnostic tests to determine the exact cause of your condition.

Generalized Hyperhidrosis

Generalized hyperhidrosis is considered to be a rare type compared to the previously mentioned two. This involves sweating all over the body, as the name suggests. Experiencing this strongly suggests an underlying pathology which has possibly caused you to excessively sweat. Some of the probable causes of generalized hyperhidrosis are:

  • Anxiety disorders
  • Cancer
  • Cardiovascular problems
  • Hormonal changes
  • Infection
  • Nerve/spinal cord damage or injury
  • Side effect of certain drugs

This type of hyperhidrosis needs immediate attention because failure to do so may lead to serious complications. Consulting your doctor is always the best option so that further tests can be conducted and possible treatments would then be rendered.

Excessive sweating at night

Another common occurrence of excessive sweating is at nighttime. You will just be awakened at the middle of the night drenched in your own sweat. This phenomenon is called night sweating. Aside from sleeping in a humid room, there can also be a number of causes why you experience night sweats and these include the following:

  • Cancer
  • Infection
  • Menopause
  • Using certain medications (i.e. antidepressants, antipyretics, hormone therapy, hypoglycemic agents)

Excessively sweating at night does not however mean that you are already suffering from a certain medical condition. However, you cannot also be too complacent because other problems may also cause excessive night sweats. Better yet, you consult your doctor especially when the problem has become chronic.

Excessive Sweating Treatment

The treatment for excessive sweating would oftentimes vary, depending on the underlying cause. As with primary focal hyperhidrosis, strong antiperspirants would help resolve the condition. Nevertheless, chronic and pervasive hyperhidrosis may call for a more sophisticated treatment. Below is a list of some of the commonly performed treatments for excessive sweating.

Subdermal Laser Ablation and Suction Curettage

For those who are suffering from nasty armpit sweating, this procedure would be an excellent solution to their woes. Subdermal laser ablation with suction curettage is often resorted when nearly every treatment has been exhausted. The success rate of this procedure is perceived to be around 85%.

Endoscopic Thoracic Sympathectomy

ETS is only performed by certified specialists. This can be done on an outpatient basis. The surgical operation typically entails entering the thoracic cavity and the sympathetic chain which can be held accountable for the sweating of the hands would then be severed. You are assured of about 98-99% success following the procedure.

Lumbar Sympathectomy

This procedure is performed for people who experience excessive sweating on the feet. People with hyperhidrosis commonly experience excessive sweating both on the hands and on the feet. While ETS is primarily performed to resolve excessive sweating of the palms, lumbar sympathectomy is for the excessive sweating of the soles. Just like ETS, this also guarantees about 98-99% relief.

Since excessive sweating can either have minor or serious causes, you certainly should not just take it for granted. The sooner your condition is diagnosed, treatments can then be right away given and the more acceptable the prognosis will be. So, if you have been suffering from this condition for quite some time, better yet consult a specialist.

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