What Does Sweating Mean?
Sweating is a habitual process that aids in regulating our body temperature. However, some folks go through hyperhidrosis, which means they over sweat than normal.
Sweat glands produce sweat within the skin. People have two types of sweat glands. Eccrine sweat glands are seen all over our body and are concerned with normalizing body temperature. When your body temperature increases, your sweat glands tend to regular fluid balance in your body by releasing water. As the fluid evaporates off your skin, it reduces one’s blood temperature, thus cooling your body down.
Apocrine sweat glands are bigger and are located in your genitals and underarms. Sweat from these apocrine sweat glands builds up an offensive smell when in contact with bacteria. The glands also become active during puberty (sexual maturity).
There are basically 2 types of hyperhidrosis, namely; primary and secondary hyperhidrosis.
- Secondary hyperhidrosis occurs due to an underlying medical complication or as a side effect of some medications.
- Primary hyperhidrosis does not have any identifiable cause.
Hyperhidrosis treatment is usually helpful, beginning with a prescription to strengthen antiperspirants. If antiperspirants are not helpful, you may have to try some other medications and therapies. In acute cases, your physician may suggest an operation either to take away the sweat glands or to detach the nerves in charge of sweat overproduction.
Sweating is our body’s way of regulating temperature. When we feel hot, we sweat. The fluid then evaporates to further cools us down. Sweating is a completely natural phenomenon of life.
Still, some folks may find sweating annoying in some social situations, majorly if their sweat often leaves noticeable damp stains or patches. In these conditions, there are some approaches that can aid in reducing the quantity that you sweat.
Symptoms of Hyperhidrosis
Most individuals sweat when they exert themselves, when in a hot environment, or when anxious, or when stressed. The extreme sweating noticed with hyperhidrosis far goes beyond such normal sweating.
The hyperhidrosis type that usually affects the feet, hands, underarms, or faces triggers at least one episode in 7 days during get-up hours.
Since sweating is our body’s way of cooling itself. Our nervous system instinctively triggers your sweat glands when body temperature is raised. Sweating often occurs, especially on our palms, when we’re nervous.
The most universal form of hyperhidrosis is the primary focal (essential) hyperhidrosis. With this form, the nerves in charge of signaling your sweat glands get overactive, even when they have not been sensitized by physical activity or any temperature rise. With nervousness or stress, the problem gets even worse. This type often affects one’s soles, palms, and sometimes the face.
There is no therapeutic cause for this hyperhidrosis type. It may, although, have some hereditary components because it often runs in families.
Secondary hyperhidrosis is experienced when excess sweating is triggered by some medical conditions. It is the less common hyperhidrosis type. It is often more likely to initiate sweating throughout your body. Situations that may trigger heavy sweating include:
- Menopause hot flashes
- Low blood sugar
- Some types of cancer
- Heart attack
- Thyroid problems
- Nervous system disorders
Ways of Controlling Sweating
Hyperhidrosis treatment depends on its severity. Physicians typically take a chronological approach to cure the condition.
Treatments for Mild to Moderate Hyperhidrosis
As an early treatment option, your doctor may suggest aluminum chloride hexahydrate (an over-the-counter (OTC) paste), like Drysol. You can apply the cream every night for the first 4 nights, followed by periodic nighttime applications as required.
Some folks may require more medications to manage their hyperhidrosis. A doctor may recommend topical anticholinergic medications like some oral anticholinergic medications (e.g., oxybutynin.) or glycopyrrolate.
Treatments for Severe or Resistant Hyperhidrosis
Some time severe hyperhidrosis does not respond to initial customary treatments. In such situations, your doctor may recommend botulinum toxin A (Botox) or iontophoresis injections.
Iontophoresis entails submerging the hands or feet in shallow bowls of water and passing a low electrical current across the water. Experts are not very sure how iontophoresis works, but it may lower sweating in the feet and hands.
Some medical doctors proscribe an additional application of anticholinergic medication into the water to aid sweat reduction.
Currently, feet and hands remain the most regular areas for iontophoresis treatment. Nonetheless, researchers are now working on iontophoresis that can be used to treat other parts of the body.
If iontophoresis or Botox injections prove abortive, your doctor may prescribe a surgical operation to reduce sweating.
Another option is a sympathectomy. This type of surgery process involves crumbling the nerve supply to sweat glands to lower sweating. The sympathetic nerve in the chest cavity control sweating in our body. Also, some folks may choose to have the affected glands surgically removed, which is often less invasive than the placebo (a sympathectomy).
Unfortunately, folks with hyperhidrosis may feel recurrences after surgery.
Some Home Remedies for Excessive Sweating
The following remedies can help individuals to manage abnormal sweating at home.
1. Keeping a Sweat Journal
Certain situations may foster episodes of excessive sweating. Keeping some journals allows people to log the episodes of sweating so that they can discover their triggers. Folks may then choose to avoid the triggers where necessary.
2. Keep cool
Sweating is the body’s way of calming you down. So by keeping cool, you lower the need to sweat.
In hot weather conditions, it can really be effective to place a bowl filled with ice before a fan to circulate some cold air around your room. Another brilliant idea is to keep your blinds and curtains drawn during the day to halt the sun from overheating the rooms. Try to stay under the shade if you are outdoors.
Consuming smaller meals more frequently can help keep you cool, as metabolic heat is always needed to digest food. Staying always hydrated will also keep the body temperature calm.
You may also keep your moisturizers in your fridge for some cooling effects when you apply them. Get some handheld fan and keep your feet and head cool by avoiding wearing open shoes and hats when the weather allows it.
3. Avoiding Some Foods
Finding a substitute for caffeinated drinks may help reduce sweating.
Some diets may cause excessive sweating.
People suffering from hyperhidrosis should avoid or control the following foods:
- spices, such as curry or cumin
- monosodium glutamate (MSG)
- hot sauce or spicy foods
4. Using Antiperspirants
People who sweat extremely should shun using deodorants, which simply mask the sweat smell. People should, as an alternative, look for antiperspirants, which can lower sweating. The best period to use an antiperspirant is at nighttime.
Some doctors prescribe using prescription antiperspirants on dry armpit nightly for up to 4 nights. People might then be able to lower prescription antiperspirant use to twice a week.
5. Wear Breathable Fabrics
The best method to help reduce sweating with your choice of clothing is to wear fluffy, breathable fabrics with excellent ventilation. Lighter colors are also helpful to reflect the sun instead of absorbing it, so putting white can aid keep you cool and lower sweat.
When this is not an option, choose dark-colored wear or with distracting patterns that conceal the sweat. You can also underlay your outfits so that the sweat is not visible on the outer and main wear.
As stated previously, if you sweat too much, you may need to consult your doctor to check if you have a condition called hyperhidrosis. If so, there are treatment options open to you:
- Oral medication. There are medications obtainable from your medical doctor that can block the chemicals that allow some nerves to interact with each other, which can aid in lowering sweating. There are some known potential side effects (like dry mouth, bladder problems, and impaired vision), so talk to your medical doctor about whether or not the advantages outweigh the risks.
- Prescription antiperspirant. Your doctor may prescribe a strong prescription antiperspirant that is not quickly available to buy over the counter. The prescription balm is also available if your head and face are affected.
- Antidepressants: Anxiety can also lead to excessive sweating. Your medical doctor may recommend some antidepressants if he feels that this is contributing to your problem.
I hope your skin responds well to treatment because you deserve to be perfectly healthy!