Hyperhidrosis is a common condition where a person sweats excessively, and much more than the body needs to regulate its temperature.
Excessive sweating doesn’t usually pose a serious threat to a person’s health, but it can be embarrassing and distressing. The inconvenience of it can also have a negative impact on your quality of life.
There is no set way of defining excessive sweating, but if sweating is interfering with your daily life and normal activities, you may have hyperhidrosis.
Types of hyperhidrosis
Hyperhidrosis can either:
only affect certain parts of the body, most commonly the armpits, hands, feet or face; this is known as focal hyperhidrosis
affect the entire body, known as generalised hyperhidrosis
Most cases of generalised hyperhidrosis have an underlying cause, such as:
it can be a side effect of taking medication
it can be related to another condition, such as an overactive thyroid gland.
Solutions in the past have included everything from psychotherapy to heavy applications of antiperspirants. Psychotherapy usually did not help the medical condition, and proved to be a heavy burden. Antiperspirants caused similar hardship, and needed to be applied both regularly and liberally, making going through the average day quite a hassle. Drugs, such as psychotropic (sedative) and anticholinergic (Atropine, Robinul) medicines, presented risky and uncomfortable side effects, such as dry mouth, urinary problems and even increased risk of heat stroke.
Today, many treatment options have improved, and new approaches are being developed all the time. Most sufferers now find that, with perseverance, a treatment or combination of treatments can be found that will control their symptoms to an acceptable level and allow a better quality of life.