Hyperhidrosis is a sweating condition that causes you to sweat excessively even when the body does not need cooling. Those with hyperhidrosis usually sweat from one or two parts of the body – such as hands, feet, or under the arm – while the rest of the body stays dry with no sweat.
In general, we sweat because of nerves that signal the body to sweat, so it could be that those nerves overreact to cause the extreme sweating. About three percent of the population has hyperhidrosis.
You are more likely to develop hyperhidrosis if you have family members with excessive sweating or it you are taking a medical or food supplement that causes excessive sweating.
What are signs that you might have hyperhidrosis?
When you sweat, is it visible? Do you have sweat beads around your face? Do you sweat through your clothes? Do you sweat when you are sitting and/or inactive?
Does your sweating interfere with normal daily activities? Because of your sweat, do you find it difficult to turn a doorknob or does your sweat drip onto whatever you might have in front of you?
Does your skin stay wet from sweat? Have those areas turned soft or does the skin peel? Often those with heavy sweating also have skin infections in those areas.
Your dermatologist can diagnose hyperhidrosis by a medical exam, though sometimes a medical sweat test is required.
Your dermatologist can help you manage hyperhidrosis by using antiperspirants, and sometimes prescription formulas are needed. A more intense treatment, especially if the excessive sweating is in your hands and feet is iontophoresis. Known as a no-sweat machine it runs an electric low-voltage current through warm water with your hands or feet submerged. Botulinum toxin injections, or BOTOX, is also used to help reduce excessive sweating.
Contact your neighborhood Northstar dermatologist to determine the best treatment plan for your hyperhidrosis.