Excessive sweating is uncomfortable. People who experience it even feel embarrassed by their sweat and a number of people to avoid intimate relationships because of this.
Director of the Health Sciences Research Union Institute, De Montfort University, Louise Dunford fully understands the discomfort caused by excessive sweating. In the medical world, the condition is known as hyperhidrosis.
There are a number of treatments available for hyperhidrosis. Treatment depends on the area of the body affected.
Temporary treatments include the use of strong antiperspirants containing aluminum chloride and lontophoresis. As a form of therapy, the hands or feet that experience excessive sweating are immersed in water passed by a low voltage electric current.
Another treatment is botox which works by blocking chemicals at the nerve endings so that it cannot activate the sweat glands. There are also oral drugs called anti-cholinergic which also work by blocking nerve endings throughout the body. But this is all temporary and does not work for everyone.
Antiperspirants can cause skin irritation, and oral medications inhibit nerve endings throughout the body so that they can cause side effects such as dry mouth and urinating problems. Botox and iontophoresis need to be repeated regularly and can be expensive.
There are also some permanent solutions available. Some sufferers have undergone surgery to remove or destroy sweat glands in a local area, such as the armpit or endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy (ETS), where the nerves that control sweat are cut off.
ETS is effective in reducing sweating in the intended area, but can cause very serious side effects such as nerve damage or organs. Most patients end up with some level of sweat in other areas, which is known as sweat compensation and this can be worse than the original problem.
As a result, the surgery is generally only used as a last resort. Newer permanent treatments use electromagnetic energy to destroy sweat glands.
Although it is a common skin condition, hyperhidrosis is not widely known and research on this is very poorly funded. Raising awareness is key. Don’t hesitate to ask for help and advice from health professionals to find solutions for excessive sweating.