Excessive and uncontrollable sweating, the medical term is Hyperhidrosis, is a very bothersome condition for many people causing anxiety at work, an embarrassment in social settings, and frustration over ruined clothes.
Our bodies have around 2-4 million sweat glands distributed all over the entire body with most found on the palms of the hands and the soles of the feet and around 2 percent found in our underarms.
There are two types of hyperhidrosis: primary and secondary. Primary hyperhidrosis, which is the most common type, has no known underlying physical cause. The body simply starts sweating without any reason and is not related to hot temperatures, or exercise. This kind of hyperhidrosis is most commonly seen in the underarms, palms of the hands and soles of the feet. It can be so extreme that it can soak through clothes or drip off hands. Other less-common areas affected can also include the head, back, chest and even the face.
Secondary hyperhidrosis is excessive sweating that’s caused by an external factor such as medication or illness.
Primary hyperhidrosis often starts during childhood or adolescence and can also be inherited.
It is mainly caused due to an overactivity of the hypothalamic thermoregulatory centre in the brain and is transmitted via the nervous system to the eccrine glands. Apart from the usual suspects of hormones and humid weather, spicy food, stress, illness and exercise can all trigger it.
Depending on the affected areas of the body there are many treatment options, including topical creams, injections, and oral medications.
*Botox therapy: The very same injectable that you might get to prevent wrinkles can also help stop excessive sweating. It is most effective in the underarm area, the hands and the feet. A few strategically placed injections will give guaranteed results and protection within 2 days of the treatment. Results can last up to six months.
Certain foods can help you reduce body heat. Tuck into water rich foods like watermelon, cucumber, and mint-based drinks.
*Ditch the synthetic materials. Synthetic materials don’t “breathe.” This means they trap heat and prevent sweat from evaporating. Look for natural fabrics like cotton.
*Baby powder can help prevent chafing and rashes on the feet, back and chest.
* Keep a bottle of Argan oil handy. Thanks to its antioxidants and fatty acids, it can help to reduce redness, repair skin damage and hydrate skin. Apply after showering to affected areas. Argan oil is also packed with nutrients such as vitamin E, phenols and carotenes to restore skin to a healthier condition.
*Keep a packet of wipes in your handbag and use them when you need to freshen up. Sweat only smells when it mixes with bacteria on your skin so cleaning your skin as soon as you start sweating should help.
*Avoid tight tops and bras that will trap heat and moisture. If you do get hot and sweaty change into clean dry clothing straightaway.
* Antiperspirants can be effective for mild hyperhidrosis. Use an aerosol version, which is less sticky than a roll-on or solid and won’t look chalky on your skin. Apply before going to bed too.