As humans, we all sweat. It might not be our favorite thing to do, but sweating is for the most part a healthy function of our bodies. We sweat when our bodies begin to overheat. This is why we sweat the most when we exercise, walk around in hot weather for too long, or have a fever. Sweating is the body’s way of cooling itself down. In steamy situations signals are sent to the sweat glands to produce perspiration. This water from the body escapes through the pores and evaporates off the skin to cool the body down and maintain the body’s temperature.
But even though sweating is a good and entirely normal thing, there is such a thing as sweating too much. Excessive sweating, known medically as hyperhidrosis, isn’t all that common, but it can seriously affect people for several years.
A Bit About Hyperhidrosis
Hyperhidrosis is a condition that causes excessive sweating problems. While this condition isn’t necessarily dangerous, it can be embarrassing, annoying, distracting, and extremely obstructive throughout daily life. For instance, excessive sweating can cause the hands to perspire to a degree that makes holding objects and using the hands in other mechanical ways nearly impossible. For many people this means work and leisure are greatly affected. The vast majority (90%) of those with this condition claim that their emotional state is affected by their condition. For these reasons and others it is important to control excessive sweating as much as possible.
Hyperhidrosis can be separated into two categories: primary and secondary. Primary hyperhidrosis refers to excessive sweating that manifests without an apparent cause. This type of hyperhidrosis typically occurs in specific regions of the body like the hands, underarms, feet, and face. Secondary hyperhidrosis, on the other hand, is excessive sweating due to medication or a medical condition including cancer, and usually manifests itself all over the body.
Is there a Cure for Hyperhidrosis?
There is still no surefire way to completely cure excessive sweating. Fortunately, however, there are many ways to treat this condition. One of the most common and effective treatments for hyperhidrosis is called iontophoresis. This treatment uses electricity and ion transfer technology to help prevent the body from sweating. Multiple treatments (somewhere between 6 and 10) are typically necessary, but patients can treat themselves once they know how it works. These treatments tend to last only 10 to 20 minutes as well.
In addition to iontophoresis, botulinum toxin (Botox) can also effectively treat excessive sweating. Botox essentially prevents the chemicals that signal the sweat glands from firing. With enough Botox injections you can temporarily cure excessive sweating for up to a year. This option is a bit more expensive and presents more possible complications, however.
If Botox or iontophoresis aren’t working for you, there are also other, more holistic natural remedies that can treat hyperhidrosis. Some experts believe the root of excessive sweating lies within the body and its nutritional intake. In other words, those who suffer from primary hyperhidrosis might not be getting enough of the right vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients to maintain a healthy, neutral body state. This treatment might include things like chamomile, sage, gaba, magnesium, and vitamins B and C. Some of these ingredients are meant to reduce anxiety, which is a potential cause of excessive sweating, while the other components are meant to regulate the body.
While many cases of hyperhidrosis remain a mystery today, there are still several ways to nearly cure excessive sweating, or at least make it more manageable for a time. It’s possible that in the near future doctors will understand the true causes of hyperhidrosis and be able to come up with a definitive cure.