Hyperhidrosis — How to deal with this uncontrollable sweating condition
Imagine not being able to shake hands or use a touch-screen smartphone because of excessively sweaty palms. Imagine sweating so much you drench your socks, shoes, clothes and even papers you hold or write on. Read on to find out more about Hyperhidrosis and the treatments that can help.
Hyperhidrosis is a medical condition that affects approximately 4.8% of the population. It results in extreme, uncontrollable sweating and although primarily a physical burden, hyperhidrosis can also diminish a sufferer’s psychological, emotional, and social aspects of life.
November is Hyperhidrosis Awareness Month and the International Hyperhidrosis Society (IHhS) wants to spread awareness that hyperhidrosis is uncontrollable and is of no-fault of the sufferer. This kind of excessive sweating can even soak through clothing and water-damage electronics so awareness and support of the condition is important at school and work where it can negatively impact functioning, personal connections, self confidence, and advancement.
Hyperhidrosis can affect one or more body areas —
- most often the palms (called palmar hyperhidrosis),
- armpits (called axillary hyperhidrosis),
- soles of the feet (called plantar hyperhidrosis) or
- face (called craniofacial hyperhidrosis)
- and sometimes the back, chest, groin, and under the breasts.
What’s more, hyperhidrosis is associated with much higher rates of anxiety & depression, increases the risk of skin infections by 300%, and can manifest unexpectedly and often with disabling symptoms that last for hours. It can cause sweat to drip down elbows, off fingers, into the eyes, and more, seriously hampering almost every physical activity.
Hyperhidrosis sufferers are often stigmatized, and the condition leaves them feeling cold, slippery, unattractive, insecure, and emotionally drained while hyperhidrosis itself is often under-recognised, under-diagnosed and under-treated. Sufferers sometimes resort to complicated, time-consuming and expensive routines in a bid to hide, avoid, dry and absorb excessive sweating so as to live a “normal” life and to feel dry, “put together” and accepted.
There is not yet a cure for hyperhidrosis but there are effective strategies to treat and cope with the condition.
Lifestyle and home remedies that may help with sweating and body odor:
Use antiperspirant. Antiperspirants contain aluminum-based compounds that temporarily block the sweat pores. This reduces the amount of sweat and may help with minor hyperhidrosis.
Bathe regularly. Regular bathing helps keep bacteria on your skin in check. Dry yourself thoroughly, especially between the toes and under the arms.
Choose shoes and socks made of natural materials. Shoes made of natural materials, such as leather, can help prevent sweaty feet by allowing your feet to breathe. When you’re active, moisture-wicking athletic socks are a good choice.
Change your socks often. Change socks or hose once or twice a day, drying your feet thoroughly each time. You may want to try pantyhose with cotton soles. Use over-the-counter foot powders to help absorb sweat.
Try relaxation techniques. Consider relaxation techniques such as yoga, meditation and biofeedback. These can help you learn to control the stress that triggers sweating.
miraDry: The miraDry System uses thermal energy that targets and eliminates the sweat and odor glands in your underarm. Once those glands are eliminated, they do not grow back. Goodbye, sweat stains!
miraDry is a doctor administered treatment and requires a doctor’s pre-treatment consultation. The treatment costs $2,500 (before GST) per session at Calvin Chan Aesthetic & Laser Clinic.
*The information provided in this blog post is not intended as medical advice or instruction on the treatment of hyperhidrosis. Patients should always consult a medical professional prior to making any decisions or undertaking any actions related to health care.