Excessive sweating (hyperhidrosis) is more common than you might think, but it's not a condition that most people talk openly about. It can be difficult to find the information and the help you need. So you can better understand excessive sweating and its treatment, we have provided the answers to some of the most common questions about hyperhidrosis.
You've suffered long enough with excessive sweating. Let us help you find a sweat management specialist in your area who can get you the information and care you need.
What is hyperhidrosis?
Hyperhidrosis is the medical term for excessive sweating. Without proper treatment, hyperhidrosis can have a great impact on a sufferer's quality of life.
While not a dangerous disorder, hyperhidrosis can be embarrassing, unpleasant, and inconvenient. Fortunately, doctors are now learning much more about this condition and how to manage it.
Can excessive sweating be treated?
Yes! There are a number of treatment options available to manage excessive sweating. These range from topical preparations to surgery.
How common is hyperhidrosis?
In the United States, approximately 2.8% of the population1 is affected by hyperhidrosis. Using the same percentage for Canada means that excessive sweating affects about 952,000 Canadians2.
What areas of the body are most often affected by excessive sweating?
When sweating occurs in specific places only, it is known as focal hyperhidrosis. Most often, focal hyperhidrosis affects the palms, soles of the feet, underarms, and face. Excessive underarm sweating is by far most common, accounting for more than 50% of the reported cases. When sweating occurs over the entire body, it is known as generalized hyperhidrosis, but this is less common.
What causes excessive sweating?
Although we're getting closer to understanding it, in most cases, the cause of primary hyperhidrosis is unknown. Hyperhidrosis can also be caused by an underlying condition (e.g. metabolic disorders, menopause, obesity, nerve damage) and by some drugs, although this is very uncommon. In this case it is called secondary hyperhidrosis.
What are the current treatments for excessive sweating?
The most common ways to treat hyperhidrosis are:
|Topical antiperspirants plug the sweat ducts to stop sweat from being released|
|Focal injections interrupt the signal from the nerve to the sweat glands|
|Iontophoresis applies low-intensity electric current to affected areas|
|Surgery severs the nerves that carry messages to the sweat glands or removes the sweat glands themselves|
Which treatment is most effective?
It's important to realize there is no single "right" way to treat hyperhidrosis. Everyone is different. If you have hyperhidrosis, you and your doctor need to discuss the option that best suits your situation. Where your hyperhidrosis occurs and your discomfort level are all factors that have to be considered before choosing a treatment.
A consultation with a sweat management specialist will help you determine the treatment option that is right for you!
Why should I see a sweat management specialist?
Hyperhidrosis treatment is an area of expertise, and proper diagnosis is required to ensure that you receive the most appropriate treatment. You can find a sweat management specialist in your area with our online doctor locator.
1 Solish N, Benohanian A, et al. Prospective open-label study of botulinum toxin type A in patients with axillary hyperhidrosis: effects on functional impairment and quality of life. Dermatol Surg 2005 Apr; 31(4):405 -413.
2 Statistics Canada, 2011 Census Data. (2.8% of total population)