02 Jul Hyperhidrosis: What Is It and Do You Have It?
We all sweat but how do you know if you sweat more than the average person? This is especially true for those that lead stressful lives or struggle with anxiety.
If you’ve heard of the term hyperhidrosis, you probably know it has something to do with sweating. While the average human will sweat in stressful situations or when temperatures soar, those with hyperhidrosis experience excess sweating regardless of their environment or situation.
Hyperhidrosis is actually classified as a medical condition and affects around 5% of people around the world.
How to Know If You Have Hyperhidrosis
If sweat seems to interfere with your day-to-day life, there’s a chance you might be struggling with hyperhidrosis. What’s more, this condition doesn’t only cause excess underarm sweat, it can also affect the scalp, hands and feet. As mentioned above, the usual causes of sweat don’t apply. Those with hyperhidrosis will sweat uncontrollably at any given moment. While sweat caused by this medical condition doesn’t smell, if it’s linked to another condition called bromhidrosis, it can cause strong odours.
Hyperhidrosis: Breaking It Down
There are two types of hyperhidrosis:
- Primary Hyperhidrosis. Affects one or more areas of the body and has no known cause.
- Secondary Hyperhidrosis. Is usually caused by an underlying medical condition or specific types of medication.
This condition can also be classified as mild, moderate or severe, depending on how much sweat is produced at any given moment.
What’s interesting is that many people report that hyperhidrosis tends to get better with age. With this being said, it’s also quite common for it to develop later on in life due to the onset of medical conditions or medication requirements.
Hyperhidrosis is not a serious condition but it is covered by many insurance providers due to the physical, mental and emotional effects it has. However, if you’re dealing with secondary hyperhidrosis, it can be life-threatening because it might be linked to an unknown, underlying medical condition.
A Look at the Diagnosis & Treatment
If you suspect that you might have hyperhidrosis, a doctor will be able to assist you with a diagnosis. Seeing a medical professional will also ensure you can identify any potential underlying medical issues that might be causing the condition. There are also some studies that suggest this condition might be genetic.
Unfortunately, if you are diagnosed with hyperhidrosis, there is no cure. Thankfully, treatment is available and can help you keep it under control. Prescription antiperspirants are available for excess sweating but are often more effective as a secondary treatment, particularly if you suffer from severe hyperhidrosis. The most popular and effective treatment is anti-wrinkle injections.
During treatment, Botulinum Toxin A injections are used to block the nerves that control the sweat glands. When your body sweats naturally, it’s because your sweat glands and nerves are working together to cool you down. When anti-wrinkle injections are administered in the areas that sweat excessively, the nerves can no longer cause these glands to sweat unnecessarily.
The results of this type of hyperhidrosis treatment can last up to 12 months. Thereafter, top-up treatments will be required. You will know to schedule another appointment once you start to experience excess sweating once again.
The treatment itself is very quick and virtually pain-free. Your longest treatment will be the one where you meet with your doctor for the first time. If you are identified as an ideal candidate for treatment, you can easily schedule treatments over your lunch hour going forward. What should be noted is that not just anyone can administer this treatment. Always look at your doctor or injector’s experience and qualifications before scheduling a treatment.