Excessive sweating is sweating that exceeds what is necessary to cool the body down to a healthy temperature, also known as hyperhidrosis. There are two kinds: primary hyperhidrosis which has no known medical cause, and secondary hyperhidrosis which is caused by a preexisting medical condition. Sweating typically is not something to be concerned about. Usually, it is simply inconvenient or embarrassing. However, there are instances in which sweating too much is a sign of something more severe, so it’s important to know what you may be dealing with. If you’re always sweating, you should familiarize yourself with some of the common causes and learn how to stop excessive sweating.
CAUSES OF HYPERHIDROSIS
Sometimes there is no reason for excessive sweating. Primary hyperhidrosis sweating that is not linked to any medical condition, though it may be hereditary. This is the most common cause of excessive sweating.
An overactive thyroid could be the cause of heavy sweating. It causes the body to increase metabolism and irregulates the heartbeat, which can result in overheating and sweating. Hyperthyroidism is easily treatable but dangerous if ignored.
More accurately hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, caused by diabetes can result in heavy sweating. This is an early warning sign of hypoglycemia and should be treated before the condition worsens to prevent seizures or a loss of consciousness.
Women going through menopause often experience hot flashes. These sudden increases in temperature are caused by fluctuating estrogen levels. While they are likely to cause sweating, it is not a health concern so long as one visits the doctor regularly.
Many medications list sweating as a side effect. This is commonly found in antidepressants, heart medications, and antibiotics. It is not advised to treat sweating by terminating use of medication; always talk to a doctor before stopping use.
- Stress or Anxiety
Profuse sweating is a common stress response. It is also frequently found in people with generalized anxiety disorders. While stress and occasional anxiety are normal for anyone, a persisting anxiety disorder is something that can be treated.
This list does not cover all of the conditions that could cause excessive sweating so be sure to consult a doctor for your personal case.
HOW TO STOP EXCESSIVE SWEATING
The simplest step in combatting sweat is to apply antiperspirant to the parts of your body that sweat the most. Don’t limit it to your underarms; this can also be applied to hands or feet. Try a formula that also includes a deodorant to control odor. Try a clinical strength product made to be applied overnight to up the strength.
- Iontophoresis Therapy
Iontophoresis is essentially a “no-sweat machine” that can help decrease sweat production. The patient will submerge their hands and feet in water filled with low-level electrical currents for about 20 minutes. This treatment can take about 10 sessions to shut down the sweat glands. From there, a few monthly maintenance treatments with an iontophoresis machine will likely be necessary to keep the sweat from returning.
Botox injections are an FDA-approved way to eliminate sweating in the underarms, but can also be applied to hands and feet. The Botox is used to block the chemicals in your body from signaling sweat glands. Effective treatments can last up to a year.
If other treatments haven’t worked, a doctor may recommend a prescription drug to reduce excessive sweating. Anticholinergic medicines can block the sweat glands, but be warned that the side effects, like blurred vision, may not be worth it for everybody.
If the journey of how to stop excessive sweating has left one feeling hopeless, the final option is undergoing surgery. This is absolutely a last resort option. The common surgeries to eliminate sweating are for a plastic surgeon to remove the sweat glands from the underarms, or for a surgeon to remove the nerves that trigger the glands. This option should only be visited if no other treatments have worked.
While there is nothing inherently wrong with sweating, it’s something that should be addressed with a medical professional. Even if there is no medical condition associated with the sweating, it can have a negative effect on one’s emotional state. The best thing someone can do is consult a doctor on how to stop excessive sweating .