Excessive sweating can be uncomfortable, but one needs to remember that it is natural way for the body to cool itself. Yes, excessive sweating can cause problems in your relationships, social life and even can have an effect on your emotional life. Before we complain about sweating, we need to understand the significance of sweat. Sweat plays an important role in maintaining the body’s proper temperature. However, too much sweating can be a concern for many.
People who perform strenuous workouts are bothered a lot by sweating. But, when your body sweats more than usual even when you are not working out can be embarrassing. Excessive sweating that is more than usual is an indication of an underlying health condition.
Why do I sweat so much?
Sweating is normal and not a cause of worry in most cases. Sweat is produced in the sweat glands that are located in the dermis layer of your skin. Sweat is a form of liquid that comes out through the tiny openings on the skin called pores. Did you know that each square inch of skin contains about 650 sweat glands? So, why do we sweat? It is our body’s natural mechanism to release heat and cool down through sweating. Most of the time, you may think you are not sweating, but the fact is your body is releasing sweat all the time.
Sweat evaporates fast so it is not noticeable most of the times. But, there are certain occasions where you may notice sweat build up and this reaction by the body may be due to various factors:
– Emotional stress or anxiety
– After eating spicy foods
– Caffeinated drinks
– Alcoholic drinks
Your body may sweat a lot if there are any hormonal changes in the body. Sweating is high during the teenage years and in women it is more common during menopause.
Yes, it is true that some people may sweat more than usual and again the factors for this can be different. Obese and overweight people sweat more compared to other family members who are on the thinner side. During exercise, men usually sweat more compared to women. People who have high BMI are likely to sweat more and men sweat more compared to women after an exercise.
How much Sweat is normal?
How can you identify if you are sweating more than normal? More than 3 percent people suffer from the condition called hyperhidrosis or excessive sweating. There are no set diagnostic criteria to indicate how you sweat and how much is too much sweating. The only indication to know if a person is sweating excessively is only when he or she takes advice from a physician or finds the need to reach out to a doctor. Excessive sweating gets into the simple daily activities and restricts their social and professional opportunities and when this happens, you need to seek help from a professional.
According to the International Hyperhidrosis Society, there are two different types of hyperhidrosis: primary focal hyperhidrosis and the secondary generalized hyperhidrosis.
In the secondary generalized hyperhidrosis, there is excess perspiration that happens due to a medical condition like gout, diabetes and certain heart conditions. Pregnant women and those going through menopause are also at risk of hyperhidrosis.
Excessive sweating maybe due to a drug you may be taking, as certain medicines are known to cause hyperhidrosis. There is a literature published by the above organization that has the list of all the medicines that can cause excessive sweating.
The secondary generalized hyperhidrosis mostly develops in adulthood. Excessive sweating may occur in one area of the body or all over. You may sweat during the day for no reason or at night during sleep.
If you suffer from primary focal hyperhidrosis, you will experience excessive sweating in one or more specific areas of the body. These areas include armpits, hands, forehead and feet. People with primary focal hyperhidrosis usually have a family history of this condition. This condition is often noticed in adulthood and physicians find it difficult to identify the correct reason for this. People with primary focal hyperhidrosis don’t sweat excessively at night while sleeping.
Why do my armpits sweat so much?
Sweating all over the body can be uncomfortable, but it is noticed that the arms sweat more than other areas. Excessive sweating of the armpits is known as axillary hyperhidrosis. You may experience really bad odor in this area, which can be embarrassing and cause a lot of stress and anxiety.
According to the International Hyperhidrosis Society, the sweat glands that are active in the armpits are called as apocrine glands. These glands emit a thick fluid than the sweat from other areas of the body like forehead, hands or feet. When this thick sweat mixes with the bacteria on the skin of the underarms, it causes the odor that can be quite embarrassing.
While most people experience some amount of armpit sweat, but you might feel like yours is problematic.
Following are the simple solutions for armpit sweat:
Garment or dress shields: You can control some excessive sweating by using small fabric liners or garment shields. The disposable products have an adhesive lining that helps you attach them inside the dress or shirt to capture excess perspiration.
Sweat-proof Shirts: To manage excessive sweat, you can wear an extra layer of clothing underneath the dress. You can choose from cotton undershirts and sweat proof shirts that are designed to resist perspiration and odor.
Antiperspirants: Super market shelves are flooded with several deodorants and antiperspirants that address the sweating issue and odor. They work by clogging the pores so that the sweat is not released. The best time to apply an antiperspirant is at night because it gets into the pores and blocks the sweat glands by morning. Your doctor can prescribe a prescription strength antiperspirant that contains aluminum chloride. These products can be applied to other areas as well like hands, feet and underarms.
Careful Planning: If you sweat during certain occasions like meetings or social affairs, then it is advisable to carry an extra shirt with you.
There are a few medical solutions to tackle this issue. Some are more invasive than others and each one has its own pros and cons.
Botox: Botox injections are used by some people to tackle the issue of sweaty underarms. Botox temporarily blocks the signals that tell your glands to start sweating. Botox injections give relief from sweaty underarms for at least 6 months, but for continued relief you have to keep taking these injections. You can use Botox at other areas like face, feet and palm. The cost of Botox treatment varies and it depends on the location where it is taken. The cost ranges from $1000-$1500.
miraDry: This is an FDA approved treatment that uses electromagnetic energy to target and eliminate sweat glands in the underarms. One to two miraDry procedures has at least 80 percent reduction in underarm sweat. According to one study this procedure works for odor too. This procedure is more cost-effective compared to Botox and comparatively less invasive. Side effects may range from damage to nerves under the skin, some achiness, swelling, numbness and tingling in the area. The cost for this procedure can vary according to the area and costs around $1500-$2000 per treatment. As of now this treatment is approved by the FDA to treat underarm sweating.
Surgery: There are many surgical procedures that either damage or completely remove underarm sweat glands so that they no longer work. These are permanent solutions and they include liposuction, curettage or a combination of both the techniques. The underarm tissue can also be removed completely, but is not recommended according to the International Hyperhidrosis Society, because of severe side-effects including scarring and limited movement in the arm or shoulder region after surgery. The cost will depend on the procedure you choose, the area you choose and the country where you live.
Why does my crotch sweat so much?
Underarm sweating is quite common, but sweating in the groin region can be embarrassing. This condition can be particularly embarrassing for women who exercise. Excessive sweating in the groin, vagina, buttock and the thigh region is known as truncal hyperhidrosis. There will be unpleasant odor when the groin area is moist, which then becomes an ideal area for microbes to thrive. The dampness in the region can encourage overgrowth of bad bacteria in the vagina, which can throw off the delicate PH balance causing a lot of discomfort and odor.
The following are some solutions for this problem:
Unscented pads: Unscented pads can be used during the menstrual cycle to reduce the crotch sweat and groin odor. Wipe the area with baby wipes before and after and wear cotton panties. Changing the pads regularly also helps reduce the odor.
RepHresh Gel: This gel brings the PH level back to normal range of 3.5-4.5 range. It is recommended to use it with a probiotic like RepHresh Pro-B to keep yeast and bacteria balanced.
Shaving or trimming: Trimming or shaving of the pubic area helps reduce the odor and sweating to some extent. Shaving can lead to lumps on the skin that look like pimples or boils for some women.
Wear natural breathable clothing: Synthetic or nylon clothing should be avoided at any cost. Wear clothing made from wicking fibers that move the sweat away from the skin.
Talk to your physician about balancing the hormones. Low thyroid or low estrogen in and around menopause can cause groin sweat and odor.
Take a shower before or after an intense workout or any physical activity. This will help keep the groin area clean and free of sweat and odor.
Why do my hands and feet sweat so much?
Sweaty hands and feet can affect you daily activities causing a lot of frustration. People suffering from sweaty palms can find opening the simple door knobs difficult and sweaty feet can limit your footwear choices.
Palmer hyperhidrosis (on the palms of your hand) and plantar hyperhidrosis (on the feet) can be treated with some home solutions.
Botox: Botox injections can be taken to cure excessive sweating of the hands and feet. This treatment is costly and cannot be termed permanent. It can be uncomfortable when used in hands and feet.
Antiperspirants: These are used by millions of people to remove underarm sweating, but they can even be used on your feet. To keep your feet comfortable, your doctor can prescribe a stronger antiperspirant.
Iontophoresis: In this treatment you have to sit with your hands and feet immersed in a tray with water. Electrical current passes through the water. Each treatment will last for 15 to 40 minutes and is repeated three times a week until the desired results are achieved. The device can cost $700 and you can even rent it if needed.
Moisture Wicking Socks: The American Academy of Dermatology recommends that people who suffer from excessive sweating in the feet should avoid cotton socks and use moisture wicking socks. You should also wear shoes made from natural fibers like leather.
Why do I sweat so much? Now, after reading the above article you would have got the reason for excessive sweating and how to tackle the issue. Perspiration is a common thing and all of us sweat. Some may sweat normally, while others experience excessive sweating. Excessive sweating needs to be treated on time or else it can cause a lot of embarrassment. It is not a life-threatening condition, but it is a sign of more serious issue. Get into the root cause for these problems and take appropriate treatment for the same. Take a doctor’s help if required. A certified dermatologist will be able to cure your problem and give you relief from excessive sweating and the related odor.
why do i sweat so much