What Is Hyperhidrosis?
Sweating clears your skin, boosts immunity, detoxifies the body, and releases feel-good hormones. But too much of everything is more of a threat than a benefit. Hyperhidrosis or Polyhidrosis or Sudorrhea, is a common disorder of excessive sweating. When you start to sweat abnormally, you have difficulty doing day to day activities. Many people have hyperhidrosis of the underarms, also called axillary hyperhidrosis, and of the palms and soles of the feet or palmoplantar hyperhidrosis. Axillary hyperhidrosis starts late in adolescence, around the age of thirteen. If it is left untreated, it will likely continue throughout your life. Hyperhidrosis is caused by infectious, endocrine, neurologic, and other systemic diseases. In some cases, heat and emotions may trigger excessive sweating. If you have hyperhidrosis, you will continue to sweat all day, regardless of your mood or the weather.
Sweating is the body’s mechanism to cool down. When your body temperature rises, your nervous system automatically triggers the sweat glands. It is a simple process with a lot of benefits, but when you start to sweat even though you haven’t been physically active or due to rise in temperature, it is called primary Idiopathic hyperhidrosis. ‘Idiopathic’ means ‘of unknown cause.’ It usually affects your palms and soles and sometimes your face. Secondary hyperhidrosis occurs due to medical conditions such as diabetes, menopause or hot flashes, low blood sugar, heart attack, infections, nervous system disorder, thyroid problems among others. Secondary hyperhidrosis is a less common type which causes sweating all over your body. Hyperhidrosis may be present from birth or may develop later in life.
What are the Symptoms of Hyperhidrosis?
Episodes of excessive sweating can happen to anyone at any point in time. It is important to understand the signs to understand if your abnormal sweating is hyperhidrosis.
The symptoms include:
- Frequent sweating
- Sweaty or wet soles on your feet
- Sweaty or wet palms of your hands
- Noticeable underarm sweating that soaks through your clothes
- You may also experience irritation, pain, fungal or bacterial infection.
Hyperhidrosis may affect your social life and cause emotional distress. You may worry about stained clothes, body odor, and feel conscious and reluctant to make physical contact.