Hyperhidrosis is a condition that causes excessive sweating. While all humans must sweat to a certain extent and it is normal to sweat when you are hot, nervous, or exerting yourself, if you often sweat for no reason, you may have hyperhidrosis. The good news is that a board-certified dermatologist like those at Dermatologic Cosmetic & Plastic Surgery can help you find excessive sweating treatments to control your hyperhidrosis.
Scientists are unsure how many people in the U.S. suffer from hyperhidrosis because many people are either too embarrassed to ask the doctor about it or assume nothing can be done so they do not seek treatment. We do know that people of all races, genders, and ages can suffer from hyperhidrosis.
What causes hyperhidrosis?
Hyperhidrosis can be genetic, caused by a medical condition, or be a side effect of certain medications or foods. If a person has experienced excessive sweating since childhood and it generally only affects the hands, armpits, and feet, it is typically genetic. If the excessive sweating begins as an adult, often affects the entire body, and occurs during sleep, it is likely being caused by a medical condition, medications, or foods.
Excessive sweating – no matter what the underlying cause is – can result in embarrassment and poor self-esteem for children, teens, and adults. To diagnose the cause of your hyperhidrosis, a dermatologist will ask you questions about your medical history and the pattern of your excessive sweating. Once the dermatologist hears this information, he or she can typically chart a plan for treatment. If you schedule a dermatologist appointment and intend to speak to the doctor about hyperhidrosis, be prepared to answer questions like the following:
> Do any of your relatives have excessive sweating?
> Do you sweat noticeably while sleeping (ie, wake up with wet or damp bed clothes or sheets)?
> When did you first notice your excessive sweating?
> How often do you notice yourself sweating excessively?
> Have you noticed any particular triggers for your excessive sweating?
> How does excessive sweating impact your life and daily routine?
In some cases, prescription strength antiperspirants may help. There are also injections, prescription medicines, and surgeries that can abate excessive sweating.