For the millions of Americans suffering from hyperhidrosis, excessive sweating, the body's mechanism for cooling itself is overactive and can cause sweat production that is up to four or five times more than normal. While some people may only think about sweating during the hot summer months, individuals with hyperhidrosis find excessive sweating can disrupt their daily and recreational activities, regardless of the season.
"While we all sweat, those suffering from hyperhidrosis such a volume of excessive sweating they often need to change their clothing multiple times a day to hide their symptoms," says Lisa J. Pieretti, Executive director of the International Hyperhidrosis Society (IHHS), a non profit organization dedicated to help those with excessive sweating. "It's important to remember that hyperhidrosis is a treatable medical condition and it is possible to manage symptoms through medical treatment options."
The International Hyperhidrosis Society recommends following these simple steps to help control sweating this summer:
1. Stay hydrated: Drink early, drink often, and drink again. Sweat plays a critical role in keeping your body cool in hot temperatures. The key to keeping this internal air conditioning system working properly is drinking enough fluids.
2. Use a vaporizer or atomizer: Help the body's natural cooling system by using a vaporizer or atomizer to spray a light mist of water on your skin. As the water evaporates the body will naturally cool down.
3. Wear loose, lightweight natural fabrics: Loose clothing enables perspiration to evaporate and natural, breathable fabrics "wick" moisture away from your underarms.
4. Apply antiperspirant twice daily: Application of an antiperspirant to underarms (or other areas, too!) twice daily (morning and before bedtime) has been shown to be more effective in controlling excessive sweat. Consider using a stronger, clinical-strength over-the-counter antiperspirant. Be sure skin is completely dry before applying product to reduce the chance of skin irritation.
5. Reach zen: Anxiety can increase sweat production. Control anxiety by breathing deeply and focusing internally.
6. Avoid sweat-inducing spicy foods and caffeinated beverages to help stay cool in the warmer weather.
7. Knock out body odor: Excessive sweating can contribute to odors as the sweat dries and activates bacteria on your skin. Neutralize odors by sprinkling baking soda on affected clothing and on athletic gear after use.
8. Avoid mid-day workouts: When the sun is at its peek, the body is more inclined to sweat, so take advantage of the long summer days and plan an early morning or late evening workout.
9. Know your medications: There are a number of common medications that can exacerbate sweating. Make sure to check with your physician before you start any new medication, especially during the warmer summer months.
10. Talk to a healthcare provider: When antiperspirants are not effective in controlling excessive sweating, a physician may administer treatment with BOTOX® (onabotulinumtoxinA). Results last up to 6-7 months and treatment is often covered by insurance. There are other options, too, including iontophoresis and miraDry.
About the International Hyperhidrosis Society
The International Hyperhidrosis Society is a non-profit organization that strives to improve quality of life for those affected by excessive sweating. The Society promotes research and conducts education on the physiological effects of hyperhidrosis, raises awareness about its emotional and economic impact and advocates for patient access to effective treatments. The International Hyperhidrosis Society is composed of members from all over the world, making it a true international network for people who treat or suffer from hyperhidrosis.
Visit www.SweatHelp.org for further information and useful tools regarding excessive sweating, including: a hyperhidrosis Physician Finder, news updates, information about treatment options and how to make the best of your doctors appointment, insurance coverage tools, and more. Also, you can sign-up to receive our blog dispatches.
Hyperhidrosis is the medical term for excessive sweating. Patients with hyperhidrosis produce an amount of sweat that far exceeds that needed to regulate body temperature.
Hyperhidrosis can cause dehydration and skin problems. It may harm self-esteem, confidence, and career advancement. Some people may sweat so profusely that they need to change clothing several times a day.
Hyperhidrosis most frequently develops in adolescence or young adulthood. The underlying cause of the disorder is uncertain but genetics may play a role — one-third to one-half of patients has a family history of the disorder. Severe sweating may be exacerbated by stress, emotion or exercise, but often occurs spontaneously. The precise mechanism that triggers the condition is unclear but appears to be related to malfunction in the sympathetic nervous system — the part of the autonomic nervous system that regulates "involuntary" bodily functions (those we don't exert conscious control over) such as breathing, the heart beat, and regulation of body temperature. In people with hyperhidrosis, this system may produce too much of the neurotransmitter that triggers the eccrine glands to produce sweat, or the eccrine glands may be overreactive.
BOTOX® is a registered trademark of Allergan, Inc
International Hyperhidrosis Society® is a registered trademark of the International Hypherhidrosis Society