Sweating heavily can control your life. You may try to cover up the pool of sweat forming on your palms or underarms — or avoid going out altogether. But excessive sweating can also be a medical condition, and solutions are within reach. Understanding, "What is hyperhidrosis?" will help you uncover whether you suffer from a medical condition or just experience situational sweating.
What Is Hyperhidrosis?
Hyperhidrosis is sweating beyond a level that's physiologically necessary to regulate body temperature. People with hyperhidrosis sweat regardless of external temperature.
The condition affects people of all races and ages, but for many, hyperhidrosis begins as a child or teenager.
Although hyperhidrosis isn't a life-threatening ailment, constantly worrying about sweat can produce psychological, emotional and social effects.
Many people who experience constant, intense sweating must cope with embarrassment, frustration and stress.
If you suffer from the condition, you may try to hide signs of sweat with layers of clothing or by avoiding social situations. You could also face a constant tirade of questions like, "Are you OK?" When sweating profusely, others might think you're nervous or ill.
When dealing with heavy sweat, you might feel alone. However, excessive sweating is actually quite common.
One study found that nearly 5 percent of the population suffers from hyperhidrosis, though many more also experience situational sweating. Because many people don't realize hyperhidrosis is a medical condition (or are too embarrassed to address the issue), they never see a doctor.
In fact, less than 40 percent of people with hyperhidrosis seek medical advice for their condition.
As a result, dermatologists believe more children and adolescents have hyperhidrosis than are diagnosed.
Types of Hyperhidrosis
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, there are two types of hyperhidrosis:
- Primary hyperhidrosis
- Secondary hyperhidrosis
People with primary hyperhidrosis experience excessive sweating in one area — most commonly the underarms, hands, feet and forehead. The condition affects both sides of the body (whether the underarms, feet or hands).
Primary hyperhidrosis is more pervasive than secondary hyperhidrosis, usually beginning at puberty. Some people with primary hyperhidrosis experience excessive sweat at least once a week, but most experience daily bouts.
Unlike secondary hyperhidrosis, primary hyperhidrosis isn't linked to other medical conditions or medications. Rather, genetics play a role. Any healthy person could suffer from excessive sweat, especially if the condition runs in his/her family.
Affected Areas of the Body
- Underarms: Axillary hyperhidrosis
- Hands: Palmer hyperhidrosis
- Feet: Planter hyperhidrosis
- Head/Face: Cranial hyperhidrosis
- Groin: Inguinal hyperhidrosis
- Torso: Truncal hyperhidrosis
- Compensatory Hyperhidrosis (CS): Also known as rebound hyperhidrosis or reflex hyperhidrosis, CS is the most common side effect of endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy (ETS), a surgery to treat severe focal hyperhidrosis.
Secondary hyperhidrosis refers to excessive sweating that has an underlying cause — either a medical condition or side effect of taking a medication. People with secondary hyperhidrosis sweat excessively across their body, usually beginning during adulthood.
Medical conditions that can cause excessive sweating include:
- Overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism)
As with any medical condition, it's best to seek the advice of a qualified doctor if you suspect you have secondary hyperhidrosis.
Avoid the Anxiety and Embarrassment of Sweating
All types of hyperhidrosis cause feelings of anxiety and embarrassment.
Students often avoid raising their hand during class. Many teens never date. Adults hide the sweat stains beneath layers of clothing or change frequently throughout the day.
However, many people don't realize that hyperhidrosis is a treatable medical condition.
At Thompson Tee, we're committed to helping those with axillary hyperhidrosis safely regain their confidence and avoid costly and potentially harmful alternatives like surgery, botox or medications.
Our sweat proof undershirts completely absorb even the heaviest underarm sweat, so perspiration never reaches your outer layer. Try one risk-free today, and get your confidence back.