Everything You Need to Know About Hyperhidrosis!
By Sam Nardi 2019 Nov 8th
November is Hyperhidrosis Awareness Month, a yearly campaign launched by the International Hyperhidrosis Society. Their goal is to raise awareness of hyperhidrosis, the medical condition characterized by excessive sweating that affects 1 in every 20 people worldwide.
In honour of the event, we have launched our World’s Sweatiest Person contest, and will be featuring exclusive informative content on our blog!
We’ve gathered the most frequently asked questions about hyperhidrosis on the web and answered them below in our handy FAQ guide!
What is hyperhidrosis?
- Hyperhidrosis is a medical condition characterized by uncontrollable excessive sweating.
How common is hyperhidrosis?
- Hyperhidrosis is a very common condition that affects approximately 5% of the global population, which is about 365 million people worldwide.
Which areas are most commonly affected by hyperhidrosis?
- The areas most commonly affected by hyperhidrosis are the hands, feet, and underarms. It also commonly affects the head and facial region. These are known as palmar hyperhidrosis (hands), plantar hyperhidrosis (feet), axillary hyperhidrosis (underarms) and craniofacial hyperhidrosis (head/face).
How do I know if I have hyperhidrosis?
- Those who suffer from hyperhidrosis sweat approximately 4-5 times more than the average person. If you are often thinking about sweat and/or if sweating interferes with your daily life, then you may suffer from hyperhidrosis.
What can trigger hyperhidrosis?
- Sweating is generally triggered by exercise, stress, illness, and hot weather. However, those who suffer from hyperhidrosis will sweat uncontrollably anytime, anyplace.
Are there different types of hyperhidrosis?
- Yes, there are two types of hyperhidrosis known as primary and secondary hyperhidrosis.
What is primary hyperhidrosis?
- Primary hyperhidrosis is the most common form of the condition. It has no known cause and it is most usually localized, meaning it affects one or more specific areas of the body, such as the hands, feet, and/or underarms.
What is secondary hyperhidrosis?
- Excessive sweating can be a symptom of an underlying medical condition or can be a side effect of a medication. If that is the case, then it is referred to as secondary hyperhidrosis, as it is not of primary origin. It is generalized, meaning it usually affects the whole body.
Are there different levels of hyperhidrosis?
- Yes, hyperhidrosis is generally classified as mild, moderate, or severe, depending on the amount of sweat produced.
Does hyperhidrosis get worse with age?
- It depends on the person, but most people report that hyperhidrosis gets better with age. However, hyperhidrosis can also develop later in life especially in the case of secondary hyperhidrosis, which is a side effect of other conditions and certain medications.
Is hyperhidrosis a disability?
- Hyperhidrosis is considered a disability, as it has significant physical, mental, and emotional impacts on its sufferers. Therefore, treatment may be covered by your insurance provider.
Is hyperhidrosis serious?
- Hyperhidrosis can have serious negative effects on a person (mentally, physically, emotionally, etc.) but primary hyperhidrosis is a benign (non-dangerous) condition.
How is hyperhidrosis diagnosed?
- The condition can generally be visually assessed and can also be diagnosed by a medical professional. It is important to consult a doctor to rule out an underlying condition in the case of secondary hyperhidrosis.
Can hyperhidrosis be cured permanently?
- No cure currently exists. Surgery is an option but it is considered a highly risky procedure whose major side effects (such as compensatory sweating) outweigh the potential benefit. Thankfully effective treatment exists that can greatly reduce sweat levels.
What is compensatory sweating?
- Compensatory hyperhidrosis is sweating in a region on the body, to make up for the lack of sweat in another region. This can occur following a major injury, and most commonly following endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy (ETS), which is the surgery many hyperhidrosis sufferers undergo. Many who have had this surgery to treat palmar and plantar hyperhidrosis often find themselves sweating in places they never sweat before to compensate for the total absence of sweat on their hands and feet.
Is hyperhidrosis dangerous?
- No, primary hyperhidrosis is not dangerous and is not life-threatening. However, it can have a serious negative impact on an individual’s occupational, physical, emotional, and social life. The condition can take a significant toll on its sufferer, leading them to live and plan their life around the condition, even leading them to completely avoid social interaction and gatherings.
- In the case of secondary hyperhidrosis, it can be linked to another condition, which may be more serious. In this case, you need to consult a doctor.
Is hyperhidrosis genetic?
- There are several clinical studies that suggest that hyperhidrosis may have a genetic component to it, meaning it could be hereditary (passed down from one generation to the next). However, there is no official known cause for hyperhidrosis.
How do you get rid of hyperhidrosis?
- There is no “getting rid” of hyperhidrosis, but with effective treatment such as iontophoresis, the sweating can significantly subside to a more manageable level or completely disappear with the proper maintenance schedule.
How do you treat hyperhidrosis naturally?
- Tap water iontophoresis is a natural way to treat hyperhidrosis. It is a drug-free, and needle-free option that uses tap water and electricity to significantly reduce sweating.
Does hyperhidrosis make you smell?
- Sweat itself is a clear and odorless liquid, so producing more sweat won’t directly make you smell more. However, hyperhidrosis can be related to another medical condition called bromhidrosis, which is a condition characterized by strong body odour.
Does hyperhidrosis ever go away?
- Hyperhidrosis can decrease as one gets older, but the condition itself generally does not “go away”. However, with proper treatment, the sweating can be managed and maintained at a normal level.
Can I treat hyperhidrosis?
- Hyperhidrosis is a highly treatable condition. Several treatment options for hyperhidrosis exist, including iontophoresis, antiperspirants, botulinum toxin injections, prescription medications, microwave thermolysis, and surgical procedures.
What is the best treatment for hyperhidrosis?
- Iontophoresis is a safe and effective way to treat hyperhidrosis. It is a natural, non-invasive, needle-free, and drug-free treatment option that can provide weeks of dryness.
Where can I learn more about hyperhidrosis?
- A great resource for hyperhidrosis is the International Hyperhidrosis Society’s website, which has a lot of useful information and additional resources!
- Dermadry’s website is also a great resource for those who want to learn everything there is to know about, sweat, hyperhidrosis, and how to treat it! Additionally, you can check out Dermadry as a treatment option below!