Hyperhidrosis: Excessive Sweating Explained
Hyperhidrosis is a medical condition characterized by excessive sweating that affects up to 5% of the global population. Those who suffer from this condition can sweat 4-5 times more than the average person. Depending on the cause, hyperhidrosis can be categorized as primary or secondary. It can also be generalized or focal, meaning it can affect the whole body or just some regions. The areas most commonly affected by hyperhidrosis are the hands, feet, and underarms, but it can also affect the head/face and any other region on the body.
Sweating, also known as perspiration, is an essential bodily function that helps regulate body temperature. In addition to thermoregulatory sweating, humans also secrete sweat that is triggered by human emotions. This is often referred to as emotional sweating and explains why we sweat in stressful situations, such as a job interview or presentation.
Excessive sweating can be the result of an underlying medical condition, and can also be a side effect of a medication. If that is the case, then it is referred to as secondary hyperhidrosis, as it is secondary to another condition.
If your hyperhidrosis is not associated with an underlying condition nor is considered a side-effect of a medication you are taking, then it is of primary origin. Primary hyperhidrosis is a chronic, idiopathic condition, meaning that it is recurring and has no known cause. There is likely a hereditary factor to it (there is a good chance that if you suffer from it, so do one or more close family members) and may also be the result of an overactive autonomic nervous system.
While this condition is non-life-threatening, it can have a serious 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 avoid social interaction and situations. It is often referred to as the “silent handicap”, as people rarely talk about the condition nor seek medical help, leaving many to suffer in silence. There are a lot of misconceptions about hyperhidrosis — in fact, many sufferers don’t even realize that excessive sweating is a recognized, treatable medical condition, nor that there is a word for it.
Fortunately, highly effective treatment is available. One of the most effective treatment options for hyperhidrosis is iontophoresis, which is a non-invasive, needle-free, and drug-free alternative to other treatments. At Dermadry, we have made it our mission to spread awareness about the condition and iontophoresis treatment.