Talking to Your Child About Hyperhidrosis
Is my child sweating too much?
Everyone sweats, and as kids reach adolescence, they may start sweating even more as their body changes. It is also during this time in life that many will experience the first symptoms of hyperhidrosis.
Hyperhidrosis is a medical condition characterized by excessive sweating. There is some evidence suggesting it is a hereditary condition, so if you or your partner suffer from excessive sweating, it’s more likely that your child will also suffer from this.
While it’s normal for kids and teens to sweat, if you’re noticing that they’re sweating a lot, and particularly from specific areas from their body such as their hands, feet, and/or underarms, then it may be hyperhidrosis. While there is no cure for the condition, there are a lot of treatments and tools you can provide your child with to help them navigate this condition.
Use our guide below to differentiate between regular sweating that may be due to changes in hormones, and hyperhidrosis.
How to spot hyperhidrosis in children and adolescents
- - Excessive sweating that is not related to heat or physical activity
- - Sweating that causes discomfort or embarrassment
- - Sweating that interferes with daily activities
Here are some specific things to look out for:
- - Difficulty holding writing tools due to moisture in the hands
- - Dampening papers they are writing on
- - Difficulty using technology tools and fingerprint ID
- - Significant sweat stains in the underarm region of clothing
- - Constantly wiping hands to dry them off
- - Strong body odor, particularly in teenagers
- - Residues and yellow staining in the underarm area due to constant use of deodorants and antiperspirants
- - Struggling to wear sandals and other open footwear
- - Sweating through boots and shoes
- - Going through shoes and tops at a faster rate due to damage from sweating and products used to manage the sweating
- - Lack of participation in classroom or extracurricular activities
- - Lack of participation in social activities with other students
- - Insisting on wearing dark clothing to hide sweat stains
- - Mood or personality changes, such as symptoms of anxiety and loneliness
Sweaty hands can make it difficult for kids to hold their pens and pencils, it may also lead them to dampen any papers they’re writing on (such as tests and assignments), make it difficult to use technology tools, and lead them to worry about damaging items with their sweaty hands.
Excessive sweating in the underarms is known to cause feelings of self-consciousness, as sweat stains can be visible, especially if they’re wearing a mandatory uniform that makes it difficult to hide. It can lead to sentiments of shame and embarrassment and keep them from raising their hands in class and participating in classroom, social, and extracurricular activities.. It can also lead to body odor, particularly in teenagers. Similarly, excessively sweaty feet can lead to odor due to bacteria feeding off of sweat. It can also cause them to sweat through footwear and slip in plastic or open-toed shoes.
It's hard to ignore the fact that students can have a lot on their plates. Stress from homework, tests, and school clubs often take a toll on students' social, emotional, and academic life. One of the easiest things for parents and caregivers is to help your child manage excessive sweating so that they don't need to worry about this side effect of hyperhidrosis during such a pivotal point in their lives. It may seem like a small thing to you if you don’t suffer from it yourself, but it can affect school performance, how they’re viewed by teachers and their peers, and lead to image issues.
There are many treatments and tips that you can give your child on how to manage hyperhidrosis. Below is our guide on how to approach the topic with them and provide them with the tools they need to succeed in school, and beyond.
How to talk to your child about hyperhidrosis
- - Talk to your child about hyperhidrosis in a calm and supportive manner. Help them understand what they’re dealing with and how you’ll work together to manage the condition. Explain what hyperhidrosis is and how it can impact their daily life. Learn more about hyperhidrosis here.
- - Help them to understand that sweating is a normal bodily function, but that they may need to take extra measures to control it. Understanding that what they’re going through is common (it affects approximately 1 in 20 people) and can be successfully treated is key.
- - Encourage them to talk to you or their doctor if they are feeling self-conscious or are having difficulty managing their sweating. Doctors and dermatologists can help recommend and prescribe treatments, and if necessary, do a diagnosis.
- - Provide emotional support to your child and let them know that you are there for them. Having a support system when dealing with a chronic condition is incredibly important. Show that you are there for them, and if they are old enough, encourage them to join an online support group.
Tips & tricks to help your kids manage excessive sweating
- - Encouraging them to wear loose-fitting, dark colored, and breathable clothing. Wearing absorbent materials, such as cotton, as an underlayer to help soak up sweat. Some sweat-proof t-shirts are specifically designed to be worn under clothing and help manage sweat and hide sweat stains.
- - Using an antiperspirant cream, powder, or wipe, can help with excessive perspiration, particularly in the underarms. Here are some underarm antiperspirants for hyperhidrosis we recommend.
- - Speaking to their school nurse and your child’s teachers to let them know what your child is dealing with and what tools can help them succeed in the classroom. They may also offer suggestions to you.
- - Having them avoid hot, spicy, or highly-processed foods during the day.
- - Teaching them relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing or visualization. Hyperhidrosis is linked with higher stress levels, and practicing proper relaxation techniques can help.
- - Empowering them with coping strategies and treatments. Prescription antiperspirants and iontophoresis treatment are the most common ways to treat hyperhidrosis. If your kid is suffering from severe excessive sweating, oftentimes antiperspirants won’t work. In this case, talk to their doctor about iontophoresis treatment.
- - Equipping them with a “sweat kit” at school, which they can keep in their locker. Be sure to include a change of clothes and socks, deodorant, antiperspirant, freshening wipes, a small towel, absorbent powder, dry shampoo, and anything else that may help your child.
How to treat hyperhidrosis
There are several ways to treat hyperhidrosis, such as antiperspirants, botox injections, and iontophoresis. Depending on the age of your child, you’ll want to discuss these options with your doctor to know what is right for your child. Antiperspirants are generally a good starting point, but in those with severe sweating, may not be enough.
Iontophoresis is often the next treatment step. Dermadry offers an at-home solution to treat excessive sweating of the hands, feet, and underarms. Discover more about iontophoresis treatment here, and by browsing our range of iontophoresis machines below.
How to help your child dealing with excessive sweating
Excessive sweating can be a serious problem for children, but it is also a problem that is treatable. Discussing and dealing with hyperhidrosis can help improve your child's confidence and performance at school.
We hope that the information we've provided above has opened your eyes to just how severely excessive sweating can impact a person's life, and what you can do to help. If your child is sweating excessively, there are many ways to help them. The most important thing is that you talk to them about it, listen to their concerns, and work together in finding a solution and treatment option that works for them. And for more tips on helping your child deal with excessive sweating, be sure to check out the rest of our website.
Here are some recommended links for further reading:
- - The Dermadry Hyperhidrosis Scholarship
- - Learn more about hyperhidrosis
- - How is hyperhidrosis diagnosed?
- - What are the best t-shirts for sweaty armpits?
- - The challenges of being a student with hyperhidrosis
- - Learn more about iontophoresis treatment
- - What are the best underarm antiperspirants for hyperhidrosis?