Sweating is your body’s natural way of expelling excess heat and keeping your skin clean. Entire gyms and saunas have even been designed to encourage the body to sweat, expelling dirt and stress alike in cultures around the world. There can be too much of a good thing, though. When this happens too frequently, it can lead to sticky clothes and embarrassment that even over-the-counter products can’t seem to cure. If you’ve been seeking to control excessive sweating, you may just have hyperhidrosis — this is a condition in which an individual’s body produces too much sweat, affecting everything from their ability to exercise to their emotional state if not treated. Below is a simple list explaining the symptoms of hyperhidrosis, its side effects and common treatment options.
What Is Hyperhidrosis?
Getting the help you need starts with better understanding your unique condition and how it works. Hyperhidrosis is an excessive sweating problem that goes beyond the boundaries of normal bodily functions and causes distress and discomfort when not treated. The average person has two to four million sweat glands working throughout their body as a sort of ‘coolant system’, used to prevent overheating and maintain a healthy temperature. Helping excessive sweating is a primary goal for many doctors around the country keen on assisting their patients with this frustrating condition.
How Many People Have This Condition?
While hyperhydrosis doesn’t receive quite the media attention other skin conditions do, it has become increasingly more common through awareness campaigns and advances in medical technology. It’s estimated over eight million Americans suffer from hyperhidrosis, amount to 3% of the total population, sweating four to five times as much as the average individual. Hyperhidrosis affects men and women equally according to ongoing studies, most commonly cropping up in populations between the ages of 25 and 65. It’s highly likely that hyperhidrosis is genetic, as anywhere from 30% to 50% of patients have a family member with a similar issue.
What Are Its Side Effects?
While sweating is a necessary function of the human body to maintain temperature, too much can negatively impact an individual’s physical and emotional state. A study showed the overwhelming majority of hyperhidrosis patients reporting the condition affecting their emotional state, with some patients reporting feeling less confident when they can’t stop excessive body sweating. Additional side effects can include fatigue, irritation and hot flashes. Any and all side effects associated with excessive sweating should be recorded and shared with your regular doctor or clinic.
What Cures Are Available?
Forms of physical therapy have cropped up in response to this widespread condition. Iontophoresis therapy can last 10 to 20 minutes, considered highly effective in helping excessive sweating. It was first introduced 50 years ago as a treatment for this condition and has made significant advancements in recent years. Iontophoresis, also called a ‘no-sweat machine’, needs anywhere from six to 10 treatments to properly shut down the sweat glands. Whether or not treatment will be right for you depends on your physical health and surrounding factors.
Where Do I Start Getting Treatment?
It’s frustrating trying treatment method after treatment method, only to find out results are temporary or don’t work whatsoever. If you’ve sought out ways of helping excessive sweating but feel like you’re hitting a roadblock, you may want to consider iontophoresis treatment. This tried and true method has seen success in reducing active sweat glands and eliminating the most common side effects of hyperhydrosis. Those suffering from a severe form of hyperhidrosis may need two to three iontophoresis treatments per week when they’re starting, however, with adjustments being made in light of progress. Meet with your regular doctor and discuss your symptoms to see if helping excessive sweating with iontophoresis treatment or hyperhidrosis accessories is right for you.