For those who suffer with hyperhidrosis, coping with it can be extremely stressful. Excessive sweating can lead to feelings of embarrassment and shame as the condition can be accompanied by body odour, which is often off-putting in social situations. People who do not suffer from the condition are not usually aware it exists, and may pass judgement on those suffering from hyperhidrosis. Excessive sweating is usually judged to be a result of poor physical fitness or bad hygiene.
Hyperhidrosis can also keep you from doing things that you love. Situations which include a great deal of activity are often too uncomfortable to bear as physical activity tends to exacerbate the condition. Further, hyperhidrosis often includes excessive sweating of the hands, which puts up social barriers as hyperhidrosis sufferers often feel self-conscious when it comes to physical contact.
What is Hyperhidrosis?
Hyperhidrosis – or excessive sweating – happens when much more sweat is produced than is needed to cool the body. This embarrassing condition usually affects areas of the body with a high concentration of sweat glands – the armpits, palms of the hands, soles of the feet, groin and face.
Types of Hyperhidrosis
- Focal – one or more areas such as the armpits (axillary hyperhidrosis), feet (plantar hyperhidrosis), hands (palmar hyperhidrosis), face
- Generalized – whole body
What are the Causes of Excessive Sweating?
- Underlying disease
- Anxiety, stress
- Hot, humid weather
Because of the embarrassment hyperhidrosis sufferers often experience, it is common to simply try to cover the condition up and hope that no one notices. Dealing with excessive sweating in this way often limits the activities you can accomplish in a day as well as the manner in which you dress. Instead of covering up hyperhidrosis, it is important that you seek treatment as there are a number of options available which will help you to reclaim your life and reduce the impact of excessive sweating.
Who is Affected by Excessive Sweating?
- 950,000 Canadians (1)
- Mostly women 21- 35 (2)
- 50% cases on armpits (3)
- Only 38% seek medical help (4)
- Self consciousness, depression
- Impact on work, social life, clothing choices
Potential Hyperhidrosis Treatments
- Over-the counter preparations – antiperspirants with aluminium chloride and alcohol
- Prescription medications
- Procedures – BOTOX® injections, iontophoresis, surgery
Note: Certain treatments for medical conditions that are considered to be elective and/or cosmetic are not covered by Medical Services Plan of BC.
If you are currently struggling to cope with hyperhidrosis and excessive sweating, please make an appointment with one of our doctors. There is help, and a number of highly effective treatment options are available.