If you want to lose some weight, summers are the best time to do so. This is a statement that I have often encountered. The simple logic behind is that we sweat easily in summers. The more you sweat, the more you can burn up the fat. Sweat is such an integral part of our biology, it cools our body down, removes toxins, helps your skin and so on, but imagine what happens if you sweat all the time? Undoubtedly not a nice scenario, but it does happen to people.
When a person sweats excessively without a valid reason like hot temperature, workout or nervousness, it becomes a clinical condition called hyperhidrosis. There are a few classifications but here is the most common one:
- Primary or Focal Hyperhidrosis: This is the type where sweating happens only in certain body parts, like hands, soles, armpits, face. This can be further categorized based on which body part is affected. Armpits (Axillary hyperhidrosis) and soles of feet and palms (Palmoplantar hyperhidrosis) being the common ones.
- Secondary or Generalised Hyperhidrosis: This is when the sweating happens in the entire body and is not focused on one part.
For the causes, it depends upon the type you suffer. Primary hyperhidrosis is considered to be hereditary, and it’s believed that the nerves that signal the sweat gland to work become oversensitive, sending wrong signals and resulting in excessive sweating. Why that may happen is still being looked into. Secondary hyperhidrosis is considered an effect of some underlying medical condition, so the causes for it can be hypoglycemia, hyperthyroidism, obesity, menopause, certain types of cancer, tumour, diabetes, and substance or alcohol abuse.
Although there is no certain age for this condition to the surface, still a general consensus says it shows up during adolescent.
This condition is not life-threatening in physical terms, but it has a mental impact. If a person is worried about sweating and smelling because of it, it will impact their behaviour, their social life, it can push people into alienating themselves to avoid embarrassment. With so much stress on physical appearance, it definitely becomes a factor in life, also, it can open people to skin and bacterial infections. But worry not, the condition is manageable and treatable.
So, of course, the first step is to consult a doctor, so they can diagnose any possible underlying causes for the treatment, in which the focus would be on treating that condition. There are a few sweat tests like the thermoregulatory test designed to ascertain the severity of the condition.
For treatment, start with some lifestyle changes like:
- Wearing loose clothes and easier materials like cotton
- Using natural materials for footwear
- Airing out the body, and bathing daily
- Antiperspirants to manage sweat
- Learning to relax, as stress can worsen sweating
If these remedies are of no use, then medical treatment can be taken:
- Oral medications that can reduce sweating
- Prescribed antiperspirants
- Botox: yes, the one for cosmetic surgery, but in this, a few injections are administered in the affected area and it paralyzes the muscles
- Laser treatment: it destroys the sweat glands
- Thoracic sympathectomy: the surgical destruction of the nerves connected with sweat glands. This is the last resort and is not recommended as it can cause more serious issues like sweating in other parts of the body, lung and nerve issues
“Don’t sweat the petty things, and don’t pet the sweaty thing”. This works in life, take care of what you need to and ignore all else.