Hyperhidrosis is a disorder characterized by excessive sweating. Sweating is a normal reaction by the body to cool itself down when it is overheated. However, individuals who suffer from hyperhidrosis can produce up to four or five times the amount of sweat required to cool the body. Although nobody understands the exact cause of this excessive sweating in specific individuals, it is known that the sweating is controlled by the sympathetic nervous system.
This condition most noticeably affects the underarms, palms, soles, upper forehead, scalp, back and pelvic area. People with this condition can be plagued with not only sweaty clothes and a moist handshake, but also with skin infections and social embarrassment. It can have a significant impact on self-confidence and diminish an individual’s quality life.
What Are the Different Types of Hyperhidrosis?
Treatment options for hyperhidrosis depend on which of the following 2 types of hyperhidrosis is affecting you:
1. Primary hyperhidrosis, also called focal hyperhidrosis, affects specific areas such as the underarms,palms, feet, and face. It is caused by a malfunction within the sympathetic nervous system that overstimulates the nerves that cause the sweat glands to produce more sweat.
2. Secondary hyperhidrosis, also called generalized hyperhidrosis, usually affects the entire body. It is caused by medication or another medical condition such as menopause, metabolic disorders, neurological disorders, or infections.
How do I know if I sweat too much?
You may be suffering from hyperhidrosis if:
- You change clothes more than once a day due to sweat stains
- You are reluctant to make physical contact and shake hands
- You are self-conscious or embarassed due to sweating
- You are frequently worried someone will notice your sweat stains and body odour
- Sweating interferes with your daily social and work activities
- You select clothes that will not show sweat easily
How do I know which treatment will be effective for me?
One of the physicians at the Toronto Sweat Clinic will take your medical history, perform an examination and assess you. He will determine the best treatment for your excessive sweating based on several factors relating to your condition. Read this PDF file that compares treatment options. This document was created by our Medical Experts for referring physicians:
The Toronto Sweat Clinic is a world leader in the management of focal hyperhidrosis. We have developed 2 algorithms to treat excessive sweating of the hand (palmar hyperhidrosis) or underarms (axillary hyperhidrosis). Please feel free to print these out!
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