Are you experiencing excessive sweating: Here is what to do?

Hot weather is not only the joys of relaxing in the sun but also problems with sweating. Why do we sweat, why is it necessary, and is it possible to regulate it somehow?

Are you experiencing excessive sweating: Here is what to do?

In the human skin, two types of glands associated with sweating can be found - apocrine and eccrine, differing in the characteristics of sweat secretion.

Eccrine glands are distributed relatively evenly on the body's surface, mostly on the palms and feet, the skin of the face. Still, they are absent in the area of the transitional border of the lips, in the area of the nails, the glans of the penis and the labia minora. These are the main sweat glands that secrete about 10 litres of sweat per day. It mainly consists of water with substances dissolved and has no smell (the smell appears when bacteria multiply in this nutrient medium).

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Apocrine glands are found in the armpits, anogenital area, in the forehead and eyelids, around the nipples and navel. They secrete an oily liquid, the smell of which has the function of a signal marker for other individuals. Evaporating, sweat cools the body's surface, which plays an important role in the thermoregulation of the body. In addition, water, salts, toxins and some medicines are released with sweat.

 What is hyperhidrosis, and why does it appear?

We normally sweat increases in the heat when eating hot or spicy foods and with strong emotions. Each of us is familiar with the feeling of hands wet with fear or excitement – the forehead, palms, feet, and armpits sweat intensely when we are worried. At the same time, if excessive sweating is observed under normal conditions that do not cause such a reaction in most people, without overheating or physical exertion, we are talking about hyperhidrosis. 

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Hyperhidrosis may be associated with genetic factors, or it may be associated with other factors:

  1.  Neurological disorders.
  2. Tumour and haematological diseases.
  3. Metabolic disorders (hyperthyroidism, diabetes mellitus, the onset of menopause).
  4. Fever of various origins.
  5. Tuberculosis.
  6. Chronic alcoholism or drug use.
  7. You are taking certain medications (propranolol, pilocarpine, some antidepressants).

What is the danger of excessive sweating?

Hyperhidrosis turns out to be far from such a harmless disorder as it may seem at first glance. The protective properties of the skin in conditions of excessive humidity are reduced, which facilitates the reproduction of bacteria and fungi that lead to unpleasant infections. This is especially true for patients whose healing processes are worse due to concomitant diseases (type 2 diabetes mellitus). 

In addition, sweating greatly worsens the quality of life, leading to social isolation and the appearance of psychological problems.

When should you see a doctor?

It is worth consulting a doctor if: 

  1. The methods of combating sweating that you use do not have any effect.
  2. You have been suffering from sweating for the last six months or longer.
  3. Sweating prevents you from doing everyday things, limiting your activity.
  4. Episodes of sweating occur one time a week and more often.
  5. Sweating bothers you at night.
  6. Someone in your family suffered from excessive sweating.
  7. You are taking medication for another disease.

How to cope with sweating?

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The following hygiene rules help to alleviate the symptoms of hyperhidrosis: 

  1. Take a shower or bath every day. After bathing, thoroughly blot the skin without friction, especially in the area of skin folds (armpits, folds under the chest, inguinal folds, gaps between the fingers).
  2. To ensure the hygiene of the feet, you can use antibacterial soap, drying powders with antibacterial and antifungal components. Carefully monitor the absence of cracks, scuffs or ingrown toenails.
  3. Give preference to loose clothing made of breathable materials that absorb moisture well, socks made of hygroscopic materials, shoes made of natural materials (suitable in size). If possible, change socks 1-2 times a day, shoes-1 time every two days.
  4. Avoid eating foods that stimulate sweating: hot food and drinks, spicy and spicy dishes, alcohol.
  5. Use local remedies with an astringent and drying effect.
  6. Use antiperspirants to suppress sweating. This is a safe way to regulate sweating (contrary to existing fears, no facts have been found confirming an increased risk of Alzheimer's disease or breast cancer when using antiperspirants). They should be applied to dry skin without traces of irritation. Currently, there are also other means applied to the skin to suppress sweating.
  7. Drink enough fluids to maintain normal thermoregulation of the body.
  8. Contact a psychologist if excessive sweating brings you psychological suffering, disrupting the quality of life. By the way, some antidepressants can also be used in the treatment of hyperhidrosis.
  9. If these measures do not have an effect, discuss with your doctor the possibility of using other means: taking certain drugs that suppress sweating, physiotherapy, administration of botulinum toxin, temporarily blocking the work of the sweat glands or surgical treatment in particularly severe cases.