Perspiration is a normal function of the body. It allows the body to cool itself down. But when the amount of sweat far outweighs the amount the body needs to produce to achieve this goal, this is what is classed as “excessive sweating,” or hyperhidrosis.
For example, if you are sweating profusely and you have not exerted yourself and it is not hot weather and you don’t have a fever or anxiety, it could be that you are suffering from hyperhidrosis.
Hyperhidrosis can be either localized or generalized. Localized hyperhidrosis (also called “primary focal”) is the more common variety and around 1 to 3% of the population suffers from it. It usually starts in childhood or adolescence and affects specific parts of the body. It doesn’t cause an illness. Generalized hyperhidrosis (also called “secondary general”) causes sweating all over the body, sometimes at night.
What Causes Hyperhidrosis?
Excessive sweating can be caused by various medications.
Localized hyperhidrosis is more common in people who are overweight or in poor physical condition.
Generalized hyperhidrosis is caused by an underlying medical condition such as menopause, pregnancy, thyroid problems, diabetes, alcoholism, Parkinson's disease, auto-immune diseases, stroke, heart failure, some types of cancer and infectious diseases like tuberculosis.
If you suspect you may be suffering from excessive sweating, you should seek medical advice so that you can rule out any underlying cause.
What Are Conventional Medical Treatments For Excessive Sweating?
For generalized hyperhidrosis, doctors mainly aim to find out the cause of it. For localized hyperhidrosis, doctors generally recommend antiperspirants (over the counter or prescribed). In severe cases, they can also recommend Iontophoresis – which uses low-level electrical impulses to temporarily disable the sweat glands – or medications, Botox or surgery to affect the sweat glands or the nerves that trigger them.
What Are Alternative Treatments For Excessive Sweating?
There are a number of homeopathic remedies, and some believe taking vinegar and apple cider vinegar can help. Others say cutting gluten from their diet, drinking wheatgrass juice or taking sage tea or sage tablets, St. John’s Wort, chamomile or valerian root can also help. Stress reduction techniques or acupuncture may benefit some. It is a very individual condition, so it is a matter of finding what works for you. And, of course, essential oils can be used for excessive sweating. See the Useful Essential Oils tab for more information.
Disclaimer: The statements made on this website have not been evaluated by the FDA (U.S. Food & Drug Administration). Our products are not intended to diagnose, cure, or prevent any disease. If a condition persists, please contact your physician or health care provider.