Imagine, attending a party or going out with friends in hopes of having fun, but felt uncomfortable and conscious due to excessive perspiration. What if I will look ugly in the pictures? What if I smell awful? These what ifs are the probable questions you’ve asked yourself whenever you’re in that stressful situation, wherein you always had to look after your underarms, afraid of getting an obvious sweat stain and backhanded compliments from people who might witness your armpits dilemma. Now, maybe you’re reading this in hopes of finding a solution to allay your discomfort with excessive sweating. Don’t you think it’s best to know the possible armpit condition behind your situation first before anything else?
Hyperhidrosis is an armpit-related medical condition that results in excessive perspiration or sweating. Sweating cools down the body, but excessive sweating could affect a person’s daily activities. Fortunately, there are treatments to either termporarily or permanently stop perspiration. You can resort to home remedies and other over-the-counter treatments too if not financially ready for botox and surgical options. In the end, prevention will always be better than the cure.
Why do I sweat?
Sweating plays an important role to keep the body going. It cools down the body. It also removes toxin from the body. Exercising will make you sweat, as well as walking under the scorching sun. It’s a normal occurence in our every day life. Yet, if you’re excessively sweating, then it’s better to ask yourself why.
Why do I sweat excessively?
Sweating is normal, but excessive sweating isn’t. In fact, it’s annoying. You’ve probably asked yourself why you’re excessively sweating. You probably haven’t tried wearing a gray shirt for a while, or a fitted one out of fear that it might only worsen your condition, especially in public. Maybe, you’ve noticed unwanted smell from your armpits too, or stains from the shirt you recently wore. Excessive sweating could be both annoying and embarrassing. And it’s all due to this condition known as hyperhidrosis.
What is Hyperhidrosis?
Hyperhidrosis is a condition due to excessive perspiration or sweating. It can occur in most unlikely situations, like at night or in your sleep while doing nothing at all other than breathing (and maybe snoring).
There are two types of Hyperhidrosis.
1. Primary Hyperhidrosis
Your excessive perspiration is a primary hyperhidrosis if you have no other trigger, other than hyperhidrosis alone. It could be a primary generalized hyperhidrosis, if you’re struggling with an over-all excessive sweating. It is a primary focal hyperhidrosis, if it only target a particular body part, like, armpits. If you have this, then you probably have it since when you were a kid.
2. Secondary Hyperhidrosis
Your excessive perspiration might be a secondary hyperhidrosis, if it’s not the only factor to why you sweat excessively. It could be due to a medical condition or a side effect of a medication. Eitherway, secondary hyperhidrosis starts in adulthood.
Here are the possible conditions behind secondary Hyperhidrosis:
4. Carcinoid Syndrome
7. Parkinson’s disease
9. Heart disease
10. Lung disease
11. Menopausal stage
12. Overactive thyroid
13. Glucose control disorders
14. Medications and substances abuse
If you’re diagnosed with a mental disorder, for example, depression, and you’ve been given antidepressants as a medication, be reminded that excessive sweating is a usual side effect of antidepressants. Specifically, desipramined (norpramin), nortriptyline (pamelor); and protriptyllne.
What are the symptoms of Hyperhidrosis?
1. Excessive sweating
Excessive sweating is the main symptom of hyperhidrosis. Take note that sweating after doing an activity, warm weather, and emotional distress could really result to sweating, but if you experience excessive sweating, at least for six months or more, without any understandable reason, then that might be a symptom of hyperhidrosis. It’s advisable to consult a doctor for confirmation.
2. Family history of Hyperhidrosis
If you have anyone in the family who have hyperhidrosis, either primary or secondary, you’re more likely to inherit that condition. It’s better to consult a dermatologist for, maybe, preventative measures even if you haven’t noticed a symptom of hyperhidrosis yet. Be reminded that a family history alone is already a symptom, a confirmation that hyperhidrosis runs in your blood.
3. Weight loss due to excessive sweating
If you’re excessively sweating even without doing anything, and you lose weight because of it, then it might be hyperhidrosis. But of course, it’s always best to consult a professional in the field.
4. Excessive sweating while sleeping
Sleeping is our chance to rest our bodies and mind for a meantime. Excessive sweating at night, while asleep, might be due to a hyperhidrosis, since there’s no probable reason to why you were sweating while sleeping, not unless you’re living in a tropical country, and may be sleeping with no electric fan or air conditioner on.
There are a lot of ways to get diagnosed. Your doctor could perform urine and blood tests to figure out your condition, or they could perform the other tests on you for confirmation.
1. Starch-iodine test
This test involves putting iodine on your armpits (or where you sweat alot). The starch will be sprinkled next when the iodine dries. If the starch turned dark blue, then you have excess sweat underarms.
2. Thermoregulatory test
This procedure is quite similar to starch-iodine test. The only difference would be the powder used in this test. Your doctor will use special powder that is sensitive to moisture. If the powder changes in color, you have excess sweat on your armpits.
3. Sauna or sweat cabinet
Although, sauna or sweat cabinet intends to cause perspiration, it’s still a best way to know if you have a hyperhidrosis or not.
4. Paper test
Special paper will be put underarms. It will be weighted after. If it’s heavier than the first weight, then you’re excessively sweating.
Here are the treatments options that you can choose from:
Antiperspirant is the most common weapon against excessive perspiration. It temporarily blocks sweat glands from producing more sweat unseratms. It also kills odor-causing bacteria.
If you’re using antiperspirant, do this:
1. Do not apply antiperspirant if you haven’t cleansed and dried your armpits yet.
2. It’s advisable to use antiperspirant at night for the best result.
3. Shave armpit hair, if possible.
Take note: your physician might prescribe stronger antiperspirant for armpits with a more severe perspiration.
Ionthophoresis is a procedure that uses a device, mainly for delivering low-level electrical elements while you’re in water. The currents will be delivered to your armpits (and to the other parts of the body where you sweat a lot, as well) to temporarily block your sweat glands from producing excess sweat. This is not a permanent solution to hyperhidrosis, but could help alleviate discomfort for longer time.
3. Anticholinergic drugs
If you have either primary or secondary generalized hyperhidrosis, anticholinergic drugs are perfect solution for you. This drug provides relief by preventing acetylcholine, a chemical your body produces, to help stimulate your sweat glands. You might experience constipation and dizziness as its side effects.
4. Botulinum toxin (botox)
Botox is one of the most popular practices in treating hyperhidrosis. This is usually recommended to people with severe hyperhidrosis. This procedure is not budget-friendly, but its effect lasts for months.
5. Surgecial procedure
In order to permanently stop perspiration underarms, surgecial procedure might be needed. This is done when removing sweat glands underarms.
Endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy is a surgical procedure that dissociates the nerves, the one that signals your sweat glands from producing sweat.
Here are the herbal substances that you can try to cure your hyperhidrosis:
1. Sage tea
3. Valerian root
6. Relaxation techniques
8. Hair Removal
10. Gluten-free diet
Take note: Natural remedies have no scientific explanation to support its accuracy and relevance in the field of treating hyperhidrosis. In the end, it’s always better to consult a person knowledgeable in the field first before engaging yourself in natural remedies to avoid complications.
Do-it-yourself deodorant/ antiperspirant
1/3 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup baking soda
1/4 cup arrowroot starch
6-10 drops of essential oil, for fragrance.
1. First, mix baking soda and arrowroot starch in a bowl.
2. Mash in coconut oil until it blended. Put the essential oil next.
3. Place all the mixture in a container, preferably a bottle or jar.
4. Melt a portion of your DIY antiperspirant first before applying it directly to your pits.
Here are the list of precaution measures that you can try to prevent hyperhidrosis from occuring, or to at least avoid the immediate need of treatment for severe hyperhidrosis.
Don’t dress up immedicately after taking a shower. Wait ’til you’re fully dry. If you’re using antiperspirant, it’s best to apply it on dry armpits, as well. In this way, you’ll avoid sweating just right after taking your bath.
2. Shave armpit hair (if possible)
If you want to avoid both excessive perspiration and unwanted armpit odor, it’s advisable to shave armpit hair. Shaving your armpits will reduce the excessive sweating, for hair holds moisture.
3. Limit sweat-inducing food
Avoid eating sweat-inducing food if you easily sweat, especially if you’re in a warm place, for that will only worsen your sweating condition. Although, detoxification is healthy for the body, but limiting detoxifying food intake will ease excessive perspiration, too.
Here are the food that could intensify sweating:
1. Processed food
2. Garlic and onions
3. Food with high fat content
6. Hot and spicy food
4. Eat sweat-reducing food
Eat sweat-reducing food that calms overactive sweat glands in your armpits. Keeping yourself hydrated will cool down your body temperature, preventing excessive sweating from occuring.
Here are the examples of sweat-reducing food that you can try instead to stop excessive sweating underarms:
5. Vegetables and fruits with high water content.
(watermelon, pinach, grapes, cantaloupe, cauliflower, broccoli, pepper, red cabbage, and eggplant)
6. Sweet potato
7. Olive Oil
8. Green tea
10. Dairy products
5. Wear loose-fitting clothing
Tight clothes can cause excessive sweating, wearing loose-fitting and breathable clothing instead will make you sweat less, for this will allow your armpits to cool down properly.
6. Stop smoking
If you’re smoking to reduce stress, but stressing over your hyperhidrosis, then you have to stop smoking now. Smoking increases your body temperature, causing you to sweat more.
Hyperhidrosis is a medical condition that can affect both of your physical and mental state, but please know that it’s a treatable condition. You do not have to endure it forever.