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Embarrassing Bodies, 12:10am Tuesday 28th June 2016 on More 4. Catch up for free on All 4 »

Video

Dr Christian:
We’re getting a lot of questions on the Embarrassing Bodies site about excessive sweating—it seems a lot of you suffer from it, and you want to know what is it, what causes it, and what can you do about it? Well, excessive sweating, or hyperhidrosis, can be divided really into two different main causes. The first one is just caused by an overactivity of your nervous system and may well have been present from birth, or at least from puberty, when you start to sweat properly. And the second cause is usually due to other conditions, like high thyroid levels or diabetes. If you treat those conditions, usually the excessive sweating will settle down too.

A lot of you want to know, can anything be done about sweating on the palms, and also can you keep using the medications available? Well, the answer is absolutely, there are lots of things available over the counter, particularly strong antiperspirant deodorant often containing aluminium salts. These can be very effective, but you need to use them regularly—in other words, every day, and if necessary every night as well. And yes, you can keep using them for as long as you need to.

A question a lot of you are asking me is ‘how do you treat the flushing that goes with excessive sweating?’ Well, in this case, I would say if you are getting very red and flushed on your face, I would really advise you in the first instance to go and see a doctor to have it looked at, because facial flushing can be caused by all sorts of other conditions.

Many of you want to know if there are any more permanent solutions available for excessive sweating. Well, Botox is one option. It involves a lot of injections, so it can be quite painful, and it only lasts for around four, six or eight months, so you’d need to keep getting them repeated. But, six months of being sweat-free may be a great option for a lot of you. And really, as a very last resort, there is always the possibility of surgery to remove the sweat gland-containing tissue from under the arms, but this really is a very last resort. If you’re concerned about any of these things, go and have a chat with your GP to find out a bit more.

Read the video transcript

Doctor Responses: Excessive Sweating

Dr Christian answers your most frequently asked questions about excessive sweating (hyperhidrosis) such as: What causes it? What can you do about sweating on the palms? Are there any permanent solutions?

With thanks to the Baker Street Medical Centre

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I need help for my husband he suffers from this condition and we cannot get any help he gets it in his Boutom what can he do we get no help from our doctors and w here is no doctor at the hospital that can help he is in a very bad way





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I get the head and neck sweating . Also my legs from the knees to my toes are so hot it wakes me up . I know what causes my problem. White wine . One glass over a bottle and I suffer both problems . To others I would say think of your way of life . Something is causing your problems. If I stopped drinking my problems would disappear.





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My son is 24, he has a problem with sweating on his body. His top can be soaked very quickly. He can just be sitting somewhere warm and he sweats. When he works he has to change his top 3 or 4 times and also his trousers and pants. It is very embarrassing for him. Please can you suggest something to help with this as the doctors don't seem to be able to help. Many thanks Jo





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I am a female 58yrs old why am I sweating excessively so much sothat my hair is wet through this mostly happens when im doing housework I've had an MI 4yrs ago and take aspirin atorvastatin beta histone bisoprolol isotard ramipril and ranolazine.





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My problem is my hands are constantly like seaping sweat and my hands go really cold but still sweat or they can be warm and still sweat. My underarms are the same. This has been going on for bout 5 months now but when I tell my doctor she doesn't seem to know what I'm going on about. And my councilor tells me it's my anxiety but I've been anxious first years and never experienced anything like this. It's so soul destroying it's becoming to hard to deal with please someone HELP ME





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I had surgery over ten years ago now for blushing and they used the same procedure as they would for sweating. The problem now is over the past 5-7years I've have excess sweating to my back chest and groin area some days I can change my clothes up to 8 times. The doctors say they can't seem to come up with a solution I've tried almost everything they have, but as it's such a large area affected they won't try Botox. It's so embarrassing it's causing me to have to go out as little as possible. Does anyone out there have any ideas of what I could do





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Hi Bev. I can really empathise (I had surgery three times between 99-01) and compensatory sweating can be very distressing. There's glycopyrrolate in the UK (sometimes available on prescription) but beware of side-effects like dry mouth and dizziness. The best product I've found for areas like the lower back and stomach is Odaban. It's prescription-strength, and available online as well as some chemists. Sorry I can't help more, but best of luck and keep battling! :-)

Ever since I was a child as soon as I play sport or hot summers day I drip sweat and turn a horrible scarlet colour. It's the sweat pouring from my head and face that is embarrassing for me. I go to an aerobics class and within 15 mins I start to really sweat off face and turn beet root. I feel a freak. My son, parents, aunts and cousin are the same. Is there anything I can do to make this better.





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I'm 50 yrs old an as long as I can remember I have been like this . 27 drgrees an im combing sweat Sickles from my head . Its embarrassing an so uncomfortable. I pray someone can help us .

Over the last 2 years I have lost 3 1/2 stone (through exercise) but just recently I have started sweating quite heavily especially when I'm asleep!! I always have to wait a while before getting a shower after going to the gym, if I get a shower to soon after I just keep on sweating! Do you know what could be causing this? I am a 36 year old male, 5ft 10 and 13st . Hope you can help Andy





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I have recently lost 15 kgs on the Paleo diet & am now suffering severe night (sleeping only) sweats. I wonder if there is a connection, but I have a history of might sweats with anti depressant medication, tho never as bad as now. I don't know what to do, My docs are stumped!

I have recently lost 15 kgs on the Paleo diet & am now suffering severe night (sleeping only) sweats. I wonder if there is a connection, but I have a history of might sweats with anti depressant medication, tho never as bad as now. I don't know what to do, My docs are stumped!

None of the prescriptions helped me . My problem is severe heavy sweating from my face and head so much I cAn wring my hair out the water sweat runs down my face it is so bad I t can go in my eyes and strong .If I comb my hair it distributes it and you would swear I'd just put my head under a running tap don't get much sympathy as it seems odd to others I'm just miserable





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I feel exactly the same and been to the gp many times but not gave me anything to help me I'm constantly washing my hair and don't like going out as makes sweating worse so I can sympathise with you

I've got this head sweating problem too. Sometimes I don't know im sweating and I look down añd there's a wet spot on what I'm looking at. I've been in public and my hair is wet.And someone will say-- you'r sweating!!! I say; nooooo----really. The doc says mine is a side effect of med. But wañts me to çontinue the med. Don't know how much longer I'll make it. I can't dry my hair,😨 I'm sweating too. Much.😰

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hi for the past few week av been really tired palputaion sweating an forever thirsty an am not sleeping probley at night





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