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Embarrassing Bodies Down Under, 1:00am Tuesday 28th April 2015 on Channel 4. Catch up for free on 4oD »

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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Hi. I'm 33 year old male living in Australia. I Am fed up with face and head sweats. It's ruining my life as I work as a sales representative and it's embarrassing to be continually sweating when trying to perform my job. I have tried over the counter medicine and seen my doctor- who put he on catapres to fix the issue ( this didnt work either) I would love to know a way to stop this issue... Can you help?





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This excessive sweating on my face hair neck etc is driving me crazy. I am so embarrassed please give me a dr who can help me. I have been to several Drs with no answers. Please please help me. I say on the Drs there was a lady that had the same problem but I didn't get enough information thank you for any help





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I have a huge problem with regulating my body temperature. One minute I can be fine then the next I'm feeling red hot and sweating profusely everywhere, so much so my clothes soak through. When I try to cool down I end up shivering because my skins so wet. The next minute I could be freezing. This happens numerous times every day and has done for years. People around me put the heating on and extra layers of clothes when I'm desperately trying to strip off and open doors and windows because I'm sweating so much. I also go very red in the face and chest when its at its worst. At night I sleep with my body on top of bed as I'm so hot yet my skin is freezing to touch. I have had various tests over the years for hormones, thyroid etc with everything coming back as normal. Its so embarrassing I can't wear nice bright clothes for fear of ending up with massive wet patches everywhere, please help, I'm at my wits end.





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I sweat excessively in the groin area...meaning shorts, bikini bottoms are out as it is so embarrassing..looks like I have wet myself





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I am a 26 year old man and when I work I sweat a lot more than the person doing the same job I am outside mostly from my face and head and my head throbs. It seems to be a family trait, do you have any suggestions





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I have been sweating a lot can it be a part of my anxiety disorders cause of that.





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hi...please help me.after i did exercise. in 30min continues...i had excessive sweating in my heads only, and i feel dizzy now... but only my head sweat not my body?my body is dry...what happend?





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I take oxybutynin hydrochloride after being referred to the hospital. Tablets worked within 2 weeks and the problem has gone!!!! Never been happier and would recommend going back to your doc and pushing to get a referral to a dermatologist.





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i have the worst case of excessive sweating ive encountered anywhere. i dont sweat on my palms or soles but i sweat EVERYWHERE else. if the temperature is over 18C or if there is any humidity i am sweating. i sweat when i eat. i sweat a LOT when i excercise (almost died from dehydration in the army. eyes non reactive to light, viens collapsed and i had gone temporarily blind) i live in australia so i basicaly seat non stop and have done since i was a baby apparently. i badly need some help...





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I too experience excessive sweating. I most recently had a double mastectomy and hysterectomy. Now I have body seats that leaves my clothing soaking wet, hair, back of neck...literally entire body. It doesn't matter what I'm doing I sweat profusely.. is there any help for me?

Hi, i am 16 and have excessive sweating of my under arms that has been present since puberty but has gotten alot worse over the last year. i have been to my GP and he put it down to low vitamin D levels which he gave me Vitamin D tablets for: they didn't work what so ever and when i went back to tell him the bad news he insisted there was nothing wrong with me and gave me a lower does of the tablets. My diet is not the best and i am not cutting out all sugar in an attempt to stop/control this but would love some actual science based medical advice. this problem causes me lots of embarrassment and stress in everyday life. thank you in advanced for any help.





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It looks like no one else has asked this question, so please fill in the rest of your details below.





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