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.
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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