What Causes Excessive Sweating?
Excessive sweating might pose an embarrassing and awkward situation. At the same time, sweating is a completely natural process that allows your body to maintain a comfortable internal temperature. But what causes excessive sweating?
It might happen when you do not feel particularly overheated and when you are not necessarily working up a sweat as one would through physical activity. So, why is it happening and how can you manage it?
What is Excessive Sweating?
Excessive sweating refers to when you sweat more than you would typically expect. For instance, you might be seated comfortably at a desk or on the couch, but you are sweating. You also are not doing anything to cause this to happen.
In terms of symptoms, you might notice:
- Excessive sweating continues for at least six months
- Sweat occurs equally across the entire body
- Excessive sweating incidents take place at least once a week
- Sweating causes increased social anxiety
- No sweat when you sleep
What Exactly Causes Excessive Sweating?
Generally, excessive sweating is called hyperhidrosis, and sometimes it can happen without any specific cause. There are two types of hyperhidrosis:
1. Primary Focal Hyperhidrosis
This type of hyperhidrosis usually comes with a family history of excessive sweating. Usually, you will find excessive sweat occurs in the hands, armpits, feet, face, and head.
2. Secondary Generalized Hyperhidrosis
This type of hyperhidrosis is caused by an underlying health condition, and it often begins in adulthood. You may sweat in just one spot on your body or all over, depending on the cause. Some common causes include:
- Adrenal Gland Conditions
- Heart disease
- Fever (such as from a viral or bacterial infection)
- Neurological Diseases
If you are unsure what is causing your or your family member’s excessive sweating, it might be a good idea to get checked out by your family physician. They know you and your health situation the best and can help determine a proper plan of action.
How to Remedy Excessive Sweating
So, what can you do about it? There are a few options, some of which you may want to discuss with your healthcare provider beforehand.
Antiperspirant helps control sweat, which means that it controls the wetness that sweat produces. Most antiperspirants also protect against any odor.
Your doctor may actually prescribe a special antiperspirant for your excessive sweating containing aluminum chloride. But for more affordable and over-the-counter options, you may want to try SweatBlock Clinical Strength Antiperspirant Wipes or Certain Dri Prescription Strength Clinical Antiperspirant, both of which are available on Amazon and recommended for hyperhidrosis.
Deodorant is another option. However, unlike antiperspirant, deodorant does not control sweat but more so masks the odor. This means that it will not fully eliminate any wetness. Rather, it prevents any unwanted odors from becoming an embarrassing situation.
This also means that the best option might be a deodorant and antiperspirant combo. For the most part, when it comes to deodorant, the type does not necessarily matter since all deodorants emit a fresh scent. Again, finding a deodorant and antiperspirant combo might be best overall here or you could use both.
This is a procedure where low-level electricity currents run through water and temporarily blocks your sweat glands. Usually, treatments take about 20 to 40 minutes and are required many times a week. Once sweating has decreased and is more tolerable, this frequency is lessened.
Typically, this also does not hurt. It feels more like a tingling sensation. If you notice any other sensations, let the practitioner in attendance know and they may be able to adjust the device accordingly.
Anticholinergic drugs are sometimes temporarily used to manage excessive sweating. Basically, these drugs block the stimulation of the sweat glands, which prevents sweat from happening altogether.
However, these medications may take about two weeks for you to notice any effect. They also may come with many unwanted side effects, like constipation.
Along with these drugs, your doctor may also recommend Botox. Botox blocks the nerves to the sweat glands, which can help temporarily relieve excessive sweating for many months. At the same time, a few injections of Botox are required before it is effective.
5. Lifestyle Modifications
There are other more natural remedies that you may want to try for excessive sweating before applying anything to your body or exploring other treatment options. For instance, you may want to:
- Shower or bath each day
- Wear clothing, socks, and shoes made from all-natural materials
- Use antiperspirant and deodorant daily (reapplying once during the day)
- Letting your feet and hands breath (such as not wearing socks or gloves)
Find the Right Way to Manage Your Excessive Sweating
While it can be embarrassing, it does not have to be! There are a variety of options to choose from when it comes to managing your excessive sweating. If option after option continues to not work, it might be best to discuss your options with your doctor or go in for a proper exam where they can determine the cause of your sweat.