In the hot summer, when the temperature is high or the amount of activity increases, the amount of sweat is released to keep the body temperature constant. However, excessive sweating even when the temperature is not high or there is not much activity can be suspicious of the body’s autonomic nervous system and physical abnormalities. Hyperhidrosis is a condition in which you sweat in a specific area, such as your hands and armpits, in excess of the amount needed to regulate your body temperature. It is divided into local hyperhidrosis, in which sweat is produced locally in a part of the body according to sweat secretion, and systemic hyperhidrosis, in which a lot of sweat is discharged systemically when there is an underlying disease.
Hyperhidrosis can be classified into primary and secondary according to the main cause. Primary hyperhidrosis, also called essential, refers to the discharge of sweat in a specific area without a specific cause, and is known to be affected more by emotional and mental stimuli than by physical factors. In addition, it is estimated that 30-50% of the causes of primary hyperhidrosis are due to genetic factors such as family history.
It is also said that secondary hyperhidrosis is caused by causative diseases such as diabetes, hyperthyroidism, and physical abnormalities such as head injury. It is reported that such hyperhidrosis occurs in about 0.6~4.6% of the total population in Korea. Now, let’s take a look at the main symptoms of hyperhidrosis, as well as various information on treatment and prevention, one by one.
Main symptoms of hyperhidrosis
Primary hyperhidrosis with no specific cause causes sweating to occur locally in various parts of the body, such as hands, armpits, feet, face, and head, where sweat glands are dense. In particular, apocrine glands are distributed along with sweat glands in the armpits, so it may be accompanied by a strong odor caused by secretions from the apocrine glands in a secondary form. In addition, hyperhidrosis that occurs on the soles of the feet can be slippery due to excessive sweating, socks may become wet, and a strong odor may occur due to the sweat secreted. This secretion of sweat is aggravated by stress, and when certain factors such as hot and humid summer weather overlap, the symptoms become more severe. It is also known that secondary hyperhidrosis caused by factors such as diabetes, hyperthyroidism, nervous system abnormalities, and obesity causes sweating in the same way as the primary.
If the symptoms of hyperhidrosis become more severe, it can cause a lot of discomfort and difficulties in living a normal life. In particular, in the case of secondary hyperhidrosis caused by a causative disease, it can be controlled to some extent by treating the underlying disease. And it has the characteristics that it is not easy to treat. In addition, they experience difficulties and limitations in normal interpersonal relationships such as shaking hands, and are subject to restrictions such as computer use, office work, and precise and detailed work that requires a lot of hands. It can lead to disease. Hyperhidrosis is not a life-threatening disease, but if it continues, it greatly affects the quality of life through various psychological and social atrophy.
Hyperhidrosis treatment and management
1. Diagnosis and appropriate treatment through multiple tests
Hyperhidrosis is diagnosed by considering the process of asking for symptoms such as excessive sweating and checking the presence or absence of systemic diseases. Afterwards, according to the diagnosis result, in the case of hyperhidrosis due to a systemic disease, the process of treating the cause disease is carried out. Oral medications, such as anticholinergic drugs, are prescribed and taken. Since these treatments can cause side effects, secondary drugs are sometimes used in the future. In addition, various treatments such as iontophoresis therapy and Botox injection to suppress sweat secretion can be performed. And to suppress excessive sweating, you can remove the skin in a specific area or proceed with surgical treatment such as sympathectomy. However, these surgical treatments may have side effects, such as compensatory sweating, where sweating occurs in other parts of the body after surgery.
2. Drinking plenty of water
Because hyperhidrosis produces a lot of sweat, the risk of dehydration increases, so it is very important to drink plenty of water a day to relieve symptoms, and consume alcohol, caffeine-containing coffee, energy drinks, etc. It is recommended to reduce as much as possible. It is also important to shower frequently to maintain personal hygiene and cleanliness. In addition, since excessive mental stress stimulates the sympathetic nerve and causes excessive sweating, stress management and sufficient rest to relieve it are also essential management habits to be implemented when improving and treating symptoms of hyperhidrosis.
3. Eat foods that are good for hyperhidrosis
It is also very important to eat foods that have beneficial effects in order to relieve symptoms and treat hyperhidrosis. It is known that regular intake of foods that have excellent effects in replenishing moisture due to excessive sweating and lowering body heat can help a lot in alleviating symptoms.
Various foods such as buckwheat, lotus root, astragalus, cucumber, red bean, and arrowroot remove heat from the body, prevent sweating, and effectively replenish moisture, which is said to help a lot in treatment. On the other hand, excessive consumption of foods high in fat and high in calories can make the smell of sweat more intense, so it is recommended to reduce intake as much as possible.