What is It?

Let’s face it – we all want to appear the very best we can. We’re judged on our appearance, whether we fit into a specific mold, and how our physical selves are perceived by others. For women, that can be an even more difficult road than it can be for men. For example, women are told that we don’t sweat; we glisten. Ladies aren’t supposed to sweat, and men aren’t supposed to sweat excessively unless they’re doing a hard workout or a hard day’s work in the sun.

What happens, then, when we have a physical condition out of our control, which causes our bodies to react in a way that’s not quite acceptable societally? Hyperhidrosis is one of those conditions. It is defined as an extreme level of sweating outside the realm of activity during which one would normally perspire.

What Happens During Hyperhidrosis?

Hyperhidrosis can appear in many places throughout the body. It may appear on your:

  • Head
  • Face
  • Feet
  • Palms
  • Underarms (or axilla)

There are two kinds of hyperhidrosis – primary and secondary. Primary hyperhidrosis exists as its own condition. It is found in 2%-3% of the US population and there is a familial component to it. Secondary hyperhidrosis occurs because of another medical condition.

For a diagnosis of hyperhidrosis to be reached, other underlying medical conditions must be ruled out. The experience of excessive sweating also has to occur frequently – at least once a week – and cause a disruption to normal life. When one has hyperhidrosis, the body’s sweat glands become overactive, causing profuse perspiration that can lead to embarrassment and discomfort, as well as impacting one’s ability to do things like hold a pen or shake hands.

Ruling out Other Conditions

There are times when excessive sweating needs to be checked out by a medical professional very quickly even if you have a hyperhidrosis diagnosis. For example, if you are experiencing a sudden onset of sweating and any of the following symptoms, please seek medical treatment immediately:

  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Lightheadedness
  • Chest pain or a feeling of squeezing in one’s chest

In this case, sweating could be indicative of a heart attack, so it is crucial that you seek appropriate treatment quickly.

There are also other medical conditions that need to be treated and/or ruled out to determine whether one has primary or secondary hyperhidrosis, or something else entirely. Some of these conditions are:

  • Diabetes
  • An infection
  • Thyroid problems
  • Menopause
  • Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)

It’s the Pits

For those who live with hyperhidrosis, especially for those whose condition presents in the axilla, or underarm area, life can be socially challenging. Regardless of the number of times someone with axillary hyperhidrosis bathes or showers, changes clothing, or what kind of deodorant they use, profuse perspiration occurs and is very noticeable. It is the pits in every possible way.

Aside from the awkwardness this condition causes, those who live with hyperhidrosis are more prone to infections in the areas affected by it.

There is Hope

The good news is that there are treatments for hyperhidrosis. The Derm NP offers a variety of therapeutic options, including the use of topical solutions, to help you experience greater comfort and confidence every day. We help people via telehealth visits in the following locales:

  • Washington DC
  • Iowa
  • Idaho
  • Illinois
  • Montana
  • Nebraska
  • North Dakota
  • New Hampshire
  • New Mexico
  • Oregon
  • Rhode Island
  • Utah
  • Vermont
  • Washington
  • West Virginia 

Please contact us at thedermnp@thedermnp.com or 630-233-9767. We’d like to help you improve your quality of life. The sooner you can say, “No sweat!” and embrace new experiences, the better.

Disclaimer: The information contained here was not written by a medical doctor and is intended for informational purposes only. This is not a substitute for medical advice.

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The Derm NP will be out of the office from 

3/24/2024 – 3/31/2024

If you have an urgent matter during this time, please call us at (630) 233-9767 and leave a message with your concern.

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