Hyperhidrosis is a condition wherein a person finds themselves sweating to a degree that interferes with functioning or psychological well-being. We see patients in the dermatology clinic who describe constant stains on their t-shirts from underarm sweating. Other patients tell us they have difficulty holding a pen and attempting to do homework as the pen slips from their grasp and the paper becomes torn. In addition, hyperhidrosis can affect the feet, the folds of skin, or be generalized. Evidence shows that hyperhidrosis affects approximately 3% of Canadians (that is as many as 950 000 people). It is a condition that is associated with severe emotional distress and despite that, many patients do not seek care as they are not aware that treatments exist.
If your hyperhidrosis is what we refer to as Focal, it means it affects isolated areas on the body such as the hands, underarms, or feet. It may be caused by overactivity of the sweat glands within the affected area. Why that occurs is not quite clear. Various treatments exist for this type of hyperhidrosis including:
- Topical agents
- Botulinium Toxin Type A injections
If your hyperhidrosis is Generalized (affecting the majority of your body) speak to your doctor regarding the possibility of investigations that may identify an underlying reason. There are some medications that can be effective if they are safe and appropriate for you.
Speak to your dermatologist today after what therapy options would be best to consider.