If you find yourself constantly sweating profusely, even without physical exertion, you may be suffering from hyperhidrosis.
The sweltering Australian sun coupled with an active lifestyle often leads to sweating. But when does sweat cross the line from ‘normal’ to ‘excessive’? Constant profuse sweating may be a sign of hyperhidrosis. Hyperhidrosis is a medical condition characterized by excessive and constant sweating, regardless of any physical exertion or activity.
There are two types of hyperhidrosis. The first is known as primary hyperhidrosis and is caused by an overactive sympathetic nervous system. The second type is called secondary hyperhidrosis, and it results from an underlying condition such as an overactive thyroid gland.
Hyperhidrosis and Stress
Living with hyperhidrosis can be an uncomfortable and embarrassing experience. The disorder can make you self-conscious in social situations – for example, many sufferers report feeling uncomfortable with shaking hands when meeting new people. It can even make taking off your shoes an uncomfortable task, as excessive sweating can also leave your feet smelling bad and your socks drenched.
The cause of hyperhidrosis is unknown, but the condition tends to get worse when you’re stressed or under pressure. Indeed, many hyperhidrosis sufferers experience stress and anxiety, which only serve to exacerbate the condition. To minimize the negative effects of hyperhidrosis, it is crucial to maintain a healthy level of stress.
While one can practice mindfulness and relaxed breathing to reduce stress levels, medical options such as anti-anxiety drugs can also be considered. When the body feels comfortable, it is less likely to sweat involuntarily. Regrettably, this works infrequently.
The Effect of Hyperhidrosis on Mental Health
For people with hyperhidrosis, social stigma can be a huge factor in their mental health. A sense of shame and embarrassment can make people avoid social situations. They may even avoid work or school to hide their condition. The stigma can make life with hyperhidrosis more difficult and prevent sufferers from getting the medical attention they need.
Living with hyperhidrosis can affect many aspects of a person’s life, from their daily clothing choices to their careers. It can even affect how they use technology, such as touchscreens. For example, a person with hyperhidrosis cannot use a fingerprint ID on a touchscreen if their fingertips are sweaty. If your life has been negatively affected by hyperhidrosis, we can help.
Treatment Options for Hyperhidrosis
Treatment options for hyperhidrosis include antiperspirants and dietary changes. Antiperspirants can be very effective, but they may have side effects. For instance, they can cause a dry mouth and eyes. Also, they may not be effective in the long term. Changing your diet and taking dietary supplements may also help. Additionally, making changes to your wardrobe can aid in mitigating the worst of your symptoms. Wearing breathable clothing can reduce the amount of perspiration. Moisture-wicking materials are also beneficial as they pull perspiration away from the skin.
While dietary and clothing changes can help, there are several medical interventions for hyperhidrosis.
Medical treatment options for hyperhidrosis vary depending on the severity and location of the sweating. For less severe cases, over-the-counter antiperspirants may be sufficient. For more serious cases, we suggest a consultation with us at North Western Vascular. We offer several different treatment options for hyperhidrosis and will ensure that you are fully informed as to the possible risks and benefits of each option.
miraDry Treatment for Axillary Hyperhidrosis
MiraDry is particularly good for treating hyperhidrosis in the underarm area. The miraDry machine uses a heating process known as thermolysis to destroy sweat glands in your underarms, so once they’re gone, they’re gone forever.
However, don’t be concerned about regulating your body temperature going forward – the glands targeted by the miraDry machine make up a minuscule percentage of total body coverage, so you will still be able to regulate your temperature after treatment. MiraDry treatment provides a permanent solution to hyperhidrosis in the underarm area.
Endoscopic Thoracic Sympathectomy (ETS) Surgery for Hyperhidrosis
While the miraDry machine treats underarm sweating, ETS surgery is your best option for hyperhidrosis of your face and hands. This involves a minimally invasive procedure to cut the sympathetic nerves that control sweating in a specific part of the body. The surgery is performed via a keyhole incision and thus has minimal recovery time, no scarring, and less pain than other surgical options.
How Can We Help?
At North Western Vascular, we offer both miraDry and ETS treatments for hyperhidrosis. During your initial consultation, we will discuss which option is best for you and your needs, ensuring that you’re fully informed about each aspect of the procedure of your choice. There’s no need to feel self-conscious about your sweat ever again!
To learn more about Hyperhidrosis, please have a look here.
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