Hyperhidrosis means excessive sweating. Producing a lot of sweat when you aren’t in a very hot environment and you aren’t exercising. The condition can become troublesome because it affects your ability to have a normal social life and it can interfere with work.
At the Devonshire Clinic our consultant dermatologists can recommend different treatment options to help with excess sweating.
Why do we sweat?
Sweating is an important mechanism that helps the body to maintain its temperature at the correct level. If we are too hot, signals from within the body feed signals to the brain to do something about it. Messages are sent out to the skin to dilate blood vessels (which is why we go red when we’re hot) and to the sweat glands to release fluid onto the surface of the skin. As this evaporates, we cool down.
Sweat and the other oily substances produced by sweat and other glands also help lubricate the skin, so sweating is natural, normal and helpful.
What is excessive sweating?
Normal excessive sweating occurs if you are in a hot climate or a very hot room, or if you take part in strenuous exercise or sports. These situations raise the core body temperature, so the body responds by producing more sweat to try to cool the body down.
Someone affected by hyperhidrosis produces large volumes of sweat when there is no reason for this to happen. Most of the sweat is produced in the armpits, palms of the hands, soles of the feet, forehead and face and over trunk of the body.
Hyperhidrosis can cause someone to have to change their clothes throughout the day, or to shower more frequently. It’s embarrassing to be constantly pouring with sweat and the more distressed you become, the worse the condition gets.
Why does hyperhidrosis arise?
The reasons for hyperhidrosis are not well understood but it seems to be something to do with the hypothalamus, the part of the brain that’s responsible for controlling body temperature. It seems to run in some families, so a genetic factor may be involved.
Seeking help for hyperhidrosis
The level of excessive sweating experienced varies but if you are bothered by sweating that seems to come on for no real reason, we can take a full medical history and discuss the problem with you. If you are diagnosed with hyperhidrosis, several treatments can make a big difference.
Read more about the treatments we have available for hyperhidrosis.