Sweating is a normal part of human life and essential for the body to keep itself cool. However, sweating can become an embarrassing problem whether you have issues with just one area of the body or numerous areas that seem to sweat excessively. If you’re struggling with excessive sweating, there are some ways a dermatologist in San Diego, CA, may be able to help. Here are some things you might not have known about sweating problems.
If you’ve ever been surprised by how quickly you can start to sweat when you start exercising or when the temperature increases, it probably makes sense that there are between two and five million sweat glands across the entire body. Sweating is essential for the body to cool itself down, so these numerous glands help the cooling happen more quickly. Another surprising fact is that sweating sooner during exercise actually doesn’t mean you’re in poor shape. In reality, fitter people start sweating sooner because the body recognizes sooner the need to cool the body, so a longer workout is possible.
Another interesting fact is that there’s a difference between regular sweat and what’s called stress sweat. Regular sweat helps the body cool down by releasing a mixture of water, potassium, and salt. This evaporates quickly, helping the body cool down. Stress sweat, on the other hand, is made of proteins and fatty acids, so it doesn’t evaporate as quickly and it’s more likely to cause an odor when it combines with bacteria on the skin.
A major concern many people have with regards to sweating is what’s normal and what’s not. It’s difficult for dermatology professionals to determine when sweating is excessive without learning about a patient’s quality of life and how sweating affects it. Everyone’s bodies respond differently to exercise and temperature changes, so just because one person sweats more than another in the same situation doesn’t necessarily mean that’s not normal. The real problem is when someone has to take additional measures to cover up excessive sweat, such as wearing extra layers or wearing certain colors to hide the sweat, avoiding handshakes because of sweaty hands, or being afraid to raise arms because of sweat stains. People that frequently have to worry about their sweat may have a condition called hyperhidrosis.
Hyperhidrosis is a medical condition when one or more sweat glands produce too much sweat. It’s believed that the problem is caused by overactive nerves. Primary hyperhidrosis usually begins in childhood or adolescence, and the common areas of excess sweat include the underarms, palms, feet, upper lip, head, or groin. Secondary hyperhidrosis is caused by an underlying medical condition or certain medical conditions. This usually causes excessive sweating all over the body rather than just one area. Hyperhidrosis affects millions of Americans, but there are treatments available that can effectively treat the condition.
Hyperhidrosis can be treated by a dermatology clinic. The first course of action is often to try a prescription-strength antiperspirant. If these don’t work, the dermatologist might recommend using an iontophoresis machine at home. This sends low-voltage current that temporarily shuts down the treated sweat glands. Some topical medications can also help stop the excess sweating. A cosmetic dermatologist in San Diego, CA, frequently uses Botox to treat hyperhidrosis. This is effective because the toxin blocks the signal that activates the sweat glands for 6-12 months. To learn more about this option, contact Academic & Aesthetic Dermatology Consultants today. Call us now at 858-292-7525 to book an appointment.