Excessive Sweating & What It Means

(Photo: Shutterstock)

Do you constantly find yourself sweating, even when the temperature is comfortable and you're not moving around? It could be possible that you have a medical condition called hyperhidrosis, or in layman's terms, excessive sweating. Someone with hyperhidrosis will find themselves sweating excessively and unpredictably, even when the temperature is cool or they're at rest. The excessive sweating can affect your whole body, or just specific parts of your body like your palms, soles of your feet, underarms or face. You'll also notice that you sweat an amount that is disproportional to the level of physical activity you're performing.

There are two types of hyperhidrosis: primary focal hyperhidrosis and secondary general hyperhidrosis, and they both mean different things for your health.

Primary Focal Hyperhidrosis:

Focal hyperhidrosis is the most common form of excessive sweating and consists of excessive daytime sweating in specific areas of your body, like your palms or your pits, for no apparent reason. It usually stops when you're sleeping, and just means that your body produces a lot of sweat. It generally does not cause illness, and although it is a medical condition, it's not a sign of disease or drug interaction. People with focal hyperhidrosis are generally healthy. (via WebMD)

Secondary General Hyperhidrosis:

This is the less common form of excessive sweating, and consists of excessive sweating all over your body, not just specific areas. It also includes excessive sweating at night while you're sleeping. It's called "secondary" because it is caused by something else, like an underlying medical condition. For example, women going through menopause could experience hot flashes that lead to hyperhidrosis. Secondary general hyperhidrosis could also be an indicator of diabetes, generalized anxiety disorder, thyroid problems, heart attack, stroke, alcoholism or even cancers like leukemia and lymphoma. Certain medications like beta blockers or tricyclic antidepressants could also cause excessive generalized sweating. (via WebMD)

Excessive sweating by itself is not a medical emergency. If you start to notice that your body is sweating more than usual, make an appointment with your doctor, especially if it disrupts your daily routine or if you're experiencing night sweats. However, if the excessive sweating is accompanied by additional symptoms like the chills, lightheadedness, or chest or stomach pain, you should seek immediate medical attention.


But how can you try and control excessive sweating? Well, for one thing, you should look for antiperspirants that are labeled "clinical strength." They will help control the amount of sweat released throughout the day. Applying deodorant once when you wake up and again before you go to bed also helps tremendously. Make sure you're applying deodorant to dry skin, so as to avoid irritation.

You'll also want to choose colors and fabrics that will help camouflage the sweat. Breathable fabrics that absorb and wick away moisture are ideal, as are darker colors. Always avoid grey! If you wear hats a lot, you might want to rethink that. Most of your body's heat escapes from your head, so keeping it all in can cause you to sweat more. Spicy foods and caffeine also cause you to sweat! (via Wiki How)