It’s normal to sweat, but sometimes sweating can get out of control. Understanding the way treatments work means you can choose the one that’s right for the situation.
This is called hyperhidrosis, and may result in wet patches around your armpits, back or groin, or your scalp or hands or feet might get slick with sweat, making navigating handshakes and some shoes ‘interesting’.
Sweating may not be easily managed with anti-perspirants, in which case there are treatments you can try to force your body to minimise its sweat output in problem areas.
- Special deodorants only available from a dermatologist
- Muscle and nerve relaxant injections to stop the ‘sweat’ signal getting through
- Light or wave-based therapies to reduce the size of your sweat glands
Sweat gets a bad rap, but it provides a vital function, so you don’t want all sweat gone, just the excessive sweat. Sweat is a special fluid that is more than just salty water making your day uncomfortable: it plays a critical role in regulating your body temperature.
Each sweat gland has a web of nerves that surround it, so the minute your temperature goes up past a certain point, the nerves send a signal to your sweat gland to turn on. This releases heat in the droplets of sweat, but also catches the breeze, which evaporates the warm water, effectively removing the heat from our skin. This is why when it’s humid, you stay damp, whereas in dry or windy conditions, you dry off quicker – and stay cooler.
Why do some people sweat more than others?
How much you sweat is individual, since we are all created a bit different in terms of how many sweat glands we have in any particular area, how fit we are, and how our nervous system responds to stress. A person may sweat a lot because they are unfit, but they might sweat a lot because they are fit.
Sweating is not a barometer for how hard your body is working, though often this makes sense and is true: the harder you work your muscles, the hotter you get, and the more you need to sweat.
Problematically, if you are dehydrated, you can’t sweat as much, and thus can’t cool your body temperature effectively. You will sweat more after light exercise in a humid environment, compared to heavy exercise in a cold, dry environment. Efficient cooling is wherein the secret lies, and that’s not something we get to be in control of for the most part, but is something we are born with.
How to manage:
Sweaty armpits – excessive sweating treatments
The normal choice is an anti-perspirant that blocks your pores to stop sweating. If you are an excessive sweater, these products don’t really work, but an industrial-strength anti-perspirant from your dermatologist may do the trick. Failing that, special injections may be appropriate.
Sweaty palms – excessive sweating treatments
Special injections may help stop nerve signals to your hands.
Sweaty feet – excessive sweating treatments
Buying yourself some special socks that wick moisture away from the feet, keeping their temperature down, may help.
Sweaty groin – excessive sweating treatments
Special injections may help here, but also wearing looser clothing can make a big difference.
Why discussing your sweat with your dermatologist is wise
If you are fed up with excessive sweating, there are treatments available that can help. You may have ‘tried everything’, but new treatments emerge all the time. Having a dermatologist who is experienced in hyperhidrosis can keep you abreast of the latest developments, and they can apply their expert knowledge to your individual sweating patterns.
Don’t suffer alone.
We can help you manage your sweat.
Contact our Melbourne clinic