How to tell if you’re sweating too much

Worried that you may be sweating too much? Find whether you may have hyperhidrosis and how to treat it.

Sweating is completely normal and healthy because if we didn’t sweat, we’d overheat and suffer severe health complications.

That said, there are plenty of us who sweat even when we aren’t hot, which could be due to a condition called hyperhidrosis (excess sweating).

Let’s look at some telltale signs of this condition and how you can treat or prevent it.

Treatments for hyperhidrosis

If you’re here for the answers first, and the reasons why you have a problem second because you’re already convinced you suffer from excess sweating, let’s cut to the chase.

To take control of hyperhidrosis, there are many things you can do. Here are three treatments you can try.

1) Medications

You can take different medications for hyperhidrosis, such as prescription antiperspirants known as Drysol and Herac Ac. Prescription creams that contain glycopyrrolate and nerve-blocking medications are also helpful.

Even antidepressants can reduce sweating because it decreases anxiety. Botulinum toxin injections, or botox, can temporarily block nerves that cause sweating. Ask your doctor if botox can work to control your sweating before seeking a plastic surgeon.

2) Surgical procedures

For patients who want a more permanent fix, microwave therapy, sweat gland removal, and nerve surgery are possible. Microwave therapy, which involves destroying sweat glands, is a rare and expensive procedure.

However, sweat gland removal isn’t and won’t be as invasive as nerve surgery. Nerve surgery is also risky because it could cause excessive sweating in other parts of your body to make up for the cut, burned, or clamped nerves.

3) Lifestyle treatments

Minor hyperhidrosis can be combated with antiperspirants that contain aluminum-based compounds that block sweat. Astringents, like tannic acid, can also block sweat in the affected area.

Make sure you bathe daily, change your socks twice a day, and change to easily breathable materials for your clothing like bamboo, cotton, or linen to limit sweating. Even trying out yoga can help you understand what triggers excess sweating.

How to know if you have hyperhidrosis

Maybe you’re not sure if you’re sweating too much? If that’s the case, check for these signs that you may have hyperhidrosis or excessive sweating:

  • You sweat when you aren’t moving or exercising and tend to sweat while doing daily activities such as sitting down or washing dishes. You may notice beads of sweat on your skin frequently or notice sweat in your clothing.
  • Sweating from one or two areas of the body is common with hyperhidrosis and usually occurs in the head, feet, palms, or underarms. The rest of the body remains cool or sweat-free, while others are very wet.
  • It’s difficult to do daily activities due to excess sweating due to discomfort. For example, you may not want to turn a doorknob or use a keyboard. You also may be uncomfortable lifting your arms or feel embarrassed due to sweating.
  • Skin infections are common (jock itch, rash under breasts, athlete’s foot) in high concentrated sweat areas.
  • Skin stays wet for an extended period of time and may peel, turn white, or feel soft.

Talk to your doctor if you experience any of these symptoms. On the surface, hyperhidrosis is harmless, however, there could be an underlying health condition that causes excess sweating.

Your doctor may take a urine or blood test, check your thyroid or ask lifestyle questions to narrow down the causes.

Possible causes of hyperhidrosis

Secondary hyperhidrosis is when another health condition causes excess sweating. However, most people with hyperhidrosis have primary focal hyperhidrosis, and there isn’t any exact reason why this occurs. Primary focal hyperhidrosis will only make you sweat in one or two places, secondary hyperhidrosis will occur throughout the body,

You may have secondary hyperhidrosis if you have the following health problems:

  • Menopause
  • Thyroid disorders
  • Alcoholism
  • Heart Failure
  • Cancer
  • Pregnancy
  • Diabetes
  • Stroke
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Obesity 
  • Low blood sugar
  • Gout
  • Arthritis

Always check with your doctor before treating hyperhidrosis because you may suffer from secondary hyperhidrosis and need treatment for another underlying health condition.