It is normal to sweat when you are hot, do exercises, or are anxious. Your body cools itself down by sweating. Excessive sweating, a condition called hyperhidrosis, is when you sweat while your body does not need to cool down. This happens because your sweat glands do not switch off after your body has cooled down. This can lead to excessive dripping, affecting your face, armpits, palms, soles, or whole body.
Excessive sweating may run in your family or it can be due to a disease like malaria, tuberculosis (especially if this usually happens at night) or uncontrolled blood sugar. Your healthcare provider may prescribe antiperspirants. If the symptom is caused by an underlying condition, your healthcare provider will treat the underlying condition.
- Excessive sweating may run in the family.
- It may be caused by malaria, tuberculosis or a fever of unknown origin.
- Your blood sugar may be too low or too high.
- You may have an anxiety disorder.
- Alcohol abuse or misuse.
- Using medications like insulin, pilocarpine or those used for depression or alzheimer’s disease.
Excessive sweating is not dangerous, but you should see your doctor if:
- Your sweating disturbs your work or social activities.
- You always have excessive night sweats.
- You are feeling lightheaded.
- You have chest pain or nausea.
- You are losing a lot of weight unintentionally.
Some of the things you can do so that you do not begin to sweat excessively are:
- Use antiperspirant daily after bathing.
- Check your blood sugar regularly.
- Seek early treatment once you have a fever.
- Limit your intake of alcohol.
- Use aluminium-based antiperspirants.
- Wear light clothes, like cotton materials. These allow more airflow, cooling your body and reducing excessive sweating.
- Have a bath twice a day with cool water.
- Air your feet and palms if you sweat a lot in these areas. To absorb excess moisture, you can use unscented powder or sudocrem on these areas.
- Try relaxation techniques such as yoga.
- Stay hydrated by drinking enough water.
- Your healthcare provider will usually try to resolve the underlying condition first.
- Your healthcare provider may recommend a medication that blocks the sweat glands from releasing sweat. This medication, botulinum toxin, is safe and widely used for cosmetic purposes.
- Your healthcare provider may recommend a solution where electricity is used to close or destroy sweat glands.
- Your healthcare provider may recommend surgery if you haven't responded to other treatments.
Excessive sweating can make you feel embarrassed, but it is usually harmless. You can reduce it by bathing daily and using suitable antiperspirants.