Hyperhidrosis – Excessive Sweating

  • Hyperhidrosis is a medical condition described as sweating beyond what is necessary to cool the body.
  • The most common areas affected are the hands, feet, groin, face and underarms (50% of reported cases), and not all cases are caused specifically by temperature or stress factors.
  • Hyperhidrosis is believed to be a genetic problem that stops the body from properly regulating its sweat output and causes some sufferers to produce up to four times the average volume of sweat.
  • Focal Hyperhidrosis or Primary Hyperhidrosis –  affects local areas such as the underarms, palms, feet and face and is caused by a malfunction within the sympathetic nervous system that causes an over-stimulation of the nerve to release a chemical called acetylcholine which over-activates the eccrine gland (sweat gland) to produce more sweat.
  • Generalized Hyperhidrosis or Secondary Hyperhidrosis – usually affects the entire body and caused by other conditions such as obesity, menopause, metabolic disorders
  • Results of the International Hyperhidrosis Society (IHHS) 2008 Sweat Survey were significant.
  • 33% of U.S. adults think they produce too much underarm sweat
  • Only 5%have ever contacted a health care professional
  • The International Hyperhidrosis Society (IHHS) Sweat Survey, polled 2,897 American adults in March 2008 to determine how sweat affects the general population. Results include:
  • More than half of U.S. adults (60%) would be embarrassed or “very embarrassed” by visible underarm sweat stains.
  • More adults would be more embarrassed by visible underarm stains than by having bad acne (58%) or being overweight (47%).
  • Although more men (39% of men compared to 28% of women) feel they have too much underarm sweat, more women would be embarrassed by underarm sweat than men (68% vs. 51%).
  • Females between the ages of 18 and 34 are particularly affected by underarm sweat, as more than three in four young women (77%) say they would be embarrassed by underarm sweat, and about half (49%) feel they have too much underarm sweat.
  • Social Implications – 80% of people with underarm Hyperhidrosis feel at least moderately limited when meeting new people; 55% of patients living with underarm hyperhidrosis felt unhappy; 38% of patients reported feeling depressed.
  • Financial Implications – high cost of dry cleaning & more frequent garment replacement
  • Focal Injections (BOTOX) – works by interrupting the signal from the nerve to the sweat glands. Treatments last 6 months and could cost men $2000+/year if you do not have coverage, and the long term treatment effects are not yet known.
  • Topical Antiperspirant Treatments – applying aluminum chloride hexahydrate which to date has had mixed reviews and success, and products still leave underarm residue on clothing
  • Underarm Liners – convenient, inexpensive and effective way to prevent underarm stains, wetness and odour