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Body Areas Affected by Hyperhidrosis

How Can I Control Foot Sweat?

By Chris Reid /

Excessively sweaty feet can lead to some big problems. Some people just have mildly sweaty feet, but others find that sweaty feet greatly impact their quality of life. This is often the case for people who have primary focal hyperhidrosis, a condition in which people sweat excessively from specific parts of the body - including the feet. Many people with sweaty feet struggle with staining and destroying shoes, have difficulty wearing sandals and flip flops, have trouble walking barefoot, and constantly need to wear absorbent socks. Even worse, people whose feet are constantly exposed to moisture are at risk for foot conditions like Athlete’s foot, skin maceration, infections, and irritation. This is why it is imperative for people with excessively sweaty feet to find a way to kick their sweat and get control of the problem.[1]

Natural Ways to Manage Sweaty Feet

Sometimes excessive foot sweating can be managed with natural methods and lifestyle changes. There are some practical things you can do, which won’t reduce the amount you sweat, but will help you to manage things better and prevent some of the complications that come along with sweaty feet. Here are some things you can do to manage your sweaty situation:

  • Wash your feet frequently. While washing your feet won’t stop you from sweating, it will reduce your risk of infection, keep skin from getting irritated, prevent odor build up, and prevent bacterial growth. Ideally, you should aim to wash your feet twice a day if you have been sweating in your shoes for an extended period of time. It is also beneficial to use certain products while you wash your feet. These can include antifungal products, certain essential oils, epsom salt to soothe feet, and of course, soap.
  • Soak your feet is a black tea bath. It is suggested that you fill a basin with warm water and add two tea bags to soak your feet in. It is thought that the tannins in black tea affect your sweat glands in such a way that it stops them from producing as much sweat. This method isn’t scientifically tested, but it may be worth a try!
  • Wear the right socks and shoes. Certain sock materials are good for sweaty feet, while others are not. For example, it is a good idea to avoid cotton socks, while materials like merino wool and athletic socks with moisture wicking technology are better for keeping sweat away from the skin. The material your shoes are made of are also important, leather or mesh athletic shoes are best as they allow your feet to breathe.
  • Alternate your shoes and change socks often. It might be worth it to invest in two pairs of shoes that you can alternate every other day. This allows each pair to dry completely before you get them wet again, it will also prevent shoe damage and break down from being as severe. It is also a good idea to keep an extra pair of socks with you and to change your socks any time your feet become completely soaked. This will keep your feet and skin healthier.[2]
  • Over-the-Counter Treatment Options

    One of the most helpful tools for people with sweaty feet are over-the-counter products. Over-the-counter topical treatments for hyperhidrosis called antiperspirants are the most essential. Antiperspirant is the first-line treatment doctors recommend for hyperhidrosis because they treat the problem at a local area and they effectively prevent sweat glands from producing sweat. Many people have success with over-the-counter antiperspirants, but antiperspirant is available by prescription if a higher strength is needed.[1] There is also a type of soothing treatment called foot powder. Foot powder is a powder that you apply to dry feet which absorbs excessive sweat and soothes irritated skin. When used in combination antiperspirant and foot powder can bring much relief. Finally, antifungal powder is suggested if you think you may have athlete’s foot.[2]

    Medical Treatments for Sweaty Feet

    For some people, especially those with hyperhidrosis, lifestyle adjustments and over-the-counter options might not be enough to control their foot sweat. Luckily, there are several effective medical treatment options available. Most doctors suggest that patients try over-the-counter and prescription antiperspirants before moving on to more intensive treatments. Once a patient has exhausted these options, however, doctors have many options that they can try in order to eliminate foot sweating and to improve patients quality of life. Here is a breakdown of the available treatments, from minimally invasive techniques to highly intense surgical procedures:

  • Iontophoresis: Iontophoresis is a type of therapy that uses the passing of an ionized substance through intact skin by application of a direct electrical current to stop the body from producing as much sweat. While this sounds complicated, the procedure is quite simple and it doesn’t hurt the patient. Iontophoresis is used to treat palmar (hand) and plantar (foot) hyperhidrosis and is one of the least invasive hyperhidrosis treatments available. When used to treat sweaty feet, a patients is given two trays of water to place their feet in which are connected by electrical wires. A machine pulses small electrical currents through the water and through the skin of the patient’s feet which greatly reduces the amount of sweat they will produce. The procedure needs to be repeated a few times a week to maintain results. Iontophoresis has been found to be highly effective and many people use it as a part of their weekly routine.
  • Botox Injections: Botox injections can reduce the skin’s ability to produce sweat and they have been approved as a treatment for axillary hyperhidrosis by the FDA. While botox is not specifically approved for the treatment of plantar hyperhidrosis, many people have had a significant reduction in symptoms when it is used. Typically, a doctor will assess the problem area, in this case that would be the feet, and then inject botox into the skin in a grid like pattern. The results from botox injections will usually last for several months making it a convenient treatment method.
  • Oral Medications: There are oral medications that can reduce the amount of sweat people produce, however none of them are specifically approved by the FDA for the treatment of hyperhidrosis. Most of the time doctors recommend that patients receive local treatment whenever possible, but medication can be useful for certain patients. Anticholinergics are the most common type of medication that doctors prescribe for people with hyperhidrosis, these include medicines like glycopyrrolate and oxybutynin. Sometimes, other types of medications are used like beta blockers, anti anxiety medications, and clonidine.
  • Surgery: A type of surgery to treat sweaty feet called endoscopic lumbar sympathectomy is available. However, it is almost never recommended because the side effects from the surgery can be catastrophic. If you are sweating to the point where you are considering this type of surgery it is best to try the other available treatments or combinations of those treatments rather than undergoing a risky procedure. While it is similar to endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy, the risks are much higher.[1]
  • Sources
    1. Pariser, D. M. (2014). Hyperhidrosis (4th ed., Vol. 32). Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier
    2. Leonard, J. (n.d.). What causes feet sweating? Retrieved June 3, 2019, from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/322578.php
    Body Areas Affected by Hyperhidrosis

    How Can Men Stop Excessive Groin Sweating?

    By JP Carter /

    Excessive groin sweating can be an especially uncomfortable problem for men - sweaty balls are no joke. Luckily, there are many effective treatment options available. The type of treatment a person needs depends on the cause of their sweating. Many times, excessive sweating in men, especially groin sweating, is caused by a condition called primary focal hyperhidrosis.[1]

    Primary focal hyperhidrosis usually develops during puberty and can last for a lifetime. It usually affects specific areas of the body including the hands, feet, face, armpits, and sometimes, the groin. When primary hyperhidrosis affects the groin it is medically referred to as Hexsel’s hyperhidrosis.[1] Excessive groin sweating caused by primary focal hyperhidrosis affects both men and women equally.[2] However, excessive sweating in men causes different secondary issues when it affects the groin because their anatomy is different than women.

    Sometimes, excessive groin sweating is caused by a condition called secondary generalized hyperhidrosis. Sweating from secondary hyperhidrosis tends to come on suddenly and it is caused by an underlying medical issue or as a side effect of a medication. Secondary hyperhidrosis affects both men and women, but there are some issues that cause it to occur in women that men will not have to deal with. Treatment for secondary hyperhidrosis consists of treating the underlying condition that’s causing the excessive sweating.[1] Here are some conditions that can cause groin sweating from secondary hyperhidrosis:

    • Diabetes
    • Hormone imbalances
    • Low blood sugar
    • Hyperthyroidism
    • Medication
    • Withdrawal
    • Several types of infections and other medical conditions[3]

    Treatment Options for Men

    Sweaty balls are no fun - they’re downright uncomfortable! The good news is that there are several effective treatment options men can use to get their groin sweat under control. Below are several choices you can try out if you are struggling with sweat.

    Lifestyle Adjustments

    In some cases, lifestyle adjustments can make a big difference when trying to lessen excessive sweating in men. It often won’t completely solve the issue, but it can help.

    First of all, the type of underwear you use can make a big difference. It is best to opt for boxers that are made out of breathable cotton instead of briefs or boxer briefs. This is because sweaty balls need proper ventilation.

    Secondly, it is imperative to maintain proper hygiene. This means washing the groin with warm water and soap at least once a day, or twice if sweat has had time to accumulate. Otherwise, men can develop problems like chafing, itching, bacterial infections, and fungal infections. This is how many athletes get jock itch.[4]

    Finally, losing extra weight, eating healthy, and limiting your consumption of beverages like coffee and alcohol can also improve the amount of groin sweat men produce.[4]

    Over-the-Counter Treatments

    Many over-the-counter topical treatments can stop or help lessen excessive sweating in men. The most important over-the-counter medication men can use is called antiperspirant. It is a type of topical medication that temporarily lowers the skin’s ability to produce sweat. It can be tricky to find the right type of antiperspirant for the groin, especially because it can cause irritation. However, there are solutions and antiperspirants can be quite helpful.[4]

    Aside from antiperspirant, powders like baby powder (talcum) powder or cornstarch powder can be applied to the groin to help with sweating. These powders absorb moisture, prevent chafing, and ease irritation. Talcum powder has been linked to ovarian cancer, but this is not an issue for men. Combining over-the-counter methods may lead to the largest benefit.[4]

    Medical Treatments

    If more conservative measures don’t stop excessive sweating in men, then they can pursue medical treatment options. There are oral medications that can be prescribed to reduce sweat production, but they often have undesirable systemic side effects. Doctors usually prescribe a class of medications called anticholinergics that prevent the body from producing sweat. They occasionally prescribe antidepressants or anxiolytics if they believe there is a psychiatric component to sweating.[2]

    One of the most promising treatments used to decrease the production of groin sweat is the use of botox injections. Botox is injected into the skin of the problem areas and it prevents sweat production. To be clear, botox is not injected directly into sweaty balls, so don’t worry about that. Results can last for more than three months in most cases. Botox has very few side effects and is quite effective for this type of hyperhidrosis.[2]

    Finally, there are surgical treatments available to treat hyperhidrosis, but they usually are not a good option for issues with groin sweat. Usually excision of sweat glands is used, but this can be risky for the sensitive tissue in the groin region.[2]

    If you are a man struggling with groin sweat, it is worth your time to investigate the treatment options available. It can greatly improve your quality of life and reduce the symptoms you have to live with on a daily basis.

    Sources
    1. Pariser, D. M. (2014). Hyperhidrosis (4th ed., Vol. 32). Amsterdam: Elsevier Pub. Co., 2014. Retrieved from https://www.elsevier.com/books/hyperhidrosis-an-issue-of-dermatologic-clinics/pariser/978-0-323-32607-0
    2. Hexsel, D. M., Dal'Forno, T. D., & Hexsel, C. L. (2004). Inguinal, or Hexsel’s Hyperhidrosis. Clinics in Dermatology, 22, 53-59. Retrieved June 27, 2019, from https://www.sweathelp.org/pdf/Hexsel.pdf
    3. Is the Sweating Between My Legs Excessive? (n.d.). Retrieved July 1, 2019, from https://www.healthline.com/health/how-do-i-stop-sweating-between-my-legs
    4. What Causes Excessive Testicular Sweating, and How Can I Treat It? (n.d.). Retrieved July 1, 2019, from https://www.healthline.com/health/what-causes-excessive-testicular-sweating-and-how-can-i-treat-it
    Body Areas Affected by Hyperhidrosis

    What Causes Excessive Sweating on my Head and Face?

    By Chris Reid /

    Do you struggle with a sweaty face and head? If so, you’re not alone. According to an article published in the American Journal of Clinical Dermatology, about 22.8% of people who have excessive sweating deal with sweating on their face and head.[1] An excessive sweating face can be an embarrassing problem to deal with. So, what causes excessive sweating on the face and head? Sometimes it can be the result of intense heat or exercise, but if you are sweating profusely for no obvious reason - you may likely be dealing with a form of hyperhidrosis. Hyperhidrosis is just a big word to describe sweating more than your body needs in order to regulate your temperature and stay healthy.

    The type of hyperhidrosis that affects the face and head is medically known as craniofacial hyperhidrosis. Craniofacial sweating usually happens on the forehead, scalp, nose, chin, and sometimes cheeks. If you have hyperhidrosis, your sweating may be influenced by levels of anxiety and stress - but often (and somewhat frustratingly) it may have no obvious cause.[1] There are three types of hyperhidrosis that are known to cause excessive sweating of the face and head: primary focal hyperhidrosis, secondary generalized hyperhidrosis, and gustatory sweating (Frey’s syndrome).

    The Causes of Excessive Face and Head Sweating

    Primary Focal Hyperhidrosis

    One of the most common causes of facial and head sweating is called primary focal hyperhidrosis. It is a condition that causes people to sweat in excess of what is needed by their body. Primary hyperhidrosis affects specific parts of the body like the hands, feet, underarms, and face. About 7 million people in the US have hyperhidrosis, so the condition is quite common.[2] And of the folks who have primary focal hyperhidrosis, about 22.8% have craniofacial hyperhidrosis (meaning they specifically have issues with excessive facial and head sweating).[1] Researchers aren’t exactly sure why primary focal hyperhidrosis occurs, but they suspect that it is caused by an overactive nervous system.

    The sympathetic nervous system activates the sweat glands and is responsible for the “fight or flight” response. When the sympathetic system is activated at inappropriate times it can cause sweat glands to become overactive.[3] Hyperhidrosis is suspected to be somewhat hereditary.[2] So, if you have primary hyperhidrosis you may also have relatives with the same condition.

    Secondary Generalized Hyperhidrosis

    An excessive sweating face and head can also be caused by another type of hyperhidrosis called secondary generalized hyperhidrosis. It is usually characterized by sweating that occurs all over the body due to an underlying condition. This means that if you have secondary hyperhidrosis, there is another health condition or medication that is causing your excessive sweating. Secondary hyperhidrosis usually begins suddenly during adulthood, as opposed to primary focal hyperhidrosis, which typically develops during adolescence. You can experience excessive facial and head sweating from secondary hyperhidrosis, but if you have this condition you will most likely also experience excessive sweating on other parts of your body at the same time. It is important to seek medical attention if you think you have secondary hyperhidrosis (and don’t know the cause), because it can be the result of an underlying factor. There are certain diseases and conditions that cause secondary hyperhidrosis, which range from benign to more serious. There are also manymedications that can also cause secondary hyperhidrosis as a side effect.[2] If you think you have secondary hyperhidrosis, don’t panic, but please talk to your doctor so you can get more information and take control of your sweat.

    Gustatory Sweating (Frey’s Syndrome)

    Most people will never have to deal with this condition, but it can be a surprising cause of an excessively sweating face. Unlike primary focal hyperhidrosis and secondary generalized hyperhidrosis, gustatory sweating is quite uncommon. Gustatory sweating is when you experience excessive sweating and flushing on your face when you’re eating. It can even happen as a result of someone thinking about food! It is most often caused by an injury to the parotid gland and its associated nerves. This little known gland is located near the sides of the face and can be affected by an injury to those areas. After an injury those nerves struggle to regrow in the proper place and communication signals are affected. Essentially, the body responds inappropriately to stimuli after an injury or disease damages the nerves. It is unlikely that gustatory sweating is the cause of your sweating woes, but if these symptoms sound familiar you should check with your doctor and find out. [2]

    Regardless of which type of hyperhidrosis is causing you to struggle with excessive facial and head sweating, remember you are not alone! We are here for you. Thankfully, there are effective ways to reduce and stop facial sweating so that it doesn’t have as big of an impact on your quality of life.

    Sources
    1. Nicholas, R., Quddus, A., & Baker, D. M. (2015). Treatment of Primary Craniofacial Hyperhidrosis: A Systematic Review. American Journal of Clinical Dermatology, 16(5), 361-370. doi:10.1007/s40257-015-0136-6 Retrieved March 14, 2019, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26055729
    2. Pariser, D. M. (2014). Hyperhidrosis (4th ed., Vol. 32). Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier. Retrieved from https://www.elsevier.com/books/hyperhidrosis-an-issue-of-dermatologic-clinics/pariser/978-0-323-32607-0
    3. Huddle, J. R. (2014). Hyperhidrosis: Causes, Treatment Options and Outcomes. New York, NY: Nova Science. Retrieved from https://www.bookdepository.com/Hyperhidrosis-Janine-R-Huddle/9781633215160
    Body Areas Affected by Hyperhidrosis

    6 Common Complications of Hyperhidrosis

    By Katie Crissman /

    Hyperhidrosis is a skin disorder that causes people to sweat in excess of what is needed by the body. It is suspected that nearly 3% of the population struggles with the condition, making it quite common. While there are a few different types of hyperhidrosis, the two most common kinds are primary focal hyperhidrosis and secondary generalized hyperhidrosis. Primary focal hyperhidrosis is the most common type and it produces excessive sweating on specific areas of the body like the hands, feet, face, armpits, and sometimes other areas, like the groin. It is a lifelong condition and typically shows up during puberty. Secondary generalized hyperhidrosis is caused by an underlying condition or medication and it tends to cause all over sweating and can show up suddenly. Regardless of which type of hyperhidrosis a person has, the effects of producing too much sweat can cause other secondary health complications. It is important to know that hyperhidrosis is not dangerous, but it can cause some unfortunate health related issues.[1] Here are some of the most common complications of hyperhidrosis and what you can do about them:

    Emotional Complications

    One of the most profound effects that hyperhidrosis has on people is how it affects them emotionally and socially.[2] This is because the nature of the disorder is embarrassing and it can make people feel isolated. Specifically, hyperhidrosis is known to affect several aspects of daily life like emotional well-being, interpersonal relationships, leisure activities, self-esteem, personal hygiene, and work. All of these are important facets of a person’s life and because hyperhidrosis disrupts them, it makes sense that hyperhidrosis can lead to anxiety and depression. One large study published in the Journal of Dermatologic Clinics stated that 63% of people with hyperhidrosis reported feeling depressed or unhappy as a result of the condition and 74% had less confidence than they would like. While these statistics may sound daunting, when hyperhidrosis was addressed with proper medical treatment a significant number of people saw significant emotional improvement.[2]

    Maceration

    One of the most common skin issues that can come about from hyperhidrosis is called maceration. Maceration is the name for skin that is mushy and wet from constant exposure to sweat and moisture.[2] Skin that is macerated is usually lighter in color and appears wrinkly. Hyperhidrosis usually causes mild cases of maceration which can usually be treated by exposing skin to the air and keeping the affected area dry. While maceration itself is not physically dangerous, it can lead to delayed wound healing, susceptibility to infection, discomfort, pain, and skin breakdown. This is why it is imperative to keep skin dry and clean as much as possible.[3]

    Infection

    Hyperhidrosis can lead to a higher likelihood of developing a few types of infections. These include bacterial, viral, and fungal infections.[2] One study published by the American Academy of Dermatology found that patients with hyperhidrosis had a 30% chance of developing a skin infection of any type compared to only 12% of people from the general population. This is a significantly higher risk.[4] Maceration causes skin to be less effective as a barrier and viral and bacterial infections can enter the body more readily.[3] Wet conditions also provide an ideal environment for fungal infections to grow. The most common types of fungal infections that people with hyperhidrosis have to deal with are athlete’s foot which affects the feet and jock itch which affects the groin.[2] Keeping skin as dry as possible and using topical, and sometimes, oral medications can keep these conditions in check.

    Warts

    Warts are another skin condition that is more likely to appear as a result of hyperhidrosis. When skin is exposed to moisture it begins to break down and becomes a less effective barrier for keeping infections out. Unfortunately, some of the infections that can affect the skin cause warts to grow.[2] Most cases of warts are caused by a type of virus called HPV. It is suggested that people with warts keep them covered to prevent infecting others, that they treat them with an appropriate medication and that they do not shave over top of warts. Luckily, they are easily treatable.[5]

    Body Odor

    Body odor is an unfortunately common side effect of hyperhidrosis. Medically, body odor is referred to as bromhidrosis. Sweat is actually odorless when it is released from the body but it becomes stinky when bacteria on the surface of the skin digest proteins and create foul smelling byproducts. Body odor tends to be the worst when produced by the skin of the armpits and groin. This is because those areas have apocrine sweat glands which create a thicker type of sweat. Hyperhidrosis feet that have been enclosed in socks and shoes for a long period of time also tend to create a worse smell than other parts of the body. You can cut down on body odor by keeping skin as clean and dry as possible, although this can be tricky for those with hyperhidrosis. There are other ways to reduce sweating and body odor that can also help.[2]

    Economic Consequences

    While economic consequences may not directly impact health, they certainly impact a person's lifestyle. According to several quality of life studies published in the journal of Dermatologic Clinics hyperhidrosis can have a significant impact in the workplace. This can manifest due to social anxiety or be a direct result of hyperhidrosis. For example, a person with severe palmar hyperhidrosis may struggle to manipulate objects and with activities like holding a pen. These issues can lead to lower work performance. Unfortunately, certain hyperhidrosis treatments are not covered by insurance at this time and this can also deplete hyperhidrosis patients financially. Luckily, treatments can improve a person’s economic position and relieve some of the burden.[1]

    The complications associated with hyperhidrosis can be frustrating and make the condition even more daunting to deal with. However, it is important that you don’t lose hope! Hyperhidrosis is highly treatable and most of its complications are fairly simple and can be reversed.

    What Can You Do About It?

    If you are struggling with the complications that come along with hyperhidrosis there are several things you can do. The first thing most doctors recommend is trying an over-the-counter antiperspirant. Antiperspirant enables the skin to produce less sweat by blocking the sweat glands. There are several different types of antiperspirant to choose from that can be used for a variety of needs.[1] Some brands, like Carpe have antiperspirants lotions that are specifically designed for sensitive skin, while others have spray on or roll on versions of intense strength products. If you haven’t had luck with antiperspirant alone, there are several other medical interventions that can improve your symptoms. These include procedures like iontophoresis, botox injections, oral medications, and even surgery. If you are struggling, don’t give up! There are many options and new treatments are being developed every day.

    Sources
    1. Pariser, D. M. (2014). Hyperhidrosis (4th ed., Vol. 32). Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier.
    2. Common Complications of Hyperhidrosis. (n.d.). Retrieved August 21, 2019, from https://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/common-complications-of-hyperhidrosis
    3. Everything You Need to Know About Macerated Skin. (n.d.). Retrieved August 21, 2019, from https://www.healthline.com/health/macerated-skin
    4. Walling. (2009). Study finds that patients with excessive sweating condition are more likely to develop skin infections. American Academy of Dermatology. Retrieved August 21, 2019, from https://www.aad.org/media/news-releases/study-finds-that-patients-with-excessive-sweating-condition-are-more-likely-to-develop-skin-infections.
    5. How to heal warts more quickly and prevent new ones. (n.d.). Retrieved August 21, 2019, from https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/contagious-skin-diseases/warts/how-to-heal-warts
    Body Areas Affected by Hyperhidrosis

    What are the Causes of Groin Sweat?

    By Katie Crissman /

    Sweating is a normal, healthy occurrence if it helps your body to cool itself down. However, some people experience excessive sweating that is burdensome rather than beneficial. This is especially problematic when sweat accumulates on certain parts of the body - like the groin. If you experience the following symptoms it could be a sign that your groin sweating has become excessive and may require some intervention:

  • Chafing
  • Itching
  • Irritation
  • Bad odor or negative changes in body odor
  • Sweating disrupts you daily routine
  • You regularly soak through your undergarments and/or pants
  • So, what causes this type of unsettling groin sweat production? There are many possible culprits. Keep reading to learn about the most common causes![1][2]

    Primary Focal Hyperhidrosis

    Hyperhidrosis is the medical term used to describe unusual, excessive sweating that is not related to the heat or exertion. The two most common types of hyperhidrosis are called primary focal hyperhidrosis and secondary generalized hyperhidrosis. Most commonly, night sweats are a symptom of secondary hyperhidrosis - which is a type of hyperhidrosis caused by an underlying medical condition or medication. For example, some medications cause excessive sweating as a side effect. Due to the fact that the excessive sweating has a causative agent, the medication, a person would be said to have secondary hyperhidrosis. In contrast, primary focal hyperhidrosis develops earlier on in life and has no causative factor.[3] While primary focal hyperhidrosis could potentially cause night sweats, this is much less common.[1] The other causes of night sweats discussed in this article are actually types of secondary generalized hyperhidrosis.

    Pregnancy and Menopause

    One of the most common causes of excessive groin sweating is called primary focal hyperhidrosis (PFH). Hyperhidrosis is a skin disorder that causes sweating to occur in excess of what is needed by the body for normal physiological functioning. Most of the time, primary focal hyperhidrosis affects specific areas of the body like the hands, feet, armpits, face, and less commonly, the groin. A specific type of PFH called Hexsel’s hyperhidrosis is used to describe the condition when hyperhidrosis specifically affects the inguinal (groin) region. People with this type of hyperhidrosis usually struggle with sweating on the upper thighs, suprapubic area, external genitalia, gluteal folds, and the gluteal cleft. Sweating can become so severe that patients often experience soaking their clothes and deal with embarrassing situations as a result.[3]

    Researchers aren’t sure how many people struggle with primary focal hyperhidrosis that causes excessive groin sweating. It is thought to be less than the population of people that have hyperhidrosis that affects other parts of the body. One retrospective chart review published in the journal of Dermatologic Clinics observed that only 1.3% of the patients reviewed experienced groin sweating. It is known that about 50% of patients who have Hexsel’s hyperhidrosis have a family history of the condition, leading doctors to believe that there is at least some heritable component to hyperhidrosis. No one is sure why people develop primary focal hyperhidrosis, but it typically begins during puberty and can affect a person over their lifetime. While there is no cure for hyperhidrosis, there are ways to stop or decrease groin sweating.[3]

    Secondary Generalized Hyperhidrosis

    Secondary generalized hyperhidrosis is excessive sweating that is caused by an underlying factor like a medical condition or medication. Typically the sweating from this type of hyperhidrosis causes sweating to occur evenly all over the body and it can appear suddenly during any stage of life. Secondary hyperhidrosis is not known to only affect the groin area, but it can certainly cause excessive groin sweating. People with this type of hyperhidrosis often also experience night sweating in contrast to those with primary focal hyperhidrosis.[3]

    There are several possible causes of secondary generalized hyperhidrosis. Below is a list of conditions that could possibly cause secondary hyperhidrosis:

  • Menopause
  • Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia)
  • Pregnancy
  • Certain infections
  • Some cancers
  • Anxiety disorder or stress
  • Hormonal imbalances
  • Medications (antidepressants, painkillers, antibiotics, some cold medications, and many others)
  • Hyperthyroidism[1]
  • There are several other factors that can cause secondary hyperhidrosis, some of which are benign and others that are medically serious. Therefore, if you think you might have secondary hyperhidrosis it is important that you speak to a doctor about the potential causes. Luckily, secondary hyperhidrosis can be fixed by treating the underlying condition or stopping the medication that is causing it.[3]

    Other Factors

    While lifestyle factors aren’t going to cause excessive groin sweating to the point of needing medical attention, they can make a bad problem worse. You might be experiencing increased groin sweat production if you are wearing underwear that are tight, constricting, or made of fabrics with moisture-retentive properties. As unimportant as this may seem, it can actually be an important factor for some people. Exercise is another reason some people experience excessive groin sweating. So, if your sweat is only an issue after you are physically active then you probably don’t have a problem but you may want to dress accordingly. Finally, other lifestyle factors like obesity and pubic grooming can lead to differences in sweat production.[4]

    If you are struggling with excessive groin sweat then don’t give up! It can be difficult to find a treatment that works for you, but there are options available. There are treatments that allow patients to control groin sweat and that will help you to move on from the stress that excessive sweating causes.

    Sources
    1. Is the Sweating Between My Legs Excessive? (n.d.). Retrieved August 14, 2019, from https://www.healthline.com/health/how-do-i-stop-sweating-between-my-legs
    2. Sweating and body odor. (2017, February 14). Retrieved August 14, 2019, from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/sweating-and-body-odor/symptoms-causes/syc-20353895
    3. Pariser, D. M. (2014). Hyperhidrosis (4th ed., Vol. 32). Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier.
    4. Eske, J. (2018, November 16). What causes sweating around the vagina? Retrieved August 14, 2019, from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/323719.php
    Body Areas Affected by Hyperhidrosis

    What Causes Night Sweating?

    By Katie Crissman /

    Night sweats are a specific type of sweating that, like the name implies, only occur at night. True night sweats are caused by severe hot flashes that occur in sleep. They often cause a person to soak through bed sheets and are not related to how hot the surrounding environment is. Night sweats are also surprisingly common.[1] One study published in the Annals of Family Medicine found that 41% of patients questioned about night sweats at a primary care clinic responded that they had experienced night sweats in the month prior to their visit to the doctor. This is only one statistic and is not representative of the number of people in society as a whole who experience night sweats, but it still demonstrates that night sweating is a prevalent issue.[2] There are various medical reasons that people experience night sweats ranging from benign to quite serious. Below is a list of several of the most common causes.

    Hyperhidrosis

    Hyperhidrosis is the medical term used to describe unusual, excessive sweating that is not related to the heat or exertion. The two most common types of hyperhidrosis are called primary focal hyperhidrosis and secondary generalized hyperhidrosis. Most commonly, night sweats are a symptom of secondary hyperhidrosis - which is a type of hyperhidrosis caused by an underlying medical condition or medication. For example, some medications cause excessive sweating as a side effect. Due to the fact that the excessive sweating has a causative agent, the medication, a person would be said to have secondary hyperhidrosis. In contrast, primary focal hyperhidrosis develops earlier on in life and has no causative factor.[3] While primary focal hyperhidrosis could potentially cause night sweats, this is much less common.[1] The other causes of night sweats discussed in this article are actually types of secondary generalized hyperhidrosis.

    Pregnancy and Menopause

    Sometimes, normal physiological changes that occur over a lifetime can be the cause of night sweats.[1] This is especially true for women. Both pregnancy and menopause can night sweats due to the hormonal changes they cause in the body. Menopause typically begins some time during a woman’s 40’s or 50’s and signals the fact that her body is at the end of its childbearing years. Between 30% and 80% of women experience hot flashes and/or night sweats during and after menopause. However, it is always a good idea to have a doctor determine whether menopause is truly occuring to make sure that hot flashes are not being caused by a different, more sinister, underlying cause. This can easily be determined through a simple blood test.[4]

    Hormonal Imbalances

    Several hormonal disorders are known to cause both flushing, sweating, and night sweats. The causes and complications of these disorders vary and there is a wide array of possible endocrine diseases that can cause night sweats. Here are a few:

  • Pheochromocytoma
  • Carcinoid syndrome
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Diabetes and Hypoglycemia[1][5]
  • This is not an exhaustive list of endocrine disorders that can lead to night sweats so be sure to check in with a medical professional if you are concerned that an endocrine problem may be causing your sweating issues.

    Infection

    There are several infections that can lead to the development of night sweats. Some of these include:

  • Tuberculosis
  • Bacterial infections (like endocarditis or osteomyelitis)
  • HIV
  • Influenza
  • Other febrile illnesses
  • It should also be noted that a fever in and of itself can cause night sweats to occur as the body struggles to fight off an infection. If you suspect that an infection is causing your night sweats then it is imperative that you speak with your doctor.[1][5]

    Cancer

    Unfortunately, sometimes night sweats are an early symptom of certain types of cancer. Lymphoma is the cancer most commonly associated with night sweats.[1] Leukemia can also cause night sweats.[5] If you are suffering from cancer you will most likely have other health issues that go along with your night sweats like weight loss and fevers. If you are experiencing night sweats along with other troubling health symptoms please speak with a doctor.[1]

    Mental Health Issues

    Another common cause of night sweats are mental illnesses. Most commonly anxiety is associated with night sweating, but it can also be caused by depression. For those who struggle with substance abuse disorders the drug of abuse as well as withdrawal from it can cause night sweats.[5]

    Sleep Issues

    Sleep disorders are associated with the development of night sweats.[2] This is especially true in the case of people who have obstructive sleep apnea. People with this sleep disorder are reportedly three times more likely to experience night sweats than the general population.[5] It is unknown whether other types of sleep disorders, like restless leg syndrome, are themselves responsible for night sweats or whether other factors are causing the night sweats and people with sleep issues are just more likely to notice them. More studies need to be done in order to determine the relationship between sleep disorders and night sweating.[2]

    Medications

    Medication side effects are one of the leading causes of night sweats. In fact, many commonly prescribed medicines cause secondary generalized hyperhidrosis as well. Here is a list of some of the medications that can cause night sweats:

  • Pain medications: many types of opiates, NSAIDs (which are over the counter anti-inflammatories) and marinol (cannabinoid medication)
  • Psychiatric medications: antidepressants, antipsychotics, anxiolytics and ADHD medications
  • Hormonal medications: birth control and other medications containing estrogen or testosterone
  • Diabetes medication[3]
  • One meta analysis found that between 10% and 14% of people taking SSRI’s, a type of antidepressant, deal with night sweats as a result. The use of these types of medications are extremely widespread making them a common culprit of night sweats.[6]

    Neurological Diseases

    Various neurological diseases can cause night sweats to occur. These include:

  • Posttraumatic syringomyelia
  • Stroke
  • Autonomic neuropathy
  • Autonomic dysreflexia
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • The list above is not exhaustive and there are other neurological conditions that can cause night sweating.[1]

    Other Possible Reasons

    There are some other possible causes of night sweats that include conditions like obesity, gastrointestinal reflux disease (GERD), cardiovascular disease, and others. If you are not sure why you are experiencing night sweats it is important to speak with your doctor and rule out some of the more serious potential causes.[5]

    Sources
    1. 8 Causes of Night Sweats. (n.d.). Retrieved August 12, 2019, from https://www.webmd.com/menopause/guide/8-causes-of-night-sweats
    2. Mold, J. W., Woolley, J. H., & Nagykaldi, Z. (2006). Associations Between Night Sweats and Other Sleep Disturbances: An OKPRN Study. Annals of Family Medicine, 4(5), 423-426. Retrieved August 12, 2019, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1578640/.
    3. Pariser, D. M. (2014). Hyperhidrosis (4th ed., Vol. 32). Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier.
    4. Paisly, A. N., & Buckler, H. M. (2010). Investigating secondary hyperhidrosis. BMJ : British Medical Journal (Online), 341. doi:10.1136/bmj.c4475
    5. Davis, K. (2017, December 15). What to know about night sweats. Retrieved August 12, 2019, from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/296818.php
    6. Giudice, M. (2006). Tracing night sweats to drug can be challenging. . Canadian Pharmacists Journal, 139(1), 59-60. Retrieved August 27, 2018, from http://ezproxy.co.wake.nc.us/login?url=https://search.proquest.com/docview/221185945?accountid=14867
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