SWEATOPEDIA

Sweatopedia is a leading source of comprehensive, objective, and accurate information on hyperhidrosis.

Factors that Make Hyperhidrosis Worse

5 Foolproof Ways to Survive Football Season When You Sweat a Lot

By JP Carter /

Football season is finally rolling around as the weather cools off, but some players struggle with sweat problems as the season heats up. Athletes are known to sweat copiously when they are performing - it is a sign of health as it is the body’s only physiological adaptation to keep itself cool. In fact, those who are more fit tend to sweat more than those who are not because they can workout at a greater workload which generates more heat. However, at a certain point sweating can become an issue for athletes trying to perform at an optimal level.[1] This is true for athletes in all types of sports, but it can be especially pertinent to football players as they participate in such a high impact sport and come in such varied shapes and sizes. One study found that linebackers tend to sweat more, on average, than other types of players due to the size of their bodies. Their overall larger size caused them to generate more heat while working out and thus produce more sweat[2] While a linebacker producing more sweat than a smaller player is normal and makes sense, some players make such large quantities of sweat that it interferes with their performance.

So, how much sweat is too much? There is a large natural variation in the amount of sweat physiologically normal people produce. One person can produce twice as much sweat as another and still be within the normal range. However, some people sweat so much that it indicates that they may have a condition called primary focal hyperhidrosis. Hyperhidrosis is a condition that causes people to sweat in excess of what the body needs to maintain its internal temperature. People with the condition may sweat four to five times as much as a normal person. Hyperhidrosis usually causes excessive sweating to happen on specific parts of the body like the hands, feet, armpits, face, and occasionally the back and groin. It is not a dangerous condition, but it can have damaging consequences for football players who have it. It affects around 3% of the population so it is not uncommon. If you have the following symptoms you may be struggling with hyperhidrosis:

  • You sweat excessively even in cool conditions when you aren’t working out
  • You sweat from specific areas of your body like the hands, feet, armpits, or face
  • The amount of sweat you produce causes you to have functional issues when you are trying to play football[3]
  • If sweat is interfering with your ability to play football then check out these tips to get your sweating under control and your focus back in the game.

    #1 Wear the Right Gear

    As many athletes know, it is imperative to wear the right type of clothing when performing. This is also the case when it comes to protecting yourself from sweat. If you have hyperhidrosis, or even if you just sweat a lot, wearing the right clothing during a workout session can protect you from chafing, skin breakdown, and irritation.[4] The most important clothes for people who sweat excessively are underwear and socks.This is because they are the clothes that will come in contact with your sweat the most. The best type of underwear tend to be manufactured by athletic brands. It is best to go with underwear that is made from new types of fabrics that have moisture wicking technology. This advice holds up for athletic socks as well. These materials will keep sweat away from your skin and keep it dryer for longer.

    When buying clothes to workout in try and find shirts and pants made out of natural, lightweight fibers - like cotton. These types of fabrics are breathable and absorbent allow sweat to transfer away from the skin. You may not have as much choice of what to wear when you are in an actual game, but keeping your skin safe during practices can ensure that you are ready to perform on days when you have less control over your wardrobe.

    You may also want to try:

  • Wearing a headband if you struggle with sweat dripping and burning your face.
  • Use gloves to prevent slippage when throwing and catching the ball.
  • Wear extra padding under your uniform if you are worried about sweat leaking through to the outside.
  • #2 Use Antiperspirant and Powder to Improve Grip

    Antiperspirant is a must have for anyone with excessive sweating, especially athletes. Antiperspirant allows skin to produce less sweat by forming a superficial plug within sweat glands.You can use antiperspirant on specific problem areas of your body which makes it even more ideal for athletes. For example, if you are struggling with your grip on the ball you can apply antiperspirant to your hands so you won’t sweat as much from them. This way it won’t affect the rest of your body. Antiperspirant is the first line treatment doctors recommend for hyperhidrosis because it works locally and it is considered to be very effective.[5] Powders, like baby powder, can also be useful to keep your hands and feet from slipping when you have extra sweat. They can be applied before practice or a game and have virtually no side effects. You can find over-the-counter topical treatments for hyperhidrosis, like antiperspirants and powders, at your local pharmacy or grocery store. There are several types and brands to choose from. Some brands, like Carpe, have antiperspirant lotion that is useful for sensitive skin. The same brand make a groin powder to help cut down on chafing and discomfort. Other brands offer antiperspirants that come in spray, roll on, and stick forms. It is important to read labels and stay informed so you can choose the right antiperspirant for you.

    #3 Protect Yourself from Jock Itch

    ock itch, as the name implies, is a common ailment for male athletes. It is a type of fungal infection that is medically referred to as tinea cruris. It is caused by a type of fungus called ringworm and it thrives on warm moist areas of the body. It can be a common problem for people who deal with excessive sweating on a regular basis, especially athletes. You may have ringworm if you are experiencing the following around the area of the groin:

  • Itching and burning
  • Red, scaly rash with raised edges
  • Cracking, flaking, or peeling skin[6]
  • If you suspect that you have jock itch then you need to treat it. Most cases can be resolved fairly easily with an over-the-counter antifungal. It is easy to prevent jock itch by doing the following:

  • Showering frequently, especially after sweating
  • Don’t share your personal items like towels with others
  • Wear clean clothes and change after a workout
  • Wear loose fitting clothes and switch to boxers if you have an ongoing problem[6]
  • #4 Check Your Anxiety Levels for Better Performance

    Hyperhidrosis and anxiety are closely related as anxiety can be a result of the condition and it can also make it worse. This can be especially pertinent for football players as performance anxiety prior to games can make sweating worse which can, in turn, affect performance. If you are dealing with anxiety try to find ways to relax so that you focus on your game and not on your sweat. There are some relaxation techniques like meditation, biofeedback, hypnosis, and yoga that have been shown to reduce stress, and in some cases, reduce sweating.[7] Working on your anxiety will help you focus better on football, improve your skills, and reduce your sweating. If anxiety is a big problem for you then talking to a doctor can help.

    #5 Stay Clean

    This may seem obvious, but it is imperative that athletes who have been sweating profusely shower after every workout. This won’t reduce the amount you sweat, but it will improve other associated problems. It is a good idea to shower and use antibacterial soap, especially after touching equipment used by many other people. This is prevent bacteria on the surface of your skin from breaking down sweat and producing foul smelling byproducts and it will reduce your chance of catching fungal and bacterial infections. When you sweat often it is important to prevent skin breakdown and staying clean is necessary for that. It is also a good idea to change into clean clothes after every workout. If you decide to apply antiperspirant it is best to do so later in the day after a shower when your skin is dry.[8]

    If these tips aren’t cutting it and you are still struggling with sweat, then it may be time to see a doctor. There are several effective treatments available for people with hyperhidrosis and they can improve your ability to play football as well as your quality of life if you need them. Don't give up and give it your best this season!

    Sources
    1. Heid, M. (2015, July 8). You Asked: Is It Healthy to Sweat A Lot? Time. Retrieved from https://time.com/3947804/sweating-healthy/
    2. Godek, S. F., Bartolozzi, A. R., Burkholder, R. B., Sugarman, E., & Peduzzi, C. (2008). Sweat Rates and Fluid Turnover in Professional Football Players: A Comparison of National Football League Linemen and Backs. Journal of Athletic Training, 184–189. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2267333/
    3. Doheny, K. (n.d.). How Much Sweating Is Too Much? Retrieved from https://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/features/dont-sweat-it#1
    4. Doheny, K. (n.d.). When You Sweat Too Much. Retrieved from https://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/features/dont-sweat-it#1
    5. Pariser, D. M. (2014). Hyperhidrosis (4th ed., Vol. 32). Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier.
    6. What Causes Jock Itch? Can You Prevent It? (2019, May 15). Retrieved from https://www.webmd.com/men/causes-and-prevent-jock-itch#1
    7. Shenefelt, P. D. (2017). Use of Hypnosis, Meditation, and Biofeedback in Dermatology. Clinics in Dermatology. doi:10.1016/J.clindermatol.2017.01.007
    8. Excessive Sweating: Treatment Tips. (2017, October 21). Retrieved from https://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/hyperhidrosis-treatment-11#1
    Body Areas Affected by Hyperhidrosis

    Can Athlete’s Foot Cause Sweating?

    By JP Carter /

    The answer is “no” - Athlete’s foot does not make you sweat more, but it can make excessive sweating even more uncomfortable than it already was. Here is an in-depth look at what Athlete’s foot really is and how excessive sweating impacts it.

    Athlete’s foot, known scientifically as tinea pedis, is caused by a fungal infection (called dermatophytes) that affects the skin of the feet, especially the skin between the toes. The fungus causes skin to redden and crack and the affected areas are often flaky and itchy. Sometimes affected skin can also become inflamed. The fungus is able to infect a foot when it enters the top layer of the skin through small cracks or wounds. The infection can be passed on from person to person through direct contact or when someone steps on infected flakes of skin from another person. In order to grow and thrive, the fungus that causes Athlete’s foot needs a dark, moist environment and feet provide the perfect breeding ground due to those conditions. Furthermore, the skin of the feet contain large amounts of Keratin which the fungus feed on. There are certain risk factors that make it more likely for someone to develop Athlete’s foot, these include:

  • Genetic predisposition (seems to affect some families more than others)
  • History of allergies and eczema
  • Excessively sweaty feet (history of hyperhidrosis)
  • A weakened immune system
  • Poor circulation in the legs
  • Playing certain sports, particularly running and swimming[1]
  • Athlete’s foot appears to be a very common problem as anywhere between 3% and 15% of the population are thought to struggle with it at any given time. It is not physically dangerous, but it typically won’t go away on it’s own. Therefore, it is important for people with the condition to seek treatment.[1] While no studies have shown that Athlete’s foot causes people to sweat more, it has been noted that excessive sweating of the feet makes the development of Athlete’s foot much more likely. This is especially true for people who suffer from a condition called primary focal hyperhidrosis.[2] Hyperhidrosis causes people to sweat excessively from specific parts of the body like the hands, feet, armpits, face, and head. It affects about 3% of the US population making hyperhidrosis quite common, like Athlete’s foot.[3] The reason so many people with hyperhidrosis develop Athlete’s foot is because the condition causes the feet to constantly produce sweat which promotes the exact environment fungus need to thrive.[2] Luckily, there are several effective ways to prevent Athlete’s foot and manage the symptoms of hyperhidrosis.

    How To Prevent Athlete’s Foot

    Preventing Athlete’s foot predominantly consists of specific types of self-care to keep feet dry and certain precautions to limit exposure to infectants. Often times, treating hyperhidrosis symptoms, which are how you stop foot sweat and its odor, can greatly reduce the likelihood of developing a fungal infection like Athlete’s foot. Here are some practical solutions you can use to make your feet a less habitable environment for the fungi that cause Athlete’s foot:

  • Thoroughly drying feet after any activity that gets them wet. This includes activities like showering, bathing, swimming, or after sweating profusely while wearing shoes.
  • Wearing breathable shoes that don’t constrict your feet.
  • Not wearing the same pair of shoes two days in a row. It can be useful to have two pairs of shoes that you alternate each day.
  • Taking shoes off and airing out feet as frequently as possible.[1]
  • If you are suffering from hyperhidrosis and practical lifestyle changes are not enough to keep your feet dry, then you may want to consider other treatments for sweaty feet. These include treatment options like using over-the-counter topical treatments like antiperspirant to more invasive procedures like botox injections.[3] Due to the fact that hyperhidrosis treatments reduce the amount of moisture your feet are exposed to they can drastically reduce the likelihood that you will develop Athlete’s foot.[2]

    In addition to maintaining a dry pedal environment, it is also important for people to limit their exposure to the fungi that cause Athlete’s foot. Here are some tips to avoid contracting it:

  • Wear your own flip flops when swimming, using communal showers, and using communal changing rooms.
  • Do not share towels, shoes, and socks with other people.
  • Wash all towels, bedding, and socks in hot water that is greater than 60 degrees C.
  • Add antifungal laundry sanitizer if you wash your laundry at a lower temperature.[1]
  • How to Treat Athlete’s Foot

    Due to the fact that Athlete’s foot is so common, even when practicing prevention procedures, people often develop the condition at some point in their lives. In most cases, Athlete’s foot can be treated with over-the-counter remedies that are available at local pharmacies. These treatments come in the form of creams, gels, or sprays that contain an active ingredient that stops fungal growth of kills off fungus completely. In rare cases, tablets can be prescribed for people who haven’t had success with over-the-counter treatment options. There are also natural remedies that people use, which include tea tree oil some herbal foot bath solutions, although there is not scientific evidence that they are effective.[1]

    Once you have treated Athlete’s foot it is important that you continue to use preventative care practices so that you don’t develop it again. If you do also happen to suffer from hyperhidrosis, then getting treatment for it should keep your feet more comfortable and prevent you from developing Athlete’s foot as easily. There are many effective treatment options and it is important to make sure that you are taking proper care of the skin on your feet.

    Sources
    1. Athlete's foot: Overview. (2015). Retrieved May 31, 2019, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK279549/
    2. Common Complications of Hyperhidrosis. (n.d.). Retrieved May 31, 2019, from https://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/common-complications-of-hyperhidrosis
    3. Pariser, D. M. (2014). Hyperhidrosis (4th ed., Vol. 32). Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier.
    Causes of Hyperhidrosis

    Hot Flashes, Menopause, and Sweating

    By Katie Crissman /

    Everyone will experience the effects of aging as they get older, but only 50% of the population will go on to deal with the symptoms and changes that occur with menopause. Menopause is a natural part of the aging process for women and it usually begins some time in a woman’s 40s, although it can occur a few years earlier or later. It is the process that occurs when a woman’s fertility begins to decline and she is no longer able to bear children or experience a period. There are three distinct phases of menopause: perimenopause, menopause, and postmenopause. Perimenopause is the first stage of menopause in which women begin ovulating less frequently and they often experience less frequent periods and physical symptoms like hot flashes, night sweats, trouble sleeping, and other hormonal shifts. Menopause officially begins when a woman hasn’t had a period for 12 consecutive months.[1]

    Menopause can be a frustrating time for many women because of the physical side effects that occur as a result, especially hot flashes and night sweats. As many as 75% of women will experience hot flashes at some point during perimenopause and menopause, making it a very common symptom. Hot flashes can feel intense and last anywhere from one to five minutes each. Their frequency varies for each woman, some only experience a few a week while others have several hot flashes a day. Some women will also experience night sweats - bouts of intense sweating that only occur during sleep. While hot flashes and night sweats may sound benign, they can be incredibly frustrating, and even debilitating, for some people.[2]

    What Causes Hot Flashes and Night Sweats?

    No one is entirely sure what causes hot flashes and night sweats to occur, but most doctors agree that it most likely has something to do with fluctuating, and often decreasing estrogen levels that menopausal women experience. Researchers suspect that dropping estrogen levels affect the part of the brain that controls temperature. The body has an acceptable window of what a person’s normal internal temperature can be and it is suspected that decreasing levels of estrogen make this window more narrow. This means that external temperatures can more easily cause a rise in body temperature. Sweating is the body’s natural way of cooling itself down. So, when a woman’s body senses that her internal temperature has risen more than it should it reacts by dilating blood vessels and sweating. This is when a woman experiences a hot flash.[2]

    There are a few other theories about the causes of hot flashes and night sweats, although they are not currently proven. The first theory suggests that some women have especially sensitive skin during this time which makes them more prone to experiencing vasodilation and sweating. The second implies that menopause causes an imbalance in the hormone leptin which can in turn cause blood sugar imbalances. These blood sugar imbalances are then thought to cause hot flashes, and possibly night sweats. No matter what the cause, night sweats and hot flashes are hard to deal with![2]

    Interestingly, hot flashes and night sweats are considered to be a type of secondary generalized hyperhidrosis. This means that they are a type of excessive sweating that is caused by an underlying medical state or condition. Luckily, there are several medical and practical solutions for this type of sweating. The most effective treatments focus on eliminating the underlying cause while others aim to minimize symptoms and reduce their impact on a person’s quality of life.[3]

    Medications that Can Help

    There are a few medical treatments that can help women who experience hot flashes. The most effective treatment is called menopause hormone therapy (MHT), it is also sometimes known as hormone replacement therapy (HRT). This type of therapy consists of patients taking a combination of hormones, most often estrogen and progesterone, to keep their hormone levels stable while they are going through menopause. It can greatly reduce symptoms like hot flashes, night sweats, irritability, vaginal dryness, and sleep problems. Unfortunately, MHT can be dangerous for some women and it can cause alarming side effects in others. Studies have shown that women using hormone replacement therapy are at an increased risk of developing heart attack, stroke, and blood clots. This is similar to the risk women take when they use hormonal birth control, but the effects can be more likely to occur in women of a more advanced age. Some evidence suggests that non oral forms of hormone replacement may reduce the risk of blood clots and stroke.[1][2]

    Some other medications can be used for women who can take hormones. SSRIs, which are normally used to treat depression, can be taken in a lower dose to reduce sweating in some people. Ironically, SSRIs can also be a cause of secondary hyperhidrosis in some people so watch out for increased sweating if you choose to try them. Another medication used to treat seizures called Neurontin can be beneficial for some. Finally, a medication called clonidine which is normally used to treat high blood pressure can be useful in reducing symptoms for some people.[2]

    Other Ways to Improve Symptoms

    While medications work well for some people, others prefer to treat their symptoms naturally. There are several practical things you can do to reduce the severity and frequency of hot flashes and night sweats. Here are some solutions that may help you:

  • Lose weight: Studies have shown that overweight women who lost weight had a lower frequency of hot flashes than those who did not.
  • Exercise: This is not confirmed by a study, but it is suspected that exercise lessens the amount of hot flashes people experience.
  • Stop smoking: Smoking is related to a higher frequency of hot flashes, so reducing or quitting can have a positive effect.
  • Avoid trigger foods and beverages: Caffeine, alcohol, and spicy foods have been shown to trigger excessive sweating.
  • Use other strategies to manage sweat: Use other means to manage your sweat like dressing in layers, staying in cooler temperatures, and avoiding stress.[2]
  • Some people have claimed success when they use certain supplements or employ dietary changes. Eating more soy is thought to reduce hot flashes, although this is currently not supported by studies. Other supplements like DHEA, dong quai, ginseng, kava, and red clover have been used by some to manage symptoms. However, no scientific evidence has yet backed the claims that these supplements work up as of yet. Any time you decide to use supplements it is important to consult a doctor and they can cause side effects and interact with other medications.[2]

    Sources
    1. Scaccia, A. (2018, May 16). How Long Do Symptoms of Menopause Last? Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/health/menopause/how-long-does-menopause-last
    2. Suszynski, M. (n.d.). Menopause and Sweating. Retrieved from https://www.webmd.com/menopause/features/menopause-sweating-11#1
    3. Pariser, D. M. (2014). Hyperhidrosis (4th ed., Vol. 32). Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier.
    4. Santoro, N., pperson, C. N., & Mathews, S. B. (2016). Menopausal Symptoms and Their Management. Endocrinol Metab Clin North Am., 44(3), 497–515. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4890704/
    Causes of Hyperhidrosis

    Essential Facts About Hot Flashes, Menopause, and Sweating

    By Chris Reid /

    Menopause is a universal experience for all women who have a menstrual cycle. As if years of dealing with a period weren’t stressful enough, menopause brings its own batch of bodily changes and experiences. Menopause and sweat have an unfortunate link. Some of the most notorious symptoms that menopause causes are hot flashes, night sweats, and excessive sweating. These symptoms can be difficult to deal with for some and downright debilitating for others. If you or someone you love is struggling to deal with these specific symptoms then read on to learn these crucial facts about menopause and sweating.

    #1: About 75% of women going through menopause will experience hot flashes and night sweats.

    Sweating is one of the first and most common indications of impending menopause. As many as 75% of women who are in perimenopause or menopause will experience hot flashes and night sweats to varying degrees. This means these symptoms affect more women more often than not, making them very common. What’s more concerning is that for 25% to 30% of the women who experience hot flashes and night sweats the symptoms will be so severe that they interfere with their quality of life. Luckily, for those with severe symptoms due to menopause and sweating there are effective treatments that can help.[1]

    #2: Doctors think that hot flashes and excessive sweating associated with menopause is caused by decreasing levels of estrogen, but there are a few other theories as well.

    Once menstrual cycles stop women experience a dramatic drop in the level of estrogen in their body. This drop in estrogen is thought to affect the part of the brain that regulates body temperature in such a way that even small changes in external temperature can cause a core rise in body heat. Sweating is the body’s natural way of keeping itself cool so the body begins the process of sending blood to the skin and sweating when its core temperature increases. Hot flashes are essentially your body’s way of trying to cool itself down and keeping your internal temperature stable.[1]

    No one is really sure what causes the relationship between menopause and sweating. So naturally, there are a few other theories about what causes menopausal women to experience hot flashes. One theory suggests that women have super sensitive skin during this time in life which makes them more prone to vasodilation (blood vessels opening up) and hot flashes. Another theory holds that a brain chemical imbalance is at play. The level of a hormone called leptin (a hormone that influences appetite) can be affected during menopause in addition to blood sugar levels. Some think that these hormonal shifts may lead to hot flashes.[1]

    #3: Menopause begins once you haven’t had a period for 12 months in a row - but hot flashes and night sweats can begin much sooner.

    Menopause occurs in three stages: perimenopause, menopause, and postmenopause. Perimenopause is the first stage. During this stage, the body begins to produce less estrogen (a sex hormone) which is when menopause and sweating symptoms like hot flashes and night sweats begin. This process typically starts some time during a woman’s 40’s, but it can begin as early as a woman’s late 30’s. Menopause comes next. This stage starts when a woman hasn’t had a period for 12 months in a row. Generally this is when hot flashes and night sweats actually tend to subside, although the time frame is different for each woman. Postmenopause is the third stage and most women will no longer have significant symptoms once they reach it.[2]

    #4: Hot flashes and excessive sweating related to menopause can last for a long time. The average time women experience perimenopause symptoms is 4 years!

    Hot flashes and night sweats seem to peak during perimenopause (the first stage of menopause). It is thought that perimenopause lasts for around four years in the average woman. One research study found that women with moderate to severe hot flashes struggled with them for a median of 10.2 years! This is a longer timeframe than is generally thought to occur (thankfully). If you are dealing with hot flashes it could be a while before your body adjusts to its new normal and they taper off.[2]

    #5: The excessive sweating associated with menopause is actually considered to be a form of secondary hyperhidrosis and it can be treated.

    Hot flashes, night sweats, and excessive sweating are considered to be normal physiological changes that occur during menopause. However, it may be interesting to note that the excessive sweating caused by menopause is considered to be a type of secondary generalized hyperhidrosis. Secondary hyperhidrosis is just a medical term for excessive sweating that is caused by an underlying physiological condition, disease, or medication side effect.[3] It may be beneficial to look into some of the ways that people deal with hyperhidrosis when learning how to cope with persistent menopause and sweating symptoms. Companies like Carpe, make antiperspirant lotions that can reduce sweating production and make you more comfortable.

    #6: Menopause Hormone Therapy (MHT) and other medications can be used to treat hot flashes, night sweats, and excessive sweating.

    Menopause hormone therapy consists of replacing a woman’s lowered levels of the sex hormone estrogen with artificial estrogen. This type of treatment is the most effective way to reduce symptoms of hot flashes and night sweats. Unfortunately, it is associated with a higher risk of developing heart disease, blood clots, stroke, and breast cancer. The longer a person uses hormone therapy the higher their risk of developing a health problem. There are also other medications that can be used to treat symptoms such as gabapentin, clonidine, and SSRI’s. Each medication has its own potential benefits and drawbacks, so speak with your doctor if you are struggling with symptoms and considering treatment.[1][2]

    #7: Hot flashes were thought to be associated with negative mood symptoms during menopause, but that has changed.

    Several years ago researchers thought that the development of hot flashes were associated with depression that can accompany menopause. It has recently been found that depression typically occurs before the development of hot flashes if it is going to occur as a result of menopause. So, just because you have hot flashes does not mean you will also get depression. Some women struggle with depression as a side effect of fluctuating hormones during menopause which can also make other physiological symptoms more difficult to deal with.[4]

    #8: There are non medical ways to manage menopausal sweating.

    There are several ways to manage hot flashes and night sweats that don’t involve medications. While there is no conclusive scientific evidence, some people believe that supplements like black cohosh, DHEA, dong quai, ginseng, kava, red clover, and soy are beneficial in relieving symptoms.[1] You can also use practical strategies to manage your sweat like avoiding caffeine and alcohol, staying in cool environments when possible, dressing in layers, keeping your bedroom cool, and using over-the-counter topical products like antiperspirant. Even though these changes might seem small they can make menopause and sweating more manageable.[2]

    Sources
    1. Suszynski, M. (n.d.). Menopause and Sweating. Retrieved from https://www.webmd.com/menopause/features/menopause-sweating-11#1
    2. Scaccia, A. (2018, May 16). How Long Do Symptoms of Menopause Last? Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/health/menopause/how-long-does-menopause-last
    3. 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
    4. Santoro, N., pperson, C. N., & Mathews, S. B. (2016). Menopausal Symptoms and Their Management. Endocrinol Metab Clin North Am., 44(3), 497–515. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4890704/
    Complications of Hyperhidrosis

    Things to Avoid when Treating Hyperhidrosis

    By Katie Crissman /

    Hyperhidrosis affects upwards of 3% of the population, making it a very common medical condition. This means that there are many people seeking treatment for their excessive sweating. While there are several effective treatments for people with hyperhidrosis, there are some pitfalls that people need to be aware of. All of the medically recommended treatments for hyperhidrosis have been tested by the medical community but it doesn’t mean that they don’t come with their own risks. For those that suffer from primary focal hyperhidrosis proper treatment can make an immense difference in their quality of life.[1] Here is what people with hyperhidrosis need to watch out for as they figure out which treatments work best for them:

    Skin Irritation

    The first line treatment that dermatologists will recommend for hyperhidrosis is the use of antiperspirant. Antiperspirant is a type of topical treatment for hyperhidrosis that prevents skin from producing sweat.[1] It is considered to be a drug by the FDA due to the fact that it changes the function of skin. Most antiperspirants, even powerful ones, can be found over-the-counter and are quite effective at stopping a person from producing excessive sweat.[2] Typically, antiperspirant is used for axillary sweating although it has been used on other parts of the body more frequently as time goes on. One of the most bothersome side effects of antiperspirant is the irritation it can cause. When used on the less sensitive skin of the armpit this is not as big of an issue, but it is a problem when antiperspirant needs to be used on other, more sensitive, areas of the body.[1]

    The reason that antiperspirant can be so irritating is because of its active ingredient. Most antiperspirants use aluminum chloride, aluminum chloride hexahydrate, or a newer generation ingredient, like aluminum zirconium trichlorohydrex. These products can easily irritate skin. One study published in the journal of Dermatologic Clinics found that 26% of patients being treated with aluminum chloride antiperspirant reported stinging and itching sensations after use. If you are struggling to use antiperspirant because of skin irritation there are things you can do. Using antiperspirant consistently over a period of time seems to reduce skin irritation. You can also apply 1% hydrocortisone cream the morning after applying antiperspirant to clear up irritation. If you are sensitive to irritation then you may benefit from trying a newer generation antiperspirant with aluminum zirconium hexahydrate as the active ingredient. Studies have found that these antiperspirants tend to cause less irritation. There are also specific antiperspirants that are made for sensitive skin that you can try. Ultimately, you shouldn’t have to put up with skin irritation to talk to your doctor and see if you can find the antiperspirant that works best for your skin.[1]

    Stains

    Antiperspirants can be extremely helpful for those with excessive sweating, but they come with another major downfall - they stain clothing. Unfortunately, antiperspirant can leave a yellowish stain on clothing, especially when it is mixed with sweat. One study showed that up to 70% of people with axillary hyperhidrosis reported having to change their clothes at least two times a day. If a person is regularly sweating through their clothes it is safe to assume that they are also getting antiperspirant residue on their clothing. Antiperspirant is usually worth the inconvenience, and thankfully, there are effective ways to get antiperspirant out of clothes.[1]

    Medication Side Effects

    Doctors often treat hyperhidrosis with oral medications when other, more conservative, therapies have failed to work. Most of the time patients are prescribed a type of medication that falls into the class of anticholinergics. Anticholinergics work on the part of the nervous system that innervates sweat glands and stops the body from producing as much sweat. Unfortunately, they can also act on other parts of the body as well and cause unintended and unwanted side effects. The side effects a person will experience depend on their individual biological makeup and the specific medication they use. Some of the side effects of anticholinergics include dry mouth, constipation, nausea, vomiting, and many other possibilities. If you are planning to try oral medications for your hyperhidrosis, make sure that you work closely with your doctor to make sure that you aren’t suffering from intolerable side effects so that you can find the best medication for your body.[1]

    Not Trying Less Invasive Therapies First

    Almost all doctors that treat hyperhidrosis will recommend that patients begin trialing the most conservative treatments first before they move on to more invasive options. Sometimes, however, patients are exasperated with their condition and want to move on to more extensive options before trying all of the more conservative treatments. This is a big mistake because some of the most effective options are local therapies which are less invasive.[1] For example, a patient with palmar hyperhidrosis who didn’t respond well to an antiperspirant may try iontophoresis, but be inconsistent with their routine and fail to see a benefit. They may want to move on to botox injections, or even surgery, when iontophoresis may have worked if they had given it a proper chance. This would require them to take less risk and cost them less money. However, this isn’t the case for everyone and sometimes patients decide to go with more invasive treatments first for a variety of legitimate reasons. The most important thing is that you communicate openly with your doctor to find the treatment that is most effective for you.

    Giving Up

    Sometimes, despite their best efforts, patients can’t find an effective treatment for their hyperhidrosis. This can be extremely frustrating and disheartening because hyperhidrosis is a condition that negatively impacts quality of life.[1] However, it is important that patients continue to try new treatments as they come out and that they remain open to using the treatment options they do have. Even if your hyperhidrosis symptoms are not completely under control, most people find at least some relief from treatment. There are new treatments coming out every year and as awareness grows the future continues to look brighter for those with hyperhidrosis.

    Sources
    1. Pariser, D. M. (2014). Hyperhidrosis (4th ed., Vol. 32). Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier.
    2. Zirwas, M. J., & Moennich, J. (2008). Antiperspirant and Deodorant Allergy Diagnosis and Management. The Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology, 1(3), 38-43. Retrieved August 22, 2019, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3013594/
    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
    Try Carpe today, and together, let’s stand up to sweat!