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

    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

    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
    Antiperspirant

    How to Get Rid of Body Odor from Sweating

    By Chris Reid /

    Body odor has plagued people for thousands of years. In fact, soap was invented by the Phoenicians in 600 B.C. and ancient Egyptians are known to have bathed in perfumed water in an attempt to figure out how to get rid of their body odor![1] Luckily, these days we know how to stop body odor from becoming a problem. First, it’s important to understand how sweat causes body odor in the first place.

    How Sweat Causes Body Odor

    Humans have two types of sweat glands: eccrine and apocrine.[2]

    Eccrine glands cover most of the skin’s surface and are used to maintain thermoregulation (the body’s temperature) by cooling the body in times of high heat. They produce sweat that is initially clear and odorless.[2]

    Apocrine glands, on the other hand, are larger than eccrine glands and are located within hair follicles. They only appear on the armpits, groin, and areolas. Apocrine glands produce sweat that is thicker and yellowish. The sweat from apocrine glands is most often associated with body odor. This is because it is made up of fatty acids and proteins that bacteria on the skin metabolize.[2]

    The byproducts that bacteria create - the things that bacteria break sweat down into (like isovaleric acid and androsterone) - give off a strong, unpleasant smell that we recognize as body odor.[2]

    Some people have conditions that make them sweat excessively or have especially stinky sweat that make dealing with sweat and body odor even more difficult. Hyperhidrosis is a condition that causes people to sweat in excess of what is needed by the body for thermoregulation.[2]

    Depending on the type of hyperhidrosis they have, a person may sweat excessively from certain areas of the body at random times (primary focal hyperhidrosis) or they may sweat all over (secondary generalized hyperhidrosis). Unfortunately, because people with hyperhidrosis produce so much sweat they also tend to struggle with the odor it can cause.

    When someone has especially stinky sweat it is referred to as bromhidrosis. People with bromhidrosis have body odor that is significantly worse than the average person and it can be socially isolating. However, people with hyperhidrosis and bromhidrosis can learn how to stop body odor by using treatments to control their sweat.[3][4]

    How to Get Rid of Body Odor Caused by Sweat

    There are several ways to stop the sweat. The most important, and most obvious, way we know how to stop body odor is to prevent it by having good basic hygiene. This means showering once a day, changing clothes every morning or after sweating significantly, and applying antiperspirant and deodorant as needed. Removing the bacteria and sweat from your skin prevents body odor from forming in the first place. Unfortunately, in the real world people don’t always have time to wash up every time they sweat a little bit, which is where the use of antiperspirant and deodorant come into play.

    Antiperspirant and Deodorant

    Many people do not realize what antiperspirant is and how it differs from deodorant. Antiperspirants are agents that can be applied to the skin which prevent the production of sweat. They are considered to be the first line treatment for people with hyperhidrosis and can be extremely helpful for anyone who deals with sweat and stink on a regular basis. Antiperspirant is one of the best ways we know how to get rid of body odor.[3]

    When it comes to choosing the right over-the-counter antiperspirant there are a lot of options. There are several companies like Carpe, Dove, SweatBlock, Certain Dri, and many more that offer options with different active ingredients and in different applicators. The FDA regulates the active ingredients in antiperspirant as it is considered to be a drug. There are different active ingredients, but most antiperspirants use some type of metallic salt to plug sweat glands and prevent sweat production.[3]

    Most of the time antiperspirant comes in a stick, spray, or gel form which can be applied to the body. Some companies, like Carpe and SweatBlock, also sell antiperspirant lotions and wipes that can be especially helpful for those who struggle with sweaty hands and feet.

    Deodorant is different from antiperspirant because it is made to mask any odors that are already present and kill bacteria on the skin to prevent them from producing more odor. There is no one best deodorant, but often combination products that contain both antiperspirant and deodorant are the most effective when combating body odor. Combination products are called antiperspirant deodorants.[4]

    Other Treatments

    Aside from maintaining good hygiene and using antiperspirant and deodorant products, there are a few things you can do to get rid of body odor caused by sweat. One other simple adjustment you can make is to wear fibers that are breathable, like organic cotton, or moisture wicking. There are some specific types of clothes that are best for people who struggle with excessive sweating. Finally, if all else fails, there are some medical treatments you could pursue.

    A visit to your local dermatologist will give you a sense of how to get rid of body odor using medical treatments, but here are a few ideas you can consider. If you struggle with excessive underarm sweating and smell you could try a local permanent procedure for axillary hyperhidrosis that stops your sweat glands in that area from being able to produce sweat. One example of this type of procedure is MiraDry. There are also prescription antiperspirants and antiperspirant wipes, called Qbrexza, that can help. There are many ways to manage sweat with and body odor with a doctor.

    If you are struggling with sweat and body odor don’t give up because there are lots of treatments out there. Don’t let sweat be a drain on your life - you can fix it!

    Sources
    1. Ramirez, A. (1990, August). All About/Deodorants; The Success of Sweet Smell. Late Edition. Retrieved March 7, 2019, from https://www.nytimes.com/1990/08/12/business/all-about-deodorants-the-success-of-sweet-smell.html
    2. 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
    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. Eshini, P., & Sinclair, R. (2013). Hyperhidrosis and bromhidrosis: A guide to assessment and management. Australian Family Physician, 42(5), 266-269. Retrieved March 7, 2019, from https://www.racgp.org.au/afp/2013/may/hyperhidrosis-and-bromhidrosis/
    Body Areas Affected by Hyperhidrosis

    Upper Lip Sweat

    By Katie Crissman /

    Many people struggle with upper lip sweat for a variety of reasons. While there are multiple reasons for this issue, the most common reason people sweat on from their face is because they have a condition called primary focal hyperhidrosis.Primary focal hyperhidrosis (PFH) is a condition that causes people to sweat excessively from specific areas of the body including the hands, feet, armpits, and face.[1] Excessive facial sweating is often referred to as craniofacial hyperhidrosis and this type of hyperhidrosis often affects various parts of the face and scalp, including the upper lip area. This can be especially burdensome to patients because it affects a highly social and visible part of their body which can lead to problems with quality of life. It is thought that of the 2.9% of people who suffer from hyperhidrosis only 22.8% have craniofacial hyperhidrosis, making it less common than other forms of the condition.[2] Upper lip sweating is one of the least likely patterns of sweating associated with craniofacial sweating, but it does affect many people. Luckily, there are several treatments that people can try to reduce upper lip sweating and improve their quality of life.[1]

    Causes of Excessive Upper Lip Sweating

    There are two main causes of excessive upper lip sweating and craniofacial hyperhidrosis in general. Most of the time when someone has facial sweating it is because they are either struggling with primary focal hyperhidrosis or secondary generalized hyperhidrosis. Primary focal hyperhidrosis is the most common cause of craniofacial sweating, but it is important to rule out secondary hyperhidrosis before a diagnosis of PFH can be reached.[3]

    It is important to distinguish why someone has an issue with excessive upper lip sweat because the type of treatment a person receives will depend on the cause of their sweating. Unlike primary focal hyperhidrosis, which doesn’t have a well understood cause, secondary generalized hyperhidrosis is caused by a specific underlying medical condition or medication. Certain diseases and conditions cause secondary hyperhidrosis including hyperthyroidism, some cancers, HIV, some infections like tuberculosis, and several others. Secondary hyperhidrosis can also be caused by medicines like antidepressants, painkillers, hypoglycemic agents, and many of types of medicines. Due to the fact that some of the underlying conditions that can cause secondary hyperhidrosis may be serious, it is important to talk to your doctor about your situation. It is especially important to seek medical help if your upper lip sweating began suddenly or if you suspect secondary hyperhidrosis could be the cause. If upper lip sweating is caused by secondary hyperhidrosis, then treating the underlying cause should resolve the problem.[1]

    Primary focal hyperhidrosis accounts is the primary reason that people experience craniofacial sweating. It has no definitive cause, although some researchers believe it is due to an overactive autonomic nervous system. Sweat glands are innervated by the sympathetic nervous system and it is thought that, for some reason, the sweat glands in affected people are overstimulated. However, there is no conclusive evidence to prove this is why primary focal hyperhidrosis occurs and scientists aren’t sure about the cause. It is thought that hyperhidrosis is partially genetic and so inheritance can play a role in its development. Even though the exact cause of PFH isn’t well understood there are several treatment options that help patients to mitigate their symptoms and improve their quality of life.[1]

    In some rare cases, upper lip sweating can be caused by a type of hyperhidrosis called gustatory hyperhidrosis. Gustatory sweating is occurs when people eat certain foods which makes them flush and sweat profusely from the face. This type of sweating is very uncommon, but it should be considered if facial sweating occurs only when eating or thinking about food. Most of the time gustatory sweating is caused by an injury or damage to the parotid gland.[1]

    Treatments for Upper Lip Sweating

    If you are struggling with upper lip sweat caused by primary focal hyperhidrosis then there are several ways to manage your symptoms. The first line treatment that doctors suggest is to use antiperspirant on the affected areas of the face. This is the least invasive option that patients can try. It is suggested that patients use antiperspirants with aluminum or zirconium salts as an active ingredient before moving onto other treatments. Unfortunately, antiperspirants can irritate skin, especially on sensitive areas like the face. There are some antiperspirants for places like the face and groin that have sensitive skin and it may be beneficial to try these products before moving on to more intensive options.[1] It has also been noted that administering 1% topical hydrocortisone cream can greatly reduce irritation caused by antiperspirants when used on the face.[3]

    Depending on the source of the information, it is recommended that patients either try anticholinergic medications or botox next if antiperspirants are not effective. Anticholinergic medications can be applied topically or taken in a pill form. This type of medication stops the body from producing sweat and is often used once local therapies have failed. Topical formulations of anticholinergic medications have the benefit that they cause less side effects than when the pill form is taken. Oral anticholinergics can cause systemic side effects and the benefits need to be weighed against the risks. For people with intense facial and upper lip sweating medications can provide much needed relief.[3]

    Botox offers another great option for treating craniofacial hyperhidrosis and it can be used to treat specific areas like the upper lip. The FDA has approved botox for the treatment of axillary hyperhidrosis, but it has been used with promising efficacy in patients with craniofacial hyperhidrosis. Unfortunately, complications can arise and muscles in the face can be weakened by botox exposure. This is why it is imperative to consult an experienced doctor and know the risks before undergoing any type of procedure. When upper lip sweating is treated by botox there is also a risk that patients may experience pursing of the lips or a change in speech patterns which are temporary side effects, but which can be serious. It is relatively uncommon for patients to experience side effects from the procedure and many get great results that allow them to live without symptoms for months at a time.[1]

    If patients have severe upper lip sweating and haven’t responded to any other treatments, there is a type of surgery that may be able to improve symptoms. This type of surgery is called endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy and it is typically used to relieve the symptoms of palmar hyperhidrosis. It has been found to be effective in people with craniofacial sweating, but should be used as a last result as it is an intensive and invasive procedure. Unfortunately, a side effect of the surgery called compensatory sweating may limit how beneficial the surgery is in terms of improving a person’s quality of life.[3]

    If you suffer from excessive upper lip sweat, it is important to find a way to manage your symptoms. There are effective treatments and they often greatly improve patient's quality of life.

    Sources
    1. Pariser, D. M. (2014). Hyperhidrosis (4th ed., Vol. 32). Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier
    2. 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
    3. Craniofacial hyperhidrosis can usually be managed pharmacologically, but surgery may sometimes be needed. (2016). . Drugs & Therapy Perspectives, 32(5), 191-194. doi:10.1007/s40267-016-0282-9
    Body Areas Affected by Hyperhidrosis

    How to Stop Excessive Foot Sweating

    By Katie Crissman /

    While there is no exact standard as to how much foot sweat is too much in a 24 hour period, there are ways to determine whether you are sweating in excess of what is normal or not. It is normal to sweat from your feet during periods of intense activity and when exposed to high heat. However, many people struggle with a condition called hyperhidrosis which causes causes them to sweat excessively. Hyperhidrosis is defined as sweating that is in excess of what the body needs for thermoregulation. Typically, people sweat in order to cool down their body temperature, but when someone sweats so much that it is no longer serving this function it is considered to be excessive.[1]

    There are two main types of hyperhidrosis: primary focal hyperhidrosis and secondary generalized hyperhidrosis. Both types can cause someone to have excessively sweaty feet, but primary focal hyperhidrosis is more likely to affect the feet. Primary focal hyperhidrosis causes excessive sweating on specific parts of the body like the hands, feet, armpits, face, and head. According to a retrospective chart review published in the Journal of Dermatologic Clinics, about 25% of people with hyperhidrosis have palmar (hand) and plantar (foot) involvement while only 15.5% of people have hyperhidrosis that only affects their feet. Even though that seems like a relatively small number of people, about 2.8% of the US population has hyperhidrosis so it is relatively high number of people who are affected.[1]

    If you aren’t sure whether or not your foot sweating is excessive, there are certain signs that can alert you to whether or not you might have hyperhidrosis. People with hyperhidrosis can sweat up to four times more than the average person and this can have a negative on their quality of life.[2] Here are some ways that excessively sweaty feet may interfere with your life if you have a problem:

  • Your shoes are consistently soaked, stained, or destroyed by your constant production of sweat.
  • You have difficulties wearing flip flops, sandals, and slippers because the sweat on your feet causes them to be slippery.
  • You struggle to walk around barefoot because your feet are so wet.
  • You need to wear especially absorbent socks in order to keep your feet and shoes dry.
  • Your feet are often cold because of the constant presence of sweat.[1]
  • If you sweat so much from your feet that you are experiencing some or many of the symptoms listed above, you are probably sweating in excess of what is normal. Another way to determine whether you are sweating too much from your feet is to determine how it is affecting your life. If you think about your sweating frequently and often change your behaviors to deal with it, then you are probably sweating more than the average person. For example, if you refuse to wear flip flops because you know they won’t stay on your feet because of sweating, then you are sweating too much.[2]

    If you suspect that you have hyperhidrosis then it is a good idea to speak with a dermatologist, as the are the best type of doctors to treat hyperhidrosis. Doctors have several tools to measure whether you have hyperhidrosis. Most of the time, doctors will administer a type of questionnaire that asseses how much sweating is impacting a person’s life. One of these questionnaires is called the Hyperhidrosis Disease Severity Scale (HDSS). This questionnaire has patients rank their symptoms on a scale from 1 to 4, with higher scores corresponding to more severe symptoms. Doctors also use other types of self-reporting questionnaires to determine whether or not a patient has hyperhidrosis and to determine how severe it is.[1]

    There are also other types of tests that doctors can use to determine how much you are sweating, but they are not normally needed to assess whether or not someone has hyperhidrosis. These types of tests include the iodine-starch test, skin conductance, and a thermoregulatory sweat test.[3] An iodine starch test can be used to outline the area where excessive sweating is occuring. In this test an iodine solution is spread over the area in question and a few minutes later starch powder is sprinkled over the area. The starch and iodine interact in the presence of sweat and create a purplish color. This can tell the doctor how much a person is sweating and where the specific problem is. It also allows doctors to determine whether hyperhidrosis treatments, like botox injections, are working or not.[4] Skin conductance tests and thermoregulatory tests are not typically needed for a hyperhidrosis diagnosis, but they can help to determine how much sweat a person is producing.

    If you do find that you sweat more from your feet than is normal, there are many treatments for sweaty feet that you can look into. Treatments for hyperhidrosis tend to be quite effective, so talk to a doctor if your sweaty feet are getting you down.

    Sources
    1. Pariser, D. M. (2014). Hyperhidrosis (4th ed., Vol. 32). Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier
    2. Nguyen, A. (n.d.). How Much Sweating Is Excessive? Retrieved May 31, 2019, from https://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/features/how-much-sweat-is-normal#1
    3. Hyperhidrosis. (n.d.). Retrieved May 31, 2019, from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/hyperhidrosis/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20367173
    4. Haider, A., & Solish, N. (2005). Focal hyperhidrosis: Diagnosis and management. CMAJ, 172(1), 69-75. Retrieved May 31, 2019, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC543948/
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