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
    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/
    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/
    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
    Body Areas Affected by Hyperhidrosis

    How Much Should my Feet Sweat in a Day?

    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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