Most people know that sweating is a natural process that helps cool the body. It can also occur when we are nervous. But what happens when you’re regularly soaking through your shirts and changing clothes multiple times each day? What can be done about an embarrassing condition that may force you to keep your arms pinned to your sides for fear that someone will notice the sweat stains?
Excessive underarm sweating is known as hyperhidrosis, which can also affect other areas of the body such as the hands and feet.
“Primary focal hyperhidrosis is when you’re sweating excessively for the physiological requirements at that time, and it’s not related to any other medical problem or a side effect of a medication,” dermatologist Dee Anna Glaser, a professor at the Saint Louis University School of Medicine, told MSNBC.
This disorder is characterized by excessive sweating even when someone is sitting indoors, doing something sedentary like watching TV.
People who have diabetes or night sweats – or women who are going through menopause – often experience extreme sweating, but this typically occurs all over the body. By contrast, hyperhidrosis is characterized by profuse perspiration localized to certain areas, most commonly the armpits.
Contrary to popular belief, individuals who suffer from this disorder have normal-sized, properly functioning sweat glands. Physicians believe that excessive sweating results from an improper signal coming from the brain, which tells the body to produce wetness when it is not necessary for cooling.
Patients who have hyperhidrosis can perspire up to five times more than normal, and although men tend to sweat more than women, the condition occurs equally in both genders, according to the news source.
According to a survey conducted by the Sweat Clinics of Canada, 50 percent of respondents said that they were self-conscious about their sweating and 20 percent reported being worried about perspiration marks on their clothes.
“Sweating can affect people’s self-confidence and can make them appear nervous in high pressure situations like job interviews,” said dermatologist Nowell Solish.
Luckily, a treatment called Axilase laser therapy has been developed to address excessive underarm sweating. The minimally invasive procedure is performed under general anesthesia, during which the physician makes small incisions in the armpit and administers the laser, which destroys the sweat glands. These are then suctioned out of the treatment area, a process that takes just one hour and requires little recovery time.
People who have suffered discomfort and embarrassment from their hyperhidrosis may find relief by looking into Axilase treatment at their local medical spa.