What is Excessive Perspiration?
Perspiration is a natural and healthy part of everyday life. It is a normal reaction to a variety of factors such as stress, illness, heat and physical activity and it serves the important function of regulating body temperature. When we perspire, the sweat evaporates off the skin which has a cooling effect on the body.
In order for this to happen, we have millions of sweat glands situated all over the body, particularly in areas such as the underarms, on the soles of feet, head, the palms of hands, the upper lips and between the legs in the groin area. This entire system is controlled by an area in the hypothalamus which helps to regulate the release of the hormones that induce sweating at appropriate moments.
However, for some people, perspiration occurs at inappropriate moments, or in excessive amounts for no apparent reason. When this happens, perspiration becomes a problem and not only is it frustrating, it may also have an impact on other areas of life by affecting inter-personal relationships, work, and self-confidence.
In some cases, profuse perspiration also leads to body odor which can also cause a number of problems. The good news is that excessive perspiration no longer has to be begrudgingly endured as there are now a number of treatment options available to help stop and control it.
What Causes Excessive Perspiration?
In some cases, excessive perspiration is caused by an underlying condition such as an infection, chronic illness, anxiety disorders or a disorder that affects the hormones in the body, such as Hyperthyroidism.
Other factors that contribute to excessive perspiration include genetics, alcoholism, and side effects to certain medications. In these cases, the perspiration is usually general, rather than localized to specific areas.
In other cases, excessive perspiration is the result of a medical condition called hyperhidrosis. This condition is not fully understood, however, it seems that something goes wrong between the message the hypothalamus sends to the sweat nerves and the amount of sweat produced in the sweat glands.
Diagnosing Excessive Perspiration
Excessive perspiration can usually be diagnosed with an examination, and self report of the condition. Paper tests and starch iodine tests can be used to measure the amount of perspiration and to determine the problem areas; however, these are often not necessary. You doctor may also want to run a few additional tests to determine if there is an underlying condition that is causing the excessive perspiration.
Help for Excessive Perspiration
There are a number of ways in which to treat excessive perspiration and it does not need to be a condition that continues to disrupt your life.
Conventional treatments of excessive perspiration vary depending on the severity of the condition. The first and simplest treatment option is to use an effective antiperspirant rather than a standard deodorant. Anticholinergic drugs are also often used.
These work by drying bodily secretions, and tend to come with unwanted side-effects such as dry mouth, blurry vision, dizziness and cardiovascular concerns. Other treatments include iontophoresis (which involves using electric currents to reduce perspiration for a couple of weeks), botox injections and surgery.
Many people are now turning to natural remedies as a first step towards treating excessive perspiration. There are a number of natural ingredients that can help reduce perspiration and treat some of the underlying causes.
Nat mur. helps to reduce excessive perspiration and clamminess. Lupulus as well as Castoreum and Argentum Nitricum help to address perspiration, especially when related to nervousness, panic, anxiety, or obsessive thoughts. Lastly the ingredient Syphilinum helps to control fluid levels in the body, while also helping to control body odor which commonly accompanies excessive perspiration.
More Information on Excessive Perspiration
Tips on coping with excessive perspiration
- Wear loose fitting and light clothing that allows your skin to breathe. Cotton and linen are great, but avoid synthetic fabrics and silks whenever you can.
- Wear light colored clothing that will not absorb the heat.
- Maintain good personal hygiene to prevent body odor. This may mean showering 2-3 times a day with hot water and a good anti-bacterial soap.
- Keep a handkerchief on you at all times if facial perspiration or sweaty hands are a problem.
- Use antiperspirants, deodorants and talcum powders regularly and keep an extra bottle of these on you or at work so that you are never stuck without.
- Shave or wax under arm hair as it makes a perfect breeding ground for bacteria that causes body odor.
- Drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration and replace lost fluids.
- Whenever possible, try walking barefoot or open shoes. This helps cool the entire body, and prevents perspiration from the feet.
- Make sure you eat a healthy balance diet with plenty of fresh fruit, vegetables and whole grains. Foods to avoid include spicy foods, and strong smelling foods such as garlic, onion and hot peppers.