What is hyperhidrosis?
Do you sweat a lot? More than the average person? You may have a condition called hyperhidrosis. Hyperhidrosis is excessive sweating that is not related to heat or exercise. Often people with hyperhidrosis sweat through their clothing and the sweat can drip off their hands and face, sometimes leading to social anxiety or embarrassment.
There are two types of hyperhidrosis: primary and secondary. Primary hyperhidrosis is excessive sweating not caused by another medical condition or medication, and it usually affects the hands, feet, underarms, and face. There is usually enough sweating to affect your daily activities, yet people with this condition don’t sweat while they are sleeping. They usually have a sweating episode at least once per week.
Secondary hyperhidrosis is excessive sweating caused by another medical condition such as diabetes, thyroid problems, or a heart attack, or can be caused by a medication. In this condition the person will sweat through larger, more generalized areas of the body and they may sweat while they sleep. Primary hyperhidrosis typically starts before adulthood, whereas secondary hyperhidrosis usually starts in adulthood.
What causes hyperhidrosis?
Sweating is an essential function that helps cool our bodies down when our body temperature is too high. The nervous system triggers our sweat glands to secrete water onto the skin’s surface, and the water is then evaporated and cools the body in the process. In hyperhidrosis, the nerves that supply these sweat glands are overactive and can stimulate the sweat glands even when we aren’t exercising or experiencing high temperatures. This leads to excessive sweat. The sweat glands can be further stimulated during times of stress or nervousness, thus exacerbating the sweating. We aren’t sure exactly why hyperhidrosis happens, but it can be inherited from family members.
How can physiotherapy help hyperhidrosis?
There are various treatments for hyperhidrosis ranging from prescription-strength antiperspirants to surgery to remove the sweat glands entirely. One effective method of treatment for hyperhidrosis of the hands and feet is called direct current.
Direct current is a method of delivering electrical current to the body through water. In this treatment, hands or feet are placed in a shallow pan of water. An electrical current is sent through the water that will enter your hands or feet. The minerals naturally found in tap water help to create this electrical field. There are minimal side effects to this treatment and after a series of initial treatments, the results are long-term.
Here at Ace Physio our physiotherapists are trained in treating hyperhirdosis and can help you manage this condition. Contact us at (416)-900-6653 to book an appointment with one of our physiotherapists.