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Hyperhidrosis, a rare but embarrassing condition for women

by Marie-Sarah Published on November 27, 2015

The last thing an elegant lady wants to share with her peers is that she has an excessive sweating condition that most people would incorrectly associate with bad perspiration and body odour. For many women who have hyperhidrosis, this very stigma is what leads them to keep quiet about their condition and to never seek medical attention, preferring instead to hide their condition as best they can.

Hyperhidrosis can be generalized (excessive sweating on the entire body) or localized to specific parts of the body, including the underarms, scalp, palms or soles. While the cause of localized or focal hyperhidrosis is unknown, genetics may play a role.

This medical condition can be vexing for sufferers. Beyond the embarrassment of sweating excessively, often through clothes, hyperhidrosis also causes physical discomfort. Sweat is a normal process that regulates body temperature but in people with hyperhidrosis, this process is turned upside down, causing them to sweat even when it’s cold outside. As the weather becomes cooler, they may actually freeze as parts of their body and clothes become soaked with sweat.

While there is no magic bullet for this condition, some treatments can lessen excessive sweating. Products like Drysol, which contain aluminium chloride, can easily be purchased over the counter. If those don’t work, stronger powders containing boric acid can be prescribed by a dermatologist. And when all else fails, sweat gland removal or destruction or regular Botox injections can provide relief.

Regardless of whether or not you seek medical help for this condition, don’t be afraid to talk to your peers about it. More people than you realize suffer from hyperhidrosis and talking about it will allow you to learn what has worked for them.

Many women with this condition say the following can be helpful: wearing dark clothing so your sweat won’t be as visible, avoiding or limiting coffee consumption, and always wearing sweat-absorbing socks to keep your feet as dry as possible.

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