Excessive Sweating (hyperhidrosis)
Hyperhidrosis doesn't usually pose a serious threat to your health, but it can sometimes lead to physical and emotional problems.
Hyperhidrosis increases the risk of developing fungal infections, particularly on the feet most commonly Onychomycosis and athletes foot . This is because excessive sweat combined with wearing socks and shoes creates an ideal surrounding for fungi to grow.
Fungal infections can be treated with antifungal creams. More severe cases may require antifungal tablets or capsules.
Excessive sweat can make you more vulnerable to certain skin conditions, such as:
Eczema can also be made worse by excessive sweating.
Although people with hyperhidrosis sweat a lot, most don't have problems with body odour . This is because hyperhidrosis doesn't usually affect the sweat glands responsible for producing unpleasant-smelling sweat called the aprocrine sweat glands.
However, if bacteria are allowed to break down the sweat, it can start to smell unpleasant. Eating spicy food and drinking alcohol can also make sweat secreted from the eccrine smell.
This can be prevented or eased by following lifestyle advice, such as frequently using antiperspirant spray and using armpit shields to absorb sweat. See treating hyperhidrosis for more information.
The emotional impact of living with hyperhidrosis can be severe. Many people with the condition feel unhappy and, in some cases, depressed. Signs that you may be depressed include:
It is important not to neglect your mental health. Make an appointment to see your GP if you think that you may be depressed.
Read more about depression or find out more about tackling stress, anxiety and depression .
Hyperhidrosis is a common condition in which a person sweats excessively.
Hyperhidrosis can be divided into two types, depending on whether an obvious cause can be identified. These are known as primary and secondary hyperhidrosis.
Hyperhidrosis can be challenging to treat and it may take a while to find the best treatment for you. Less invasive treatments will usually be recommended first.