Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Stink, stank, stunk: When excessive sweating is a problem

Date:
April 22, 2014
Source:
Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center
Summary:
Sweating is a natural function of the body to cool it down during physical exertion or from a warm environment or to even help cope with emotional situations. However, some people have overactive glands and produce sweat excessively, a medical condition called hyperhidrosis. A dermatologist offers tips to deal with the condition.

Sweating is a natural function of the body to cool it down during physical exertion or from a warm environment or to even help cope with emotional situations.

But some people have overactive glands and produce sweat excessively without these normal stimuli. It's a medical condition called hyperhidrosis that affects 2 to 3 percent of the population.

"For the majority of individuals with hyperhidrosis, this excessive sweating affects their hands, feet and underarms," said William W. Huang, M.D., M.P.H., an assistant professor of dermatology at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. "Commonly, there is no particular cause found, and this is called primary hyperhidrosis. There is a subset of individuals with hyperhidrosis that is caused by other conditions such as medications, cancers, metabolic and hormonal imbalances, infections and nerve injury. These individuals have secondary hyperhidrosis."`

Huang said that the uncontrollable sweating of hyperhidrosis can have a serious impact on a person, both physically and emotionally. "Sweating through a shirt or always having wet hands can lead to embarrassment and discomfort."

Huang provides some helpful tips to deal with the condition:

• Hyperhidrosis can be a problem through every season. Sufferers should opt for breathable, natural fiber clothing and should wash clothes after a single use.

• Sweat is essentially odorless, but body odor becomes a problem due to bacteria on the skin's surface. Using an antibacterial soap is helpful and showers over baths are better for removing sweat and bacteria.

• Avoiding certain foods such as fatty foods, oils, and strong smelling foods like garlic, onions, and curry that can seep through pores can help with body odor.

• Reduce caffeine intake from coffee, teas and soft drinks because they can stimulate the sweat glands.

• Stay hydrated, especially in the summer, because excessive sweating causes loss of water and electrolytes.

• Seek medical attention. There are many medical treatments available that can often be life changing.

Huang said a first step is to use an over the counter or prescription strength antiperspirant that contains aluminum chloride compounds that help close off the sweat glands. Oral medications such as anticholinergics block the primary signal (acetylcholine) that stimulates the sweat glands to make sweat.

In addition, he said, there are in-office procedures that can treat hyperhidrosis such as iontophoresis -- a technique that uses water to conduct a mild electrical current through the skin's surface -- and injections of botulinum toxin type A. Lastly, there are surgeries that can be performed called sympathectomies which are reserved for the most severe and treatment-resistant cases. More recently a non-invasive procedure has been developed that uses microwave-based energy to destroy sweat glands.

"Any treatment or procedure has its own potential risks and benefits and should be discussed thoroughly with a qualified heath care provider," Huang said. "My recommendation for patients with this condition and other conditions that can cause embarrassment is to realize you are not alone in dealing with this and should seek help from their doctor."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. "Stink, stank, stunk: When excessive sweating is a problem." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 April 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140422113241.htm>.
Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. (2014, April 22). Stink, stank, stunk: When excessive sweating is a problem. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140422113241.htm
Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. "Stink, stank, stunk: When excessive sweating is a problem." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140422113241.htm (accessed July 25, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Friday, July 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

AFP (July 24, 2014) A so-called drugs rehab 'clinic' is closed down in Pakistan after police find scores of ‘patients’ chained up alleging serial abuse. Duration 03:05 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Too Few Teens Receiving HPV Vaccination, CDC Says

Too Few Teens Receiving HPV Vaccination, CDC Says

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is blaming doctors for the low number of children being vaccinated for HPV. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The FDA approved Targiniq ER on Wednesday, a painkiller designed to keep users from abusing it. Like any new medication, however, it has doubters. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Newsy (July 24, 2014) Sheik Umar Khan has treated many of the people infected in the Ebola outbreak, and now he's become one of them. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins