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.

Related Articles


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 October 24, 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 October 24, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, October 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

Buzz60 (Oct. 24, 2014) IKEA is out with a new convertible desk that can convert from a sitting desk to a standing one with just the push of a button. Jen Markham explains. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

AFP (Oct. 24, 2014) A factory in China is busy making Ebola protective suits for healthcare workers and others fighting the spread of the virus. Duration: 00:38 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) The World Health Organization said on Friday that millions of doses of two experimental Ebola vaccines could be ready for use in 2015 and five more experimental vaccines would start being tested in March. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor in NYC Quarantined With Ebola

Doctor in NYC Quarantined With Ebola

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) An emergency room doctor who recently returned to the city after treating Ebola patients in West Africa has tested positive for the virus. He's quarantined in a hospital. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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