What to do if you sweat too much

Feel like you sweat more than the average person? You could have hyperhidrosis’here’s what to do

What to do if you sweat too much

Source: Best Health Magazine, Summer 2009

‘Some people sweat more than is necessary to control body temperature,’ says Dr. Nowell Solish, a Toronto dermatologist. This can affect quality of life.

If that’s you, it may be a condition called hyper­hidrosis (HH), which affects about 300,000 Canadians. Typically it is concentrated on one area of the body, such as the hands, feet, face or underarms. In rare cases, people sweat excessively all over.

‘Talk to your pharmacist or physician to rule out treatable causes,’ says Shakeel Bhatti, a clinical instructor in the faculty of pharmaceutical sciences at the University of British Columbia. Occasionally, medications, including anti­depressants and certain painkillers, can cause HH; it may also be a symptom of a health problem, such as hyperthyroidism (an overactive thyroid).

Medical options

If you have HH and aren’t seeing results with over-the-counter remedies, consider these treatments with your doctor:

‘ Prescriptions, such as oxybutynin, will reduce sweating in some, but it may have side effects, such as blurred vision.
‘ Botox is injected into the affected areas to stop the signals sent to the gland to start sweating.
‘ Surgery to remove the sweat glands is the last resort.

This article was originally titled "Don’t Sweat It," in the Summer 2009 issue of Best Health. Subscribe today to get the full Best Health experience’and never miss an issue!’and make sure to check out what’s new in the latest issue of Best Health.