Two Types of Hyperhidrosis
Excessive sweating is broken down into two categories to help physicians and sufferers understand their cause, and then approach treatment. The two types of hyperhidrosis are: Primary (Focal) and Secondary (Generalized). Understanding the difference is one of the key steps in understanding hyperhidrosis.
Primary (focal) hyperhidrosis refers to excessive sweating that is not caused by another medical condition, nor is it a side effect of medications. The excessive sweating is the medical condition itself. This type of sweating develops on very specific areas of the body (described as focal areas) and is usually relatively “symmetric” meaning that both the left and right sides of the body are affected similarly. The most common focal areas are the sweaty hands, sweaty feet, sweaty underarms, and sweaty face or head. Primary focal hyperhidrosis often begins in childhood, especially hyperhidrosis of the hands and feet.
The other main type of hyperhidrosis is referred to as Secondary (generalized) hyperhidrosis. This type of excessive sweating is caused by another medical condition or is a side effect of a medication. Unlike with primary focal hyperhidrosis, people with secondary hyperhidrosis experience sweating on larger or other areas of the body (described as generalized). Another major difference between the two types of hyperhidrosis is that people with secondary generalized hyperhidrosis may often experience their sweating symptoms during sleep. With secondary hyperhidrosis, excessive sweating usually starts in adulthood, whereas primary hyperhidrosis starts in childhood.
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Affected Body Areas
Underarm excessive sweating, also called axillary hyperhidrosis, is an uncontrollable, embarrassing, and isolating problem. From the discomfort of sweat running down your sides, to the discomfort of obvious sweat stains, to the fear of being “discovered,” uncontrollable underarm sweating can feel like it’s ruining your life.
The first line-of-defense against excessive underarm sweating are antiperspirants. Antiperspirants are available in a numerous strengths including “regular” over-the-counter products, “clinical strength” over-the-counter products, and perhaps even prescription antiperspirants.
Excessive, uncontrollable sweating of the hands or palms, is called palmar hyperhidrosis. This medical condition is an extremly stressful, embarrassing, and confidence-wrecking problem. From damaged paperwork to slick handshakes, sweaty palms can negatively impact your social life, education, and career.
It’s confirmed and released that palmar hyperhidrosis has the most significant negative impact on patients’ lives of any dermatologic condition.
But there are treatments available, the treatments work, and you have a number of choices.
Do your feet feel saturated and sloppy all the time? Does sweat ruin your shoes? Are you scared to wear sandals or flip-flops for fear that you’ll slip right out of them? Are your feet always cold because they are always wet?
These are just some of the experiences of people with extremely sweaty feet, or plantar hyperhidrosis. Hyperhidrosis, also called excessive sweating, is a medical condition that affects different body areas including the feet. Luckily, there are treatments available.
Treatments for sweaty feet include: antiperspirants, iontophoresis and Botox injections.
face & HEAD
Facial sweating is a frequent problem and can be even more stressful and embarrassing than other types of excessive sweating. Even people who sweat heavily from other body areas may find that it’s their facial sweating that bothers them the most. That’s because our faces are how we present ourselves to others, and we cannot hide the effects of excessive sweating on the face.
The first step for anyone with any type of excessive sweating is to see a doctor for a full medical check-up including an examination to make sure that excessive sweating is not due to another medical condition or a side effect of a medication. Secondary hyperhidrosis can signify be a more serious health problem and so must always be considered first.
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