Featured Skin Condition of the Month: Hyperhidrosis

sweatingAt Dermatology Associates of Atlanta, we help patients of all ages and backgrounds on a daily basis to restore their skin health and feel confident in their appearance. We strive to not only provide the best care for our patients’ skin, hair, and nails but to educate our patients on their dermatological health too. As part of this educational priority, we’re highlighting a different skin condition each month, and this month, we’re featuring hyperhidrosis.

What Is Hyperhidrosis?

Put simply, hyperhidrosis is a condition in which you sweat more than normal. You may experience excessive sweating anywhere throughout your body, but it most often affects the underarms, hands, feet, or face. While it isn’t dangerous for your health, hyperhidrosis often creates considerable embarrassment and social anxiety.

What does it mean to sweat more than normal? To understand this, we need to look at “normal” sweating. Sweating is a technique your body uses to cool itself because when the sweat evaporates off your skin, it makes you feel cooler. To use that technique, you have nerves that trigger your sweat glands when you are in a hot environment, when you’re exerting yourself, or when you’re under heavy stress.

If you have hyperhidrosis, those nerves are overactive and are triggering your sweat glands even without being prompted by hot temperatures, exertion, or stress. When you are in circumstances that would normally make you sweat, you’re likely to sweat more than other people in the same situation.

What Causes Hyperhidrosis?

Primary hyperhidrosis (hyperhidrosis that appears on its own, not because of or as part of any other medical condition) doesn’t have a known cause. While researchers aren’t sure why some people get it and others don’t, it does tend to run in families, so it’s likely to have a genetic component.

In other cases of excessive sweating, though, your hyperhidrosis may actually be a symptom of a medical condition. Illnesses and disorders like diabetes, thyroid issues, Parkinson’s disease, low blood sugar, gout, menopause, heart disease, certain types of cancers, infections, and nervous system disorders can make you sweat excessively.

What Are the Treatments for Hyperhidrosis?

If you are sweating excessively, the first step is to determine if you have primary hyperhidrosis or if your sweating is caused by an underlying medical condition. Our experienced and board-certified dermatologists and physician assistants at Dermatology Associates of Atlanta can assess your symptoms and determine if you need further testing to identify any contributing health conditions.

If you have primary hyperhidrosis, fortunately, this condition is treatable. We are proud to offer miraDry® sweat reduction. This procedure sends specialized energy into your underarms to target and damage your sweat glands without hurting other tissue. Those affected sweat glands will produce little or no sweat, and these results are lifelong.

If you are tired of struggling with unwanted and excessive sweating on a regular basis, we can help. Schedule an appointment at Dermatology Associates of Atlanta to discuss your symptoms and find the best ways to get the results you want. In the meantime, follow us on Facebook and Instagram for more skin health tips.