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Excessive Sweating - Affected Regions
The underarms sweat more often than other areas. In fact, they are affected in 51% of individuals with hyperhidrosis. The feet are affected in 29%, palms in 25% and the face in 20% of individuals.* The condition can also be multifocal with individuals having more than one affected site (e.g. palmoplantar hyperhidrosis).
The Underarms or Armpits - Axillary Hyperhidrosis
This is the most common type of focal hyperhidrosis. Not only can excessive sweating from the underarms be embarrassing, it can stain clothing (leaving sweat marks behind). Situations causing stress or nervousness will often initiate and contribute to excessive sweating in the underarms.
People suffering from axillary hyperhidrosis find that they have to be very careful about the clothes they buy or wear and find that they are very self conscious in social settings. Individuals will often wear outer garments in efforts to avoid revealing large sweat marks. Unfortunately, outer garments can increase the local temperature which can in turn trigger more perspiration from this region.
The Face - Facial Flushing and Facial Sweating
Facial sweating is especially troublesome given that the face is the most noticeable part of one’s body. This can lead to difficulties in both professional and social settings. Some individuals also experience flushing which in turn can cause more sweating. This can cause some individuals to become introverted and lead to the avoidance of social and work related functions.
Some individuals may experience facial sweating when they eat - particularly spicy or hot foods. This is referred to as gustatory hyperhidrosis. It appears that people with diabetes are more prone to this type of condition.
The Hands - Palmar Hyperhidrosis
Excessive sweating of the hands can be upsetting particularly in the work, school and social settings. Wet palms can make pen writing and handling of other working related items particularly difficult. Settings that require hand shaking can be especially embarrassing.
The Groin - Groin Hyperhidrosis
Although excessive sweating in the groin area is usually not apparent or can be easily hidden, it can become very uncomfortable. In the event that the discomfort becomes bothersome, some individuals may have severe sweating that needs treatment. Excessive sweating of the groin area is typically treated in the same manner as the underarms.
The Feet - Plantar Hyperhidrosis
Individuals with ‘sweaty feet’ usually complain about their problem on several fronts. Over and above the ‘clammy’ feel of sweaty feet, these will often give off an offensive or embarrassing smell. The trapped moisture within the footwear often contributes to malodour as a result of sweat reacting with footwear materials and\or bacteria that thrive in damp and warm conditions. Plantar hyperhidrosis can be especially problematic at the gym, during times of intimacy and when footwear is removed, particularly the removal of boots. Read more...
"I found Uriah reading a great fat book, with such demonstrative attention, that his lank forefinger followed up every line as he read, and made clammy tracks along the page (or so I fully believed) like a snail" Charles Dickens (David Copperfield, 1850)
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* Haider, A; Solish N. Focal hyperhidrosis: diagnosis and management. Canadian Medical Association Journal 172(1): 69-75.