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FAQs About Sweating or Hyperhidrosis
Is there a vitamin, mineral or supplement that will reduce my sweating?
Unfortunately there are no known substances that can be taken to reduce sweating. There are some studies that have shown that red clover or soy isoflavones may reduce symptoms of menopause such as night sweats and flushing.
How can I prevent excessive sweating?
There are a number of available options to help prevent excessive sweating. These including topical agents, injectable products, surgery, oral medication and iontophoresis. All of these work to varying degrees and have pros and cons including cost, time constraints, adverse events and invasiveness (i.e. surgical procedure).
Can excessive sweating cause other problems or conditions?
Primary or focal hyperhidrosis does lead to any serious problems but can predispose an individual to other possible conditions. These typically include dermatological infections. Read more about hyperhidrosis and skin problems.
Is excessive sweating dangerous?
In and of itself, localized excessive sweating (i.e. primary or focal hyperhidrosis) is not dangerous. Having said this, secondary or generalized hyperhidrosis may be caused by an underlying condition that should be diagnosed and treated.
Are all antiperspirants essentially the same?
There are two types of antiperspirants - those found over the counter (OTC) and others that are behind the counter or compounded by the pharmacist. The OTC versions tend to be suited for ordinary 'run of the mill' sweating conditions. For individuals with more aggressive conditions (e.g. focal hyperhidrosis) higher strength formulations are required. These formulations are many times more potent than those available OTC.
Is there a cure for hyperhidrosis?
Unfortunately there is no cure for hyperhidrosis. The good news is that there are effective treatments. As with most treatments, there are pros and cons. Each option has to be evaluated from a personal perspective. From a risk point of view, what may be acceptable to one individual may not be for another.
Can certain medications cause excessive sweating?
There are some medications that can cause sweating or worsen an existing condition. Our Drug-induced Hyperhidrosis page reviews this topic in greater detail.
Is excessive sweating related to an underlying condition?
It may or it may not. Generalized or secondary hyperhidrosis involves sweating of large surface areas of the body and may be caused by an underlying condition. Primary or focal hyperhidrosis involves specific sites (e.g. palms, soles, face, underarms) and typically is not associated with another condition. Read more….
Can excessive sweating lead to a potassium or sodium imbalance?
Sodium or potassium imbalances are relatively rare in normally healthy individuals. Both elements are easily obtained from a balanced diet. Although these elements can be lost during sweating, the body normally senses a decrease in sodium or potassium and will adjust to lessen the loss of these elements.
What homeopathic remedy is most effective for treating hyperhidrosis?
There are no homeopathic remedies that have been proven to be effective in the treatment of hyperhidrosis. As such, any anti-perspirant claims made by such remedies should be viewed with a great degree of scepticism. Our Hyperhidrosis and Homeopathy page provides more information on this issue.
What is my best option if I want to treat focal or primary hyperhidrosis?
The Canadian Hyperhidrosis Advisory Committee ( a panel of experts on the condition) recommends initiating treatment with potent topical antiperspirants, specifically an aluminum chloride hexahydrate / salicylic acid combination. This option is the most affordable and is very effective on all affected regions. The Committee also recommends starting at a reasonable strength based on the affected region and severity of the condition. Product strength can be increased based on tolerability and until satisfactory results are obtained. Click here for more information.
How can I determine the severity my condition?
A simple scale was developed called the Hyperhidrosis Disease Severity Scale (HDSS). Click here to access the scale as well as another method to help you determine the severity of your condition.
What do I do if my sweating is accompanied by another symptom?
You may have secondary hyperhidrosis or your sweating may be the result of another condition. If you suspect or are experiencing another symptom such as sweating during sleeping hours or weight loss then you should consult a medical professional. Another or an underlying condition requiring treatment may be causing you to sweat. Other symptoms such a chest pain, fever, shortness of breath may require more immediate medical attention.
Why does my face sweat so much?
A sweaty face or facial sweating is often associated with so-called trigger foods. In other words, eating or drinking can often result in increased sweating in the facial region. Specific foods such as spicy meals, vinegar, and coffee will trigger facial sweating. This is called gustatory sweating or gustatory hyperhidrosis. This type of sweating is also seen in inviduals with diabetes and is referred to as diabetic gustatory sweating.