The process of sweating is completely natural and normal for every person. In this case, it happens that it becomes pathological.
“Sweating is a normal physiological process of the body’s adaptation to an elevated ambient temperature, as well as the release of metabolic products,” says Oksana Dyukareva, endocrinologist at polyclinic No. 2 of the Khimki regional hospital.
“The function of sweating is very important for our body. It provides thermoregulation, water-salt metabolism, sweat glands are part of the body’s excretory system, “- confirms and dermatovenerologist, cosmetologist at the Clinical and Diagnostic Center “Medintsentr” (branch of the GlavUpDK under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia) Violetta Zinovkina.
As doctors note, there are situations when sweat begins to be released more intensely, which brings noticeable discomfort to a person, both physical and psychological. And this condition is called hyperhidrosis. But how can it be dangerous for a person and what does it indicate?
Sweat is a watery secret, says Oksana Dyukareva. Sweat is excreted by the eccrine and apocrine sweat glands. In human skin, there are from 2 to 5 million sweat glands. Eccrine sweat glands in humans are located on almost the entire surface of the body and perform the main function of thermoregulation. The sweat they give off is 99% water and practically odorless. The apocrine glands are located mainly in the axillary and groin areas, the skin of the forehead, and eyelids. There are many organic substances in the secreted by them, which give a specific smell. On average, at normal ambient temperatures, from 600 to 700 ml of sweat will be released per day, in heat up to 10 liters. If you notice that increased sweating is noted constantly and does not depend on the increase in ambient temperature, you need to contact a specialist for additional examination, “- advises Dyukareva. There are two types of hyperhidrosis, she said.
“Primary hyperhidrosis develops mainly in adolescence and is an individual feature of the body and its nervous system. If excessive sweating is moderate and does not cause much discomfort, it is enough to apply hygiene measures, ”the endocrinologist notes.
It is important to shower twice a day, dress for the weather and wear clothes made from natural materials. It is also necessary to observe proper nutrition, exclude excessive consumption of fatty and spicy foods. If excessive sweating causes discomfort and is not corrected by lifestyle, it is worth contacting a dermatologist to decide on the appointment of therapy.
“There are many reasons for the development of secondary hyperhidrosis. These can be problems with the nervous system, especially in conditions of increased stress. Or infectious diseases – often excessive sweating is one of the first symptoms of the development of a viral or bacterial infection against the background of an increase in body temperature. Excessive sweating can be the result of tuberculosis, malaria, HIV infection. Excessive sweating can also occur with cancer, especially if along with it there is a decrease in appetite, loss of body weight, severe weakness. Also in people with diseases of the cardiovascular system, ”says Oksana Dyukareva.
The most common causes of hyperhidrosis are endocrine disorders such as diabetes mellitus, thyroid malfunction, obesity and menopause in women. “In order to exclude these diseases, it is important to consult a general practitioner who will prescribe a comprehensive examination and refer you to a specialist for further examination and treatment,” the endocrinologist notes.
The risk group includes people with constant emotional and physical overload; increased body weight; suffering from diabetes mellitus, arterial hypertension; having problems with the endocrine or nervous system; often drinking alcohol.
“The specific smell of sweat appears due to the vital activity of bacteria that normally live on our body surface. The greater the number of these bacteria, the more pronounced the smell. Certain foods and spices increase the smell of sweat, such as hot peppers, mustard, and garlic. A change in the habitual smell of sweat often indicates the development of certain diseases. For example, with the development of diabetes mellitus, a specific smell of acetone appears, and with kidney disease, ammonia. In case of any changes in the smell of sweat, you should consult a doctor and clarify what you associate with this smell, ”says Oksana Dyukareva.
It is important to maintain proper hygiene to reduce the intensity of sweating, as well as prevent the appearance of an unpleasant odor, because this often brings great discomfort in everyday life, especially in the heat, says the endocrinologist. The rules are simple:
- Shower twice a day.
- Drink plenty of water.
- Use antibacterial soap.
- Remove hair in the armpit and groin, as hair lengthens the evaporation time of sweat and thereby enhances the vital activity of bacteria.
- Change your clothes, especially your underwear, daily, or more often if you start to sweat.
- Wear clothes for the season, prefer materials made from natural fabrics.
In addition to general hyperhidrosis, there is also a local one, says dermatologist Zinovkina. “Local hyperhidrosis affects only certain areas – mainly palms, soles, armpits,” says Violetta Zinovkina.
The most common way to combat local hyperhidrosis, says a dermatologist, is through the use of various antiperspirants. “But this method is often ineffective. In addition, antiperspirants contain aluminum salts, which can cause such an unpleasant consequence as dermatitis, ”notes Violetta Zinovkina.
A problem such as local hyperhidrosis is solved by a cosmetologist by injecting botulinum toxin into problem areas. The effect is achieved by blocking nerve endings. The method can be used from the age of 18.
You can protect yourself from local hyperhidrosis with simple hygiene, the specialist notes. It is also worth revising your wardrobe. “This is a rejection of clothes, shoes and hosiery made of synthetic materials, a daily shower (at least 2 times a day) followed by a change of linen,” warns Violetta Zinovkina. In addition, the dermatologist advises contrasting wipes and body wipes with 10% decoction of oak bark. You can also use ammonia baths, for example, for sweating hands.