We all sweat. Whether it’s from hot temperatures or a hard workout, we sweat. It’s a normal response from our body; however, when you sweat too much, this must be a sign of hyperhidrosis.
With hyperhidrosis, you probably spend a good part of your day excessively sweating and worrying about it. You change clothes often. You take multiple showers. You wipe off your skin with napkins or clothes. You wear bulky or dark-colored clothes to hide the sweat and stains. You make excuses to stay home. Your palms are sweaty, your feet are slippery, your face is glistening, and your armpits are damp…often and/or always.
If you think you sweat more than “normal” and it is interfering with your life, your best bet is to go to a doctor. At your appointment your doctor will ask you about your symptoms. Some tests will help evaluate the cause of your excessive sweating. Blood tests will help to rule out if your sweating is caused by another medical condition like hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid) or hypoglycemia (low blood sugar).
A doctor can also order a thermoregulatory sweat test, or an iodine-starch test to determine if you have hyperhidrosis. When your sweat reaches the surface of the skin during an iodine-starch test, the starch and iodine combine causing a dramatic color change to a dark blue, which allows sweat production to be actively visualized. This will help the doctor diagnose if you have hyperhidrosis. A thermoregulatory sweat test measures your ability to sweat in a special laboratory that has controlled temperature, humidity, and air flow regulation capabilities. During the test, you will lie on a bed and are powdered with a substance that changes color from yellow to bright purple as you sweat. A video camera will allow the doctor to analyze how your autonomic system reacts to the room’s conditions. There are heat and humidity controls in the room to help you sweat in all skin regions that are capable of sweating.
Before you meet with the doctor, be prepared with answers about your sweating. Here are some questions for you to think about that will help the doctor greatly.
- How many times per day do you think or worry about sweating?
- How many times per day do you change clothes? Bathe?
- Do you change or cancel plans because of your sweating?
- Do you carry around pads, napkins, powders, antiperspirants or towels to help dry your sweat?
- Do you buy new clothes and shoes often?
- What have you used to control your sweating?
- Does your sweating affect your job?
- Have you experienced skin irritation or infections due to excessive sweating?
- Does sweating in public cause you to be stressed or have anxiety?
It’s time to stop that sweat and to turn to a medical doctor for a diagnosis. Dr. Peter Mikhail is a hyperhidrosis physician and surgeon in New Port Richey, Florida. To book a consult, click our hyperhidrosis contact page or call 727-312-4844. Dr. Mikhail treats patients in the Tampa and Clearwater area.