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Saturday, January 24, 2009

What is Hyperhidrosis?

Hyperhidrosis can be either primary or secondary. Primary hyperhidrosis is more common than secondary hyperhidrosis, and usually causes excessive sweating in the face, hands, feet and armpits. Secondary hyperhidrosis affects the whole body. The level of sweating can vary from time to time. Certain things, such as anxiety, spicy foods, heat or certain illnesses can set it off. However, most of the time, there is no obvious trigger and it just seems to come and go randomly. Both primary and secondary hyperhidrosis usually develop in your teenage years, although it can start at any age.
Does your deodorant not work? If normal antiperspirants aren't working for you, your doctor may suggest an antiperspirant that contains aluminum chloride. This works like a 'strong' antiperspirant, blocking the openings of the sweat ducts. Aluminum chloride antiperspirants can be used on the armpits, palms and soles - they can even be applied to the face (but avoid the eye area).
The antiperspirant needs to be applied to clean, dry skin, ideally at night when sweat glands are less active. You should apply every 24-48 hours, and always wash the area before reapplying. This treatment can be continued for as long as needed, although once you see an improvement you won't have to apply every day - once every 1-3 weeks should help keep the sweat levels under control.

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