How to handle excessive sweating

August 19, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
Sweating can be an embarrassing issue. In fact, eight million people are affected by excessive sweating every day. Dermatologist Marie Jhin shares her survival guide tips for handling sweat.

Tips:

  • Drink early, drink often, and drink again - thirst is simply a sign your fluid levels are already low. Sweat plays a critical role in keeping your body cool in hot temperatures.
  • Wear loose, lightweight natural fabrics, and light-colored clothing. Loose clothing enables perspiration to evaporate and natural, breathable fabrics "wick" moisture away from your skin. Some of today's hi-tech textiles even include copper and silver to fight odor-causing bacteria and keep you cooler.
  • Protect your skin - sweating is yet another consequence of sun-damaged or burned skin, because it is not as effective at dissipating body heat. Stay out of direct sunlight whenever possible, wearing sunscreen, and consider wearing a wide-brimmed or long billed hat.
  • Choose lightweight, breathable or ventilated shoes - when it's hot outside, temperature in shoes can reach 120 degrees F.
  • Change your antiperspirant routine and bust "pit stains." Choose a soft-solid formula and apply antiperspirant to underarms once in the morning and again prior to bedtime.
  • Talk to a dermatologist about the effective treatments for excessive sweating. Also, visit www.SweatHelp.org to fill out a self assessment survey to bring with you to the dermatologist.

Facts:

8 million Americans (1), excessive sweating can happen everyday of the year.

Excessive sweating has a name, and is not just a minor hygienic issue - It is a medical condition called hyperhidrosis and sufferers of the condition sweat up to five times more than average.

It can make a person too embarrassed to shake hands on a job interview, raise their hand in a class or meeting, or even hug their partner.

A recent survey conducted by Harris Interactive® on behalf of The International Hyperhidrosis Society (IHHS) revealed:

  • Most adults (60%) say they would be embarrassed by sweat stains, more so than having acne (58%) or being overweight (47%).
  • Men are more likely to think they have too much underarm sweat (39% men vs. 28% women), but women are more likely to feel visible sweat stains are embarrassing (68% women vs. 51% men).
  • Younger women (ages 18-34) are more embarrassed about having visible sweat stains than women 35+ (77% vs. 64%, respectively).
  • Many adults (23%) go to various lengths to deal with their underarm sweating (e.g., carry deodorant, avoid certain fabrics).
  • Only 5% of adults who feel they have too much underarm sweat have consulted a health care professional.

About the survey:
This International Hyperhidrosis Society study was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive between March 6 and March 10, 2008 among 2,897 adults ages 18+, of whom, 1,033 feel they have too much underarm sweat. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey results, including weighting variables, please contact Katie Saleem, KSaleem@ccapr.com.

The International Hyperhidrosis Society is a non-profit organization that strives to improve quality of life for those affected by excessive sweating. For more information, go to www.SweatHelp.org.

About Dr. Jhin:
Dr. Marie Jhin is a graduate of Wellesley College. She received her medical degree from Cornell University Medical College. She completed an internship and residency in Internal Medicine from the New York Presbyterian Hospital receiving a board certification in Internal Medicine. She continued her training as a resident and chief resident in dermatology at Albert Einstein College of Medicine.Dr. Jhin is a board certified dermatologist and a fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology. She is a member of the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgeons, the American Society of Cosmetic Dermatology and Aesthetic Surgery, the San Francisco Dermatological Society, and the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery.Dr. Jhin is an adjunct Clinical Instructor at Stanford University School of Medicine, as well as a staff member at the California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco and at Sequoia Hospital.Dr. Jhin has appeared in Oprah and Seventeen Magazines, and on the local news stations.


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