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Hyperhidrosis Overview

Living with Hyperhidrosis
The effects of hyperhidrosis can be both physical and psychological.
The effects of hyperhidrosis can be both physical and psychological.
Paul Burns/Blend Images/Getty Images

Hyperhidrosis isn't life-threatening, but it can affect every aspect of someone's life, and the effect on his or her psyche can be devastating. The worst part may be that while some triggers -- like spicy food or hot weather -- can be avoided to a greater or lesser extent, hyperhidrosis doesn't need a trigger. It can happen at any time with no warning at all.

It's no surprise that people with hyperhidrosis often report depression, social anxiety, decreased confidence levels, difficulty forming close relationships, frustration at daily activities, reduced work performance and a self-imposed isolation. Furthermore, the same social embarrassment and anxiety someone with hyperhidrosis may get from sweating can cause them to sweat even more, creating a vicious cycle that seems impossible to break.

Hyperhidrosis has a financial impact as well. People with hyperhidrosis might spend more money on:

  • Shoes, socks, shirts and quick-drying apparel
  • Dry cleaning and stain-removing products
  • Toiletries and antiperspirants, both over-the-counter and prescription
  • Pads, towels, handkerchiefs and other items to absorb sweat

Patients may have to visit the doctor's office frequently to receive treatments (discussed later in this article), which some health insurance plans may not cover. Financial assistance may be available from health insurance providers if the person proves that the treatment is a medical necessity.

But there is light at the end of the tunnel. Next, we'll look at some of the treatment methods for those who experience extreme sweating.