treatment for hyperhidrosis in Ottawa
Frequently Asked Questions
Hyperhidrosis is a medical condition that involves excessive sweating beyond what is necessary for temperature regulation. It can affect different body parts, including the underarms, face, palms, and feet. Excessive sweating often can lead to discomfort, especially in social situations. At BCI Clinic, we offer hyperhidrosis treatment in Ottawa to help alleviate your symptoms.
- Visible sweating: The most apparent sign of hyperhidrosis. Profuse sweating can lead to soaked clothing and visible wetness on the skin.
- Persistent moisture: Affected areas, such as the palms, feet, underarms, or face, are constantly moist, even in cool or relaxed situations.
- Odour: Excessive sweating can result in an unpleasant odour due to the interaction between sweat and bacteria on the skin.
- Skin problems: Constant moisture can lead to skin-related issues, such as skin infections and an increased risk of developing rashes.
- Episodes: Random episodes of excessive sweating in various lengths and degrees.
- Impacts Daily Activities: Impacts your ability to function in your daily life, whether it’s participating in activities, attending events, or working comfortably. Beyond physical discomfort, hyperhidrosis can have a substantial emotional toll, leading to embarrassment, low self-esteem, and social withdrawal.
Hyperhidrosis is a relatively common condition, affecting nearly 5% of the world’s population. It can occur at any age and in people of all backgrounds.
Hyperhidrosis is categorized into two main types: Primary and secondary. Each type has its own causes:
- Primary Hyperhidrosis: This form is often inherited and can appear during adolescence. The exact cause is still not fully understood because it’s not associated with a pre-existing medical condition or external factors. Generally, primary hyperhidrosis results from overactive sweat glands that respond excessively to triggers like emotional stress or heat. It tends to affect specific areas of the body, like palms, soles, underarms, and face.
- Secondary Hyperhidrosis: This type is usually caused by an underlying medical condition or external factors. These conditions can include infections, hormonal changes, medications, metabolic disorders, or neurological conditions. With secondary hyperhidrosis, managing the underlying condition is often necessary to alleviate excessive sweating.
Hyperhidrosis is diagnosed through a comprehensive clinical history, physical exam, and discussion with your doctor. They may use the Hyperhidrosis Disease Severity Scale (HDSS) to assess the extent of excessive sweating and the severity of its effect on your daily life. There are four levels of severity:
- Sweating is not noticeable and doesn’t impact daily life.
- Sweating is tolerable and may interfere with daily life sometimes.
- Sweating is hard to tolerate and frequently interferes with daily life.
- Sweating is intolerable and always impacts daily activities.
Doctors can also measure levels of sweat in the following ways:
- Starch Iodine Test: A diagnostic tool that involves applying an iodine solution mixed with starch to the skin. Excess sweat turns the mixture dark, helping to visualize sweat distribution patterns.
- Vapometer: A device that measures evaporative water loss from the skin’s surface. This technique can help quantify sweating by assessing how quickly sweat evaporates from the skin.