In principle, everyone sweats and sometimes that is nice too. But in some people, sweat production runs rampant. The excessive sweating can even hinder a person’s normal functioning. But luckily you don’t have to resign yourself to it. If necessary, it will be a surgical procedure. And in case of heavy armpit perspiration, it has recently become possible to completely switch off the sweat glands via a special device, the Miradry. So that nasty perspiration smell is no longer necessary.
Sweating is necessary
- We perspire to maintain our body temperature. When we get warm due to exercise, our sweat glands produce moisture. This perspiration then evaporates and through evaporation the sweat removes heat from our skin, which cools the skin and helps keep the body at the right temperature. It’s actually quite nice if you get soaking wet through healthy physical exertion, especially if you can shower afterwards.
- Sweat and the associated odor have even more functions from an evolutionary perspective. It arises when there is danger (anxious sweat). And the smell of fresh clean sweat is exciting before and during sex.
But there are also people who constantly sweat excessively while they quietly read the newspaper or watch TV without thoughts of sex . Some people are forced to put on a clean shirt several times a day and then you really have a problem. If there is excessive sweat production, we call it hyperhydrosis.
Two types of sweat glands
Perspiration or sweating is the secretion of fluid from the sweat glands. We distinguish between apocrine and exocrine sweat glands. The exocrine glands are distributed throughout the body and are intended to regulate body temperature, for example during fever or exertion. The apocrine sweat glands are the glands that produce sweat odor. They can be found under the armpits as well as around the nipples and anus. These glands are developed during puberty and, regardless of the level of physical exertion, are in fact active all day long. When the sweat from the apocrine glands comes out of the skin, the typical sweaty smell is created. If your skin is otherwise clean, this smell does not stink, but, as mentioned, it has an attraction to the opposite sex. A fresh sweat smell helps you to seduce someone.
Excessive sweating occurs regularly, in different variations. Although it can occur all over the body, it is often limited to certain parts of the body. Namely the soles of the feet, palms, face and armpits. Sometimes it has to do with a disease or abnormality of the nerves. But usually there is no abnormality elsewhere in the body and it is simply a difficult trait that some people are naturally affected by. But it is a characteristic that can seriously hinder someone’s actions. It can lead to psychosocial and emotional problems, including social isolation and compromised self-confidence. For example, it is quite understandable that you no longer dare to shake hands if yours is constantly soaking wet. Driving a car with soaking wet hands isn’t much fun either. If you constantly have wet armpits, you do not like to wear light-colored clothing and you also prefer not to wear tight-fitting clothing. Some with this condition hardly dare to leave the house at a certain point.
There are various treatment methods for excessive sweating.
- In certain cases, medications help.
- Sweaty armpits can be remedied by permanently eliminating the sweat glands present there through heating. This destruction is done by a dermatologist or plastic surgeon under local anesthesia, using a special device, a so-called Miradry. The Miradry treatment can be done in combination with a laser treatment that kills the armpit hair follicles, preventing new armpit hair from developing.
- A more drastic solution is thoracoscopic sympathectomy. This is a keyhole surgery in the chest, during which the nerve responsible for controlling the sweat glands in the arm and armpit is switched off. The operation is performed under complete anesthesia. Such an operation reduces sweat production by at least 75%. If you start sweating less, that is a big improvement. This treatment of excessive sweating is part of thoracic surgery (operations in the chest).