NEW YORK, June 18 As the thermometer rises, so does thehumidity. For many, the humidity can be annoying, but for the nearly 8million Americans who suffer from a treatable condition calledhyperhidrosis(1), or excessive sweating, the humidity can be unbearable.Hyperhidrosis affects underarms, palms, feet and head, among other areas, andthough not caused by heat, is aggravated by heat or anxiety.
The International Hyperhidrosis Society (IHHS), a non profit organizationdedicated to those who have the condition, commissioned Harris Interactive toconduct a survey among nearly 3,000 U.S. adults to find out how sweat affectsthe general adult population, not just those who suffer from hyperhidrosis.The survey found that one third of U.S. adults (33%) think that they have toomuch underarm sweat, yet only three percent(1) of the U.S. population areknown to suffer from hyperhidrosis -- even less from excessive underarmsweating specifically.
The findings also revealed that more than half of U.S. adults (60%) wouldbe embarrassed or very embarrassed by visible underarm sweat stains.Additionally, more adults would be embarrassed by visible underarm sweatstains than having bad acne (58%) or being overweight (47%). Furthermore,although more men (39%) feel they have too much underarm sweat compared towomen (28%), more women would be embarrassed by underarm sweat than men (68%vs. 51% respectively). Young females are particularly affected by underarmsweat. The survey found that more than three in four (77%) young females(ages 18 to 34) would be embarrassed by underarm sweat and about half (49%)feel that they have too much underarm sweat.
Interestingly, the survey found that, of those who think they have toomuch underarm sweat, only 5% have consulted a healthcare professional; manymore altered their lifestyle to cope, for example, by avoiding certainclothing or activities. Executive director of the IHHS, Lisa Pieretti, says,"Many people do not realize that excessive underarm sweat is a treatablemedical condition, therefore going undiagnosed and untreated. People do nothave to alter their lifestyle to accommodate or suffer in silence; manyphysicians, specifically dermatologists, specialize in the treatment ofexcessive underarm sweat, offering a range of treatments from prescriptionstrength topical antiperspirants to BOTOX(R) (Botulinum Toxin Type A)injections."
Most U.S. adults who think they have too much underarm sweat (70%) go tovarious lengths to hide or prevent their underarm sweat -- mostly alteringactivities (47%) and clothing choices (49%). For example, the survey foundthat about a third of those who think they have too much underarm sweat avoidraising their arms (35%) and others avoid hugging or putting their arms aroundpeople (18%) and participating in sports and athletic activities that mayinduce sweating (17%). Some even try and avoid giving presentations at workor school (5%) for fear of revealing underarm sweat stains. Additionally,they make clothing choices based on too much underarm sweat -- avoidingcertain fabrics (25%), avoiding some colors (21%) and frequently choosingothers (e.g., black) (19%), carrying additional clothing (12%) and changingclothes several times daily (11%).
To help both excessive sweaters and normal sweaters stay dry in the hot,humid weather, the IHHS (visit the Society online at www.SweatHelp.org) hascompiled the following list of summer survival tips.
-- Drink early, drink often, and drink again -- thirst is simply a signyour fluid levels are already low. Sweat plays a critical role in keepingyour body cool in hot temperatures. The key to keeping this internal airconditioning system working properly is drinking enough fluids. If your urineis relatively clear you know you are drinking enough.
-- Wear loose, lightweight natural fabrics, and light-colored clothing.Loose clothing enab