Alex Rodriguez -- New York Yankees’ third baseman -- once said, “Enjoy your sweat because hard work doesn't guarantee success, but without it you don't have a chance.” Yet for those suffering from excess perspiration, there’s nothing enjoyable about it.
So, why do people sweat? Perspiration is the body’s natural way of keeping cool. People are most prone to sweat during warm temperatures, exercise and in response to physically-excitable situations.
However, not all cases of perspiration are necessarily linked to temperature and/or stress factors. A likely culprit of excess sweat may be attributed to a condition known as “hyperhidrosis”...
So what the heck is hyperhidrosis?
In short, it’s a medical condition that prevents the body from properly regulating its sweat output. Hyperhidrosis is characterized by excessive and unpredictable bouts of sweating and/or perspiration, and causes the average sufferers to produce up to four times the average volume of sweat than normal.
Primary hyperhidrosis affects 2 - 3 percent of the population, yet less than 40 percent of patients with this condition seek medical advice. Excessive underarm sweat accounts for 50 percent of reported cases, along with the following sweat-prone areas: hands, feet, groin and face.
Sweating out the Statistics
According to the International Hyperhidrosis Society, 33 percent of U.S. adults believe they produce too much underarm sweat, and only 5 percent of U.S. adults who experience excess perspiration has ever contacted a healthcare professional.
An additional 60 percent of U.S. adults are "very embarrassed" by visible underarm sweat stains (68 percent of women and 51 percent of men - apparently women are more self-conscious about sweat stains). 39 percent of men feel they have too much underarm sweat, versus 28 percent of women.
Females between the ages of 18-34 are particularly affected by underarm sweat. 77 percent of young U.S. women are embarrassed by excess underarm sweat, and 49 percent of U.S. women believe they have too much underarm sweat.
There are quite some social implications of hyperhidrosis. Based on diagnosed cases of hyperhidrosis in the U.S., an estimated 80 percent of surveyed adults feel limited and self-conscious when meeting new people; 55 percent of surveyed adults feel unattractive due to visible sweat marks, and 38 percent of surveyed adults feel depressed as a result of their condition.