- International Hyperhidrosis Society Offers Tips for Managing Summer Sweat -
NEW YORK, June 18 /PRNewswire/ -- As the thermometer rises, so does the
humidity. For many, the humidity can be annoying, but for the nearly 8
million Americans who suffer from a treatable condition called
hyperhidrosis(1), or excessive sweating, the humidity can be unbearable.
Hyperhidrosis affects underarms, palms, feet and head, among other areas, and
though not caused by heat, is aggravated by heat or anxiety.
The International Hyperhidrosis Society (IHHS), a non profit organization
dedicated to those who have the condition, commissioned Harris Interactive to
conduct a survey among nearly 3,000 U.S. adults to find out how sweat affects
the 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 too
much underarm sweat, yet only three percent(1) of the U.S. population are
known to suffer from hyperhidrosis -- even less from excessive underarm
The findings also revealed that more than half of U.S. adults (60%) would
be embarrassed or very embarrassed by visible underarm sweat stains.
Additionally, more adults would be embarrassed by visible underarm sweat
stains than having bad acne (58%) or being overweight (47%). Furthermore,
although more men (39%) feel they have too much underarm sweat compared to
women (28%), more women would be embarrassed by underarm sweat than men (68%
vs. 51% respectively). Young females are particularly affected by underarm
sweat. 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 too
much underarm sweat, only 5% have consulted a healthcare professional; many
more altered their lifestyle to cope, for example, by avoiding certain
clothing or activities. Executive director of the IHHS, Lisa Pieretti, says,
"Many people do not realize that excessive underarm sweat is a treatable
medical condition, therefore going undiagnosed and untreated. People do not
have to alter their lifestyle to accommodate or suffer in silence; many
physicians, specifically dermatologists, specialize in the treatment of
excessive underarm sweat, offering a range of treatments from prescription
strength topical antiperspirants to BOTOX(R) (Botulinum Toxin Type A)
Most U.S. adults who think they have too much underarm sweat (70%) go to
various lengths to hide or prevent their underarm sweat -- mostly altering
activities (47%) and clothing choices (49%). For example, the survey found
that about a third of those who think they have too much underarm sweat avoid
raising their arms (35%) and others avoid hugging or putting their arms around
people (18%) and participating in sports and athletic activities that may
induce sweating (17%). Some even try and avoid giving presentations at work
or school (5%) for fear of revealing underarm sweat stains. Additionally,
they make clothing choices based on too much underarm sweat -- avoiding
certain fabrics (25%), avoiding some colors (21%) and frequently choosing
others (e.g., black) (19%), carrying additional clothing (12%) and changing
clothes 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) has
compiled the following list of summer survival tips.
-- Drink early, drink often, and drink again -- thirst is simply a sign
your fluid levels are already low. Sweat plays a critical role in keeping
your body cool in hot temperatures. The key to keeping this internal air
conditioning system working properly is drinking enough fluids. If your urine
is relatively clear you know you are drinking enough.
-- Wear loose, lightweight natural fabrics, and light-colored clothing.
Loose clothing enables perspiration to evaporate and natural, breathable
fabrics "wick" moisture away from your skin. Some of today's hi-tech textiles
even include copper and silver to fight odor-causing bacteria and keep you
-- Protect your skin -- sweating is yet another consequence of sun-damaged
or burned skin, because it is not as effective at dissipating body heat. Stay
out of direct sunlight whenever possible, wearing sunscreen, and consider
wearing a wide-brimmed or long billed hat such as the ones found at
www.Coolibar.com. For extreme sweaters, waterproof sunscreen gel or "sweat
proof" and "sports" formulations are the best bets.
-- Choose lightweight, breathable or ventilated shoes -- when it's hot
outside, temperature in shoes can reach 120 degrees F. The IHHS recommends
wearing open sandals or using sweat absorbing inserts such as Summer Soles
(www.SummerSoles.com) -- a 10% off coupon is available on www.SweatHelp.org!
Absorbent foot powders and antiperspirants can also be used on feet to
minimize sweating and moisture buildup. Ask your dermatologist or podiatrist
for a recommendation.
-- Change your antiperspirant routine and bust "pit stains." Choose a
soft-solid formula and apply antiperspirant to underarms once in the morning
and again prior to bedtime. Application twice daily -- and especially before
bedtime -- has been shown to be more effective. Gently massaging the
antiperspirant into the skin may be useful. Consider using a stronger
over-the-counter antiperspirant such as Secret Clinical Strength. To avoid
irritation, only apply antiperspirant to completely dry skin. If you suffer
from an annoyingly sweaty face, consider applying an antiperspirant along your
hairline. Follow the application tips mentioned above but test the product on
a tiny area of skin first to make sure that it won't cause irritation.
-- Talk to a dermatologist about the effective treatments for excessive
sweating including: over-the-counter or prescription antiperspirants,
iontophoresis, and BOTOX(R). Visit www.SweatHelp.org to use the International
Hyperhidrosis Society's Physician Finder to locate an experienced health care
About the International Hyperhidrosis Society
The International Hyperhidrosis Society is a non-profit organization that
strives to improve quality of life for those affected by excessive sweating.
The Society promotes research and conducts education on the physiological
effects of hyperhidrosis, raises awareness about its emotional and economic
impact and advocates for patient access to effective treatments. The
International Hyperhidrosis Society is composed of members from all over the
world, making it a true international network for people who treat or suffer
The International Hyperhidrosis Society's Web site, www.SweatHelp.org,
includes a Physician Finder to help anyone with excessive sweating to find
medical help, information on additional treatment options, and a comprehensive
collection of insurance and reimbursement tools, including downloadable forms,
which can help sufferers work with their physicians and health insurance plans
to get the correct coverage for necessary treatments. There are practical tips
to make the most out of appointments with physicians and information on
clinical trials and a free newsletter that will keep everyone current on
hyperhidrosis news and medical breakthroughs. A self-assessment tool is also
available to help people determine how much sweat is too much. And because
hyperhidrosis usually starts in the teen years, the International
Hyperhidrosis Society has created an online teen forum and workbook to help
teenagers learn how to cope with the condition and find effective solutions.
To learn more about hyperhidrosis including key facts, statistics, and
research studies, visit the International Hyperhidrosis Society's media
resources and library online at: http://www.sweathelp.org/English/MP_Home.asp.
About the Survey:
This International Hyperhidrosis Society study was conducted online within
the United States by Harris Interactive between March 6 and March 10, 2008
among 2,897 adults ages 18+, of whom, 1,033 feel they have too much underarm
sweat. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore
no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete
survey results, including weighting variables, please contact Katie Saleem,
(1) Strutton, et. al., "US Prevalence of Hyperhidrosis and Impact on
Individuals with Axillary Hyperhidrosis: Results from a National Survey."
Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, August 2004, Volume 51, Number
SOURCE International Hyperhidrosis Society
Katie Saleem, +1-212-229-8478, KSaleem@ccapr.com