It's normal to sweat when you're nervous or hot, but if you're soaking through your shirt and socks at the end of each day, you may have a real medical problem called hyperhidrosis.
If you're embarrassed to talk about your problem or don't know how to begin the conversation with your doctor, here are a few tips to ensure that your first appointment is no sweat.
When to Call Your Doctor About Heavy Sweating
How do you know that you have a problem with excessive sweating? Here are a few clues:
- You produce so much sweat that you soak through your shirt, pants, or socks
- You sweat even when it is cool outside or you aren't exercising
- You sweat at night, especially if you soak through your sheets
- You have other symptoms, such as chest pain or heart palpitations, shortness of breath, fever, or unintentional weight loss
A number of different doctors treat hyperhidrosis. You can start by seeing your primary care doctor or call for an appointment with a dermatologist.
What to Tell Your Doctor About Your Heavy Sweating
When you go in for your first doctor's visit, it helps to know a little bit about your sweating patterns and what seems to trigger heavy sweating. In the days or weeks before your appointment, keep a diary of the following information:
- How many times a day do you have to change your clothes?
- How many times a day do you bathe or shower, and what type of soap do you use?
- What methods have you tried (such as antiperspirants or absorbent foot pads) to control excessive sweating?
- How has heavy sweating affected your life -- for example, have you had to change social plans, lost friends, or been affected at work because of hyperhidrosis?
- Do you experience any skin irritation at the site of the heavy sweating?
- How does heavy sweating affect you emotionally? Do you ever get sad or angry because of it?