Normally, people sweat on the face when it is very warm. After an intense workout, the body releases sweat through the skin pores and sweat can trickle down on the face. Entertainers or stage performers who are under the hot and glaring spotlights can sweat all over the body, including the face. In these instances, sweating is a regular process in which sweat glands secrete fluid to maintain normal body temperature. Body processes are complex but every gland, organ, and system works in coordination with the others to maintain health. When one of these components goes out of control or becomes overactive, then it’s an indicator of an illness or disorder. Thus, when a person perspires in the head and face beyond the normal fluid requirement, he can be suffering from a medical condition called facial sweating or hyperhidrosis.
Facial sweating can be very embarrassing. People don’t actually know you have hyperhidrosis. Seeing you drenched in sweat will give an impression of being unclean and having poor hygiene. Facial hyperhidrosis is excessive sweating in the forehead, nose, above the lips and in the head area. It can literally mean dripping wet if you don’t wipe the sweat beads immediately and keep your face dry.
Facial blushing and facial sweating are closely related. A person blushes or turns red in the face when he is in an exciting or awkward situation. After blushing, sweating immediately starts. It is therefore emotional in nature. Teenage boys blush and sweat when introduced to girls they like. They might not be aware of it but the hypothalamus sends the signal of excitement or happiness. It is also the hypothalamus that signals the neurotransmitters to stimulate the sweat glands to over-secrete fluid.
Speaking or performing onstage to a large audience causes anxiety which triggers perspiration. Stage fright can cause a person to perspire profusely and become self-conscious; worse, he may forget his lines and he will sweat uncontrollably. The situation can also cause hands to be cold and clammy. In short, facial sweating is prompted by strong emotions like anxiety, panic, fear, or obsession.
Remedies to cope with facial sweating are similar to other types of hyperhidrosis.
- Seeking the help of medical professionals like physicians and dermatologist should be the first step. They can give information on the latest technology and treatment for facial hyperhidrosis.
- Herbal and homeopathic treatment can be tried first. Homeopathic that comes in tincture or pill forms contain nat mur , lupulus, castoreum and nitricum that curb perspiration in the face.
- Breathing exercises or meditation can help to calm oneself from stress and anxiety.
- Medicines containing synthetic anticholinergic such as glycopyrrolate (Robinul) have helped in minimizing facial sweating.
- There are topical solutions with aluminum chloride base such as deodorants. Another active ingredient of aluminum chloride hexahydrate is found in clinically approved antiperspirant like DriClor and can give temporary relief too from facial sweating; however, it can irritate sensitive skin.
- Injection on the affected area with botulinum toxins (Botox) is also suggested but can be costly. Asymmetry is a known temporary side effect of Botox when some of the toxins are diffused into the facial muscles. To resolve this, additional Botox injections are necessary.
- Permanent solution through endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy (ETS) has been successful by cutting or clamping the nerves found near the chest cavity which stimulate the sweat glands. As an side effect, patients may suffer sweating in other areas (compensatory sweating) after this irreversible procedure.
Aside from emotional factors, diet can also trigger facial sweating. Avoid spicy food because they contain capsaicin which can shoot up your temperature. Processed foods activate sweating because they contain toxins that the body is forced to release through the skin. Drinking alcoholic beverages can dilate the blood vessels and body temperature rise too; caffeine drinks speed up metabolism and body temperature increases. These usually make you sweat from head to neck.
Aid your body to cool down especially in hot weather and stressful situation. Drinking more than 8 glasses of water can help. Remember that when you sweat, more water is needed by your body.
As a final word, don’t let facial hyperhidrosis rule your life. It’s something that causes distress to the sufferer but never let it ruin your life. Nowadays, patients can get lots of information from hyperhidrosis organizations such as the International Hyperhidrosis Society. Hyperhidrosis is a medical condition that people are becoming aware of and it can be treated one way or another. Find out which one is best for you and stop facial sweating.