Today’s Wonder of the Day was inspired by Arya. Arya Wonders, “What is hyperhydrosis?” Thanks for WONDERing with us, Arya!
How do you stay cool on a hot summer day? Do you drink ice water? Grab a popsicle from the freezer? Take a break inside where it’s cool? Summer is a great time to spend time outdoors. But it’s important to cool off when you get too hot.
Lucky for us, our bodies also help us cool off. As soon as we get warm, we start to sweat! Some people complain that sweat smells bad and stains clothes. That’s sometimes true. However, it also helps us cool off! Without sweat, our bodies would overheat easily.
How much sweat is normal? Everyone sweats different amounts. It also depends on factors like activity level, stress, and clothing choices. Do you think you sweat a lot? If you’re worried, you can talk to your doctor. They may want to check you for hyperhidrosis.
Hyperhidrosis is a condition that causes excessive sweating. It affects about 2-3 percent of Americans. Often, hyperhidrosis starts when a person is a teenager. However, it can last throughout adulthood.
There are two types of hyperhidrosis. Generalized hyperhidrosis happens all over the body. Focal hyperhidrosis is just in some parts of the body. That means a person might sweat heavily from just their underarms, palms, or other places.
Are you WONDERing what causes hyperhidrosis? Sometimes, it’s caused by an illness. However, hyperhidrosis also sometimes runs in families. Focal hyperhidrosis is often passed down by parents.
Hyperhidrosis can cause discomfort. Extra sweat makes it hard to hold on to a pencil at school or a softball at practice. It can also make using touch screens difficult.
Do you have hyperhidrosis? There are many things you can do to control your sweat. Doctors often prescribe medicine in the form of lotion for the areas that over-sweat. Sometimes, they might recommend oral medicine, too. Some people even have surgery to help reduce hyperhidrosis.
It’s important to remember that hyperhidrosis is nothing to feel embarrassed about. After all, everyone sweats different amounts! Some people don’t even sweat at all—that’s called anhidrosis.
Did you know humans sweat more than most animals? It’s true! You won’t see your dog sweating during a game of fetch. However, primates like monkeys and apes sweat much like people do.
The next time you feel yourself start to sweat, be glad your body has a way to cool off! And if you think you may have hyperhidrosis, talk to your doctor. It’s definitely treatable with a little help!
Standards: NGSS.LS3.A, NGSS.LS1.A, CCRA.L.3, CCRA.L.6, CCRA.R.1, CCRA.R.2, CCRA.R.4, CCRA.R.10, CCRA.W.2, CCRA.W.7, CCRA.W.8, CCRA.W.9, CCRA.L.1, CCRA.L.2, CCRA.SL.1, CCRA.SL.2