My personal experience with excessive sweating
Some people sweat more, others less. And this is independent of age, gender or weight.
I've been sweating since I was 16 years old and I'm still sweating today at 60. laulas®, the vest that prevents your sweat stains - without interfering with your body - was developed from this in 2008. A vest with the option of inserting additional absorbent pads in the armpit area. Because for many sufferers, only a sewn-in membrane fabric is not enough for their sweat.
For those who, like me, sweat a lot, I have listed my knowledge and experience from my own experience and conversations with many customers about sweating on these pages. I am not a doctor, I cannot and do not want to replace one. However, I know from many personal conversations with other hyperhidrosis sufferers that a conversation is very helpful. Please see these lines as a conversation between "sweaty people" - you and me.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.
When does excessive sweating start?
For most of those affected, hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating) already begins during puberty. Many of our clients are parents who want to help their children prevent their underarm sweating. They fight for their children (yes, it is often like a battle), for whom sweat patches are naturally a big problem already at school. Whereas this time is already difficult enough for the youngsters.
BUT! Very often this extreme sweating stops again after puberty. However, you don't know beforehand who it will stop with.
There are also people who start sweating more later. For me it was a constant increase in the amount of sweat - with every professional development. Until I invented laulas® and talked openly about my underarm sweat - as I am doing now. This not only immediately prevented my sweat stains, but also significantly reduced my sweat quantity, but more about that later.
Why do we sweat?
Here, medicine provides many answers and causes. Countless websites list the answers. On our "Hyperhidrosis" page, you will also find the most important causes that can lead to heavy sweating.
Medicine distinguishes between eccrine sweat glands, which produce sweat, and apocrine sweat glands. As scent glands, these then provide our respective "scent". There are big differences in scent, our sweat smell. Personally, I don't have an odour problem, despite my large amounts of sweat. However, I have met clients who have to change their clothes several times a day because their sweat smell is very strong and also very unpleasant.
Personally, I have tried many, many therapies and asked everyone from doctors to faith healers why I sweat and what I can do about it. I have described this on the page "my story".
There is a basic distinction between secondary hyperhidrosis (due to an underlying disease) and primary hyperhidrosis (your doctor can't find an underlying disease or disorder).
My very personal diagnosis for my sweating: Whenever I "think" I am overworked, my underarm sweat and also head sweat starts to flow. As a former sales manager with representative tasks and a specialist lecturer, I have experienced countless situations in which I had to experience embarrassing sweat attacks. And believe me: I was neither professionally nor rhetorically overwhelmed. But it happened anyway because my psyche controlled it that way.
Again and again I hear in conversations with clients, and it is no different with me, "after work my sweating stops". Our work and also special occasions like weddings increase our sweating enormously. My armpit sweat then flows in streams. And I didn't even need a difficult meeting to do that. I sweat even when I'm sitting alone in the office. Maybe it's always the subliminal fear of doing something wrong, of supposedly not being good enough, that causes my sweat stains. As I said, this is my personal sweat diagnosis - which is almost always answered with "it's the same with me".
We hyperhidrotics (that's what we are called in technical jargon) do not sweat because the sun is shining outside and it is hot. We sweat because "emotional" situations stimulate our sweat flow. It doesn't matter whether it's winter or summer. "I sweat even in the freezer" - is one of my statements. And that's not just a saying. In my younger years as a salesman, I led company tours that included 5 minutes in a -25 degree cold freezer. My sweat stains grew there, too.
Where do we sweat?
2-4 million sweat glands ensure that our body does not overheat. It is therefore a natural and important support for our body. Depending on the sweat study and statistics, there are slight differences between the figures and ratios given.
About 2-3 % of people sweat above the "normal" level. The sweat glands are distributed over the body and so some people suffer from underarm sweating and others from head sweating, back sweating, hand sweating, foot sweating, bosom sweating or even butt sweating. And some of us also sweat in more than one place. For me, it's underarm sweating and head sweating.
The consequences are always sweat stains and flowing sweat. Visible sweat stains. Whether they are the size of a tangerine, a grapefruit or a melon. They have one thing in common: they are embarrassing. Although sweating is natural and important. It cools us down. One of the main reasons why I invented laulas® was that I didn't want to stop my natural cooling and I didn't want to interfere with my body. A blockage of the sympathetic nerve (which controls our sweating), for example, is already a real intervention in our body. Some clients have told me sad experiences of compensatory sweating.
The distribution of hyperhidrosis on the different parts of the body can be quantified as follows:
Approximately 60% of those affected suffer from "sweaty hands" or "sweaty feet".
Approximately 40% of those affected suffer from excessive underarm perspiration.
Approximately 10% of those affected suffer from excessive sweating on the head and/or other parts of the body.
What is compensatory sweating?
Compensatory means to balance. Compensating our sweat flow (compensatory sweating), after it has been prevented in one area, can increase the sweat flow in another area of the body. Compensatory sweating therefore moves stopped sweat flow to another area of the body. First in the armpits, then increasingly on the back. The body needs its cooling.
There are many different statements about compensatory sweating for the various treatments that prevent sweating. Some say "it is possible", others say "no, it is not possible". There does not seem to be any scientific study on whether Botox, antiperspirants or sweat gland suction cause compensatory sweating and how much.
What there are a lot of reports about, however, is very strong compensatory sweating after a sympathectomy (ETS). Here, part of the sympathetic border cord that regulates sweating in the region is surgically severed. Some say this is an unavoidable side effect, others say it affects 60-80% of sufferers. Some sufferers would rather have the condition they had before the operation back, so strong is the compensatory sweating.
The sweat does not stop flowing, it seeks another way for its task of vital cooling.
Thoughts on sweat and fear
Why do we actually sweat?
So much is written about the possible physical causes of excessive sweating, but almost never about the psychological causes. Yet by far most of us who are affected sweat out of fear. Basically, fear always arises when there is a danger of losing something. Fear of loss. A job, a loved one, privileges, to name but a few. All people have these fears. For some, it shows itself through excessive sweating.
But what fear of loss do we have when we sweat? After decades of countless sweats of my own, I see it in the perceived overload. Fear of not being able to cope with what is happening. And thus fear of losing something through embarrassing sweat stains. Loss of reputation as a professional, leader, applicant... And this fear then prevents or slows down our development. Just as every fear inhibits development. "He can't do it, he doesn't know it, he's out of his depth, he has something to hide, he has...."
Even though this is almost never true, it shouts inside us. Overheating due to supposed excessive demands is the result and our body starts to cool down - the sweat flows. Even if we are optimally prepared, competent and also not rhetorically untalented. There is fear of situations where we stand on a stage. Whether in a meeting, at a job interview, at a private party, a lecture, at an important appointment. The sweat flows, even though we are very good at it all.
And with the flow of sweat grows the fear of bigger and bigger sweat stains. Here it is, the so often called vicious circle. Many sufferers lose the problem of excessive sweating after puberty. Why? Because this time in our lives is probably particularly marked by new things, the unknown and the pressure of wanting to prove oneself, of having to prove oneself. And others lose their sweating only when they get older and approach retirement. Then, too, you no longer have to prove something to the world and to yourself so often. The daily challenges become fewer and fewer.
Many sufferers will recognise themselves in these lines, but what to do? How to solve this problem? Honestly, I can't give you a prescription. And I have tried so many things. Who can conjure away our deep fears that work so subliminally. There would be no excessive sweating if a psychologist could take away these fears.
What we can do is prevent the visible sweats that we are all so afraid of.
With this in mind, the laulas® anti-sweat shirt with the exchangeable absorbent inserts was created in 2008.
My sweat stains have not disappeared, but they have become significantly less, just like the amount of sweat.
When the sweats subside, so does our fear of them.
Because laulas® does not allow sweat stains.
Only a doctor can give you further information and help. Only general information and the own experiences of a person affected can be described here.
Why does our sweat smell?
Sweat doesn't smell at all!
Only what the bacteria on our skin turn it into can become an unpleasant smell of sweat. Butyric and formic acid are in the end the cause of unpleasant sweat smell.
But let's start from the beginning: Fresh sweat does not smell unpleasant. It consists of 99% water, some salts and - this is the sweat smell problem in the end - food for bacteria (sugar, fat, urea, lactic acid...). When the bacteria on your skin accept this food supply, it starts to "smell" for many people. So it is the bacteria that are to blame for an unpleasant body odour, not the sweat.
The longer the bacteria make themselves at home in your armpits (or feet), the stronger the smell they cause.
Hyperhidrosis, the excessive sweating, can increase the odour. However, about 2 % of people do not smell of underarm sweat at all. A genetic variant is said to be the reason. For all others, the longer the bacteria sit on the skin, the stronger the smell. Here, too, the exchangeable absorbent pads from laulas® help, as they absorb the sweat from the skin and trap it firmly. This removes it from the skin and at least partially deprives the bacteria on the skin of their nourishment.