Is Pasma actually hyperhidrosis? Here’s how to treat excessive sweating!
Most Filipino know about ‘Pasma’. ‘Pasma’ happens when someone washes themselves in cold water after working or playing in the warm temperatures. The hands, feet and body of the individual will then “catch” pasma and start excessively sweating.
This leads many to undertake unnecessary preventative measures to avoid becoming ‘pasmado’, such as not taking cold showers, nor washing their hands with cold water. Essentially, one cannot come into contact with cold water when they’re tired or have been exposed to heat and must wait up around an hour before doing so. If you expose yourself to cold conditions, then you can catch Pasma (aka excessive sweating), despite the fact that you were most likely seeking cold to refresh yourself after sweating all day! As temperatures in the Philippines are consistently high, many can see how this could be highly inconvenient, especially to those who want to cool down after a long day.
The folkloric illness’ popularity still prevails in Filipino culture, where it is believed to be a real condition, despite no medical or scientific evidence corroborating its existence. Stories of its occurrence have been passed down for generations, cementing its status as an old wives’ tale in modern times. However, there is still an element of superstition that surrounds the condition, which contributes to its sustained popularity in Filipino society. Like many superstitions, while many do not really believe in it, they will avoid it if they can, just to be “safe”.
Regardless of beliefs, there is no denying the similarity between the characteristics of Pasma and hyperhidrosis. The link is so strong, in fact, that some even believe that hyperhidrosis is the English word for Pasma. In hilot (Filipino alternative medicine) tradition, excessive sweating in certain parts of the body, especially the palms of the hands, is called “Pasma”, as documented in several books on the topic. In modern medical textbooks, these same symptoms are classified as those of hyperhidrosis.
Misconception regarding the cause of excessive sweating leads to misdiagnosis and people seeking treatment or “cures” that will not help their condition. Treatment for Pasma is rooted in homeopathy and allopathy tradition, with ‘cures’ ranging from teas and herbs to oils and salt soaks, and even urine. The condition has even spurred old wives’ tales of its own, including the belief that one must pee on their hands first thing in the morning to prevent Pasma.
One of the most effective ways to treat hyperhidrosis is with iontophoresis, which, ironically, requires the user to put their hands and feet in water! The process works by conducting a mild electrical current through the skin using tap water, which neutralizes the connection between the sweat nerve and sweat glands. Studies show that success rates have reached upwards of 98%. Iontophoresis is a non-invasive, drug-free, and needle-free alternative to other treatments on the market. So for those looking for a natural treatment that is more in line with their cultural and/or medicinal beliefs, this is a clinically-proven effective treatment that could significantly change their lives.
Dermadry wants to spread awareness about hyperhidrosis and iontophoresis treatment. If your suffering from excessive sweating of the hands and feet, then you most likely suffer from hyperhidrosis, a common medical condition that affects 4.8% of the population. If someone you know suffers from excessive sweating but may be oblivious to the cause or treatment, then share this with them! If you’d like to learn more about the condition and treatment, click here, and discover Dermadry’s products below!