What is hyperhidrosis?
Hyperhidrosis, or extreme sweating, is a common disorder that produces a lot of unhappiness. An estimated 2% -3% of Americans suffer from extreme sweating of the underarms (axillary hyperhidrosis) or of the tributes and soles of the feet (palmoplantar hyperhidrosis). Underarm difficulties tend to start in late adolescence, while palm and sole sweating often begins earlier, around age 13 (on average). Untreated, these problems may continue throughout life.
Sweating is awkward, it stains clothes, ruins romance, and complicates business and social interactions. Severe cases can have serious applied consequences as well, making it hard for people who suffer from it to hold a pen, grip a car steering wheel, or shake hands.
Symptoms of hyperhidrosis
Hyperhidrosis is distinct from sweating that disrupts normal activities. Affairs of excessive sweating occur at least once a week for no clear reason and have an effect on social life or daily activities. Simple lifestyle changes can sometimes ease the symptoms of hyperhidrosis.
Signs and symptoms of hyperhidrosis can include:
- Clammy palms
- Moist or damp soles of the feet
- Frequent sweating
- Noticeable sweating that soaks through clothing
People with hyperhidrosis may experience the following:
- Irritating and sore skin problems, such as fungal or bacterial infections
- Worrying about having stained clothes
- Reluctant to make physical contact
- Socially withdrawn, which sometimes leads to depression
- Select a job where physical contact or human interaction is not a job requirement
Spend a large amount of time each day dealing with sweat, such as changing clothes, cleaning yourself, putting napkins or pads under your arms, washing, wearing bulky or dark clothing. Worrying more than other people about body odor. Experts aren’t sure why, but excessive sweating during sleep is not common in people with primary hyperhidrosis.
Causes of hyperhidrosis
Certain nerves tell the body when to sweat. These nerves may overreact, causing excessive sweating. We know you cannot catch it from someone.
Dermatologists continue to study the causes of this condition. Treatments also continue to improve. If excessive sweating delays your life, you may poverty to see a dermatologist. There are many effective treatments available.
Who gets hyperhidrosis?
It is difficult to say how many people have extreme sweating. Many people never see a doctor. Some are embarrassed to talk to a doctor. Others do not realize that it is a treatable medical condition. Dermatologists estimation that 3% of people in the United States have excessive sweating. We know that some people are more likely to develop hyperhidrosis. Researchers have found that most people have one of the following:
- A family member who sweats excessively
- A medical condition that causes sweating
- Medications or food supplements they take, which can cause excessive sweating
When the excessive sweating occurs in one or two areas of the body, it is likely that a family member also has this condition. Many medical conditions can cause excessive sweating. These include diabetes and gout. A tumor or injury can also cause excessive sweating.
Women often sweat excessively when they have hot flashes during menopause. The cause is obvious. Some women, however, develop excessive sweating after going through menopause. This sweating has no obvious cause.
People of all races suffer from hyperhidrosis. Excessive sweating can start at any age. For many people, it begins when they are children or teenagers. Dermatologists believe that there are more children and adolescents with this condition than are diagnosed. Whether you live in a hot or cold climate, you can have hyperhidrosis.
Diagnosis of hyperhidrosis
Your doctor will ask you questions about your sweating, such as when and where it occurs. They will also perform certain tests, such as blood and urine tests, to determine if you have hyperhidrosis. Most doctors will diagnose primary hyperhidrosis based on history and physical exam. There are other tests that can confirm the diagnosis, but they are not routinely administered in daily practice.
A starch and iodine test involves putting iodine on the sweat area. Starch is sprayed on this area when the iodine dries. If the starch turns dark blue, you are sweating excessively. A paper test involves placing a special type of paper in the sweat area. The paper is weighed after it absorbs sweat. A heavier weight means that you have sweated excessively.
Your doctor may also prescribe a thermoregulatory test. Similar to the starch and iodine test, this test uses a special powder that is sensitive to moisture. The dust changes color in areas where there is excessive sweating. You can sit in a sauna or sweat cabin for the test. If you have hyperhidrosis, your palms are likely to sweat more than expected while in the sweat room.
A wide range of mutual treatments for hyperhidrosis includes:
- Antiperspirants: Excessive sweating can be controlled with strong antiperspirants, which plug the sweat ducts. Products comprising 10% to 20% aluminum chloride hexahydrate are the first line of treatment for underarm sweating. Some people may be prescribed a product that contains a higher dose of aluminum chloride, which is applied nightly to the affected areas. Antiperspirants can cause skin irritation and great doses of aluminum chloride can damage clothing.
- Medications: The use of some medications can prevent stimulation of the sweat glands. They are prescribed for certain types of hyperhidrosis, such as excessive sweating of the face. Medicines can have side effects and are not suitable for everyone.
- Iontophoresis: This procedure uses electricity to provisionally turn off the sweat gland. It is most effective for hand and foot sweating. The hands or feet are placed in the water and then a mild electrical current is passed through it. The electricity gradually increases until the person feels a slight tingling sensation. The therapy lasts about 10 to 30 minutes and needs several sessions. Side effects, although rare, include cracking of the skin and blisters.
- Botulinum toxin: Botulinum toxin is used to treat severe plantar, palmar, and armpit sweating. This condition is called primary axillary hyperhidrosis. Botulinum toxin injected into the armpit temporarily lumps the nerves that stimulate sweating. Side effects contain pain at the injection site and flu-like symptoms. Botulinum toxin used for palm sweat can cause mild but temporary weakness and severe pain.
- Endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy (ETS): In severe cases, a minimally invasive surgical technique called sympathectomy may be recommended when other treatments do not work. The procedure cuts a nerve and turns off the signal that tells the body to sweat excessively. It is usually done in people whose palms sweat much more than normal. It can also be used to treat extreme sweating of the face. ETS doesn’t work as well for people with excessive armpit sweating.
- Underarm surgery: This is surgery to remove the sweat glands from the armpits. Methods used contain laser, curettage (scraping), an excision (cutting), or liposuction. These procedures are performed under local anesthesia.
Complications of hyperhidrosis
Complications of hyperhidrosis include:
Infections People who sweat a lot are more prone to skin infections. Social and emotional effects. Having damp or clammy hands and sweat-soaked clothing can be embarrassing. Your condition may move your pursuit of work and educational goals.
Risks factors of hyperhidrosis
There is no known way to reduce the risk of developing primary hyperhidrosis. If you know that hyperhidrosis is hereditary, talk with your doctor about what to look for and when to be concerned. You can reduce the risk of secondary hyperhidrosis by treating the underlying medical condition. For chronic diseases like diabetes, regular medical care is an important part of managing your health.
A change in medicine can help, but don’t change the dose or stop taking a prescription without first talking to the doctor who prescribed it.
Is it possible to prevent hyperhidrosis?
No, it is not possible to prevent hyperhidrosis.