By Medicover Hospitals / 23 March 2022
What is Hyperhidrosis ?
Hyperhidrosis is abnormally high sweating that isn't caused by heat or exercise. People suffering from hyperhidrosis may sweat even when the temperature is low or they are at rest. Sweat may soak through the clothes or drip off throughout the hands. This form of profusely sweating perspiration can induce social anxiety, in addition to disturbing typical everyday activities.
Most people sweat when they exercise, get tired, when they are in a hot environment, or when they are anxious or stressed. There is profuse sweating (over sweating) in the hands and feet.
When to see a doctor
Excessive sweating can be a sign of a serious condition. Seek medical attention right away if your excessive sweating is accompanied by lightheadedness, chest pain, or nausea.
Consult your doctor if:
- You start sweating more than usual.
- Sweating interferes with your daily routine.
- Sweating is associated with emotional distress or social withdrawal.
- You have night sweats
Sweating is your body's natural cooling mechanism. When your body temperature rises, your nervous system automatically activates your sweat glands. It is also common when you are nervous which happens especially on your palms.
Types of Hyperhidrosis
Primary focal (essential) hyperhidrosis
It is the most common type of hyperhidrosis. The nerves responsible for signaling your sweat glands become overactive in this type, even if they haven't been triggered by physical activity or a temperature rise. The problem is exacerbated by stress or nervousness. This type typically affects your palms and soles, as well as your face.
This type of hyperhidrosis has no medical cause because it sometimes runs in families and may have a hereditary component.
When excessive sweating is caused by a medical condition, this is referred to as secondary hyperhidrosis. It's the rarer variety. It is more likely to cause excessive sweating throughout your body. Conditions that cause over sweating are:
Certain medications, as well as opioid withdrawal, can cause excessive sweating.
- Hot flashes during menopause
- Thyroid issues
- Low blood sugar levels
- Certain types of cancer
- Heart attack
- Nervous system dysfunctions
Hyperhidrosis complications include:
Infections - People who sweat excessively are more likely to develop more severe skin infections.
Social and emotional consequences - It can be embarrassing to have clammy or dripping hands and perspiration-soaked clothes. Your medical condition may have an impact on your ability to pursue work and educational objectives.
Your doctor will inquire about your medical history and symptoms during your session. You could also need a physical exam or testing to figure out what's causing your problem.
Your doctor may recommend blood, urine, or other lab tests to determine if your sweating is caused by another medical problem, such as hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid) or low blood sugar (hypoglycemia).
Tests on sweat
Sweat test for thermoregulation, Activate the pop-up dialogue box test, an iodine-starch test, skin conductance, and a thermoregulatory sweat test are among the tests available to localize sweating locations and determine the severity of your problem.
If an underlying medical condition is causing the problem, it will be treated first. If no particular cause is diagnosed, treatment focuses on reducing excessive sweating. You may need to try a combination of treatments at times. Even if your sweating improves after treatment, it is possible that it will return.
The following medications are used to treat hyperhidrosis:
Antiperspirant - Your doctor may prescribe you to use an antiperspirant containing aluminum chloride (Drysol, Xerac Ac). This product might cause irritation in the skin and eyes. It is typically applied to the affected skin before going to sleep. Then, when you wake up, you wash the product off, being careful not to get any in your eyes. If your skin becomes irritated, hydrocortisone cream may be of assistance.
Creams or gels - Glycopyrrolate-containing prescription cream may help with facial and head hyperhidrosis.
Medication that blocks nerves - Some oral medications inhibit the chemical messengers that allow certain nerves to communicate with one another. Some people may experience less sweating as a result of this. Dry mouth, blurred vision, and bladder issues are all possible side effects.
Antidepressants - Some antidepressant medications can also reduce sweating. Furthermore, they may aid in reducing the anxiety that exacerbates hyperhidrosis.
Injections of botulinum toxin - Botulinum toxin (Botox, Myobloc, and others) temporarily paralyzes the nerves that cause sweating. First, your skin will be iced or anesthetized. Several injections will be required for each affected area of your body. The effects last six to twelve months, after which the treatment must be repeated.
This treatment can be painful and some people experience temporary muscle weakness in the treated area as a result of it.
Surgical and non-surgical procedures
Other treatments for hyperhidrosis include:
Microwave treatment - A device that emits microwave energy is used in this therapy to destroy sweat glands. Treatment consists of two 20- to 30-minute sessions spaced three months apart. A change in skin sensation and some discomfort are possible side effects. This treatment may be costly and not widely available.
Removal of sweat glands - If you only sweat excessively in your armpits, removing the sweat glands there may help. If you aren't responding to other treatments, a minimally invasive procedure known as suction curettage may be an option.
Hyperhidrosis Surgery on the nerves (sympathectomy)- The surgeon makes an incision, burns, or clamps the spinal nerves that control sweating in your hands during this procedure. This procedure may cause excessive sweating in other parts of your body in some cases (compensatory sweating). In most cases, surgery is not an option for isolated head and neck sweating. A variant of this procedure disrupts nerve signals without removing the sympathetic nerve (sympathectomy).
Support and coping
Discomfort and embarrassment can result from hyperhidrosis. Wet hands or feet, or wet stains on clothing, may make it difficult to work or enjoy recreational activities. You may become withdrawn or self-conscious as a result of your symptoms. Other people's reactions may irritate or frustrate you.
In addition to speaking with your doctor, you may wish to consult with a counselor. You may also find it beneficial to speak with other people who suffer from hyperhidrosis.