Hyperhidrosis, often known as polyhidrosis or sudorrhea, is really a condition described as excessive sweating. The sweating can impact just one single specific area or even the whole body.
Although not life-threatening, it can be uncomfortable and cause embarrassment and psychological trauma. In this article, we shall look at the causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatments for Hyperhidrosis.
What is hyperhidrosis?
Fast facts on hyperhidrosis
Here are a few tips about hyperhidrosis. More detail and supporting information is in the main article.
Hyperhidrosis is likely to begin during adolescence
Approximately 7.8 million Americans have hyperhidrosis
Mostly, the feet, hands, face, and armpits suffer
There are a variety of remedies that may reduce symptoms
What exactly is hyperhidrosis?
Hyperhidrosis can be psychologically damaging.
The unwanted sweating linked to hyperhidrosis is usually most active within the hands, feet, armpits, along with the groin because of the relatively high power of sweat glands.
Focal hyperhidrosis: When the sweating in excess is localized. For example, palmoplantar hyperhidrosis is sweating in excess of the palms and soles.
Generalized hyperhidrosis: Excessive sweating affects the entire body.
Hyperhidrosis may be present from birth or might develop in the future. However, most instances of excessive sweating tend to start during a person’s teenage life.
The situation can be because of a fundamental medical condition, or have no apparent cause:
Primary idiopathic hyperhidrosis: “Idiopathic” means “of unknown cause.” In the majority of cases, the hyperhidrosis is localized.
Secondary hyperhidrosis: Anyone sweats a lot of because of an actual health problem, for example obesity, gout, menopause, a tumor, mercury poisoning, diabetes, or hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid gland).
Based on the International Hyperhidrosis Association, approximately 2.8 percent of Americans are influenced by hyperhidrosis; that’s around 7.8 million people.
For many, hyperhidrosis symptoms are extremely severe it becomes embarrassing, causing discomfort and anxiety. The patient’s career choices, leisure time activities, personal relationships, self-image, and emotional well-being might be affected.
Fortunately, there are many options that may treat symptoms effectively. The greatest challenge for hyperhidrosis is definitely the significant number of people who do not seek medical health advice, either because of embarrassment or as they do not realize that effective treatment exists.
Signs and symptoms of hyperhidrosis
Hyperhidrosis is identified as sweating that disrupts normal activities. Episodes of excessive sweating occur at least once per week for no clear reason and have an impact on self confidence or day to day activities.
Symptoms of hyperhidrosis can include:
Clammy or wet palms in the hands
Clammy or wet soles of the feet
Noticeable sweating that soaks through clothing
Those with hyperhidrosis might experience the following:
Irritating and painful skin problems, including fungal or bacterial infections
Worrying about having stained clothing
Reluctant to make physical contact
Socially withdrawn, sometimes ultimately causing depression
Select employment where physical contact or human interaction is just not work requirement
Spend a lot of time each day working with sweat, for example changing clothes, wiping, placing napkins or pads underneath the arms, washing, wearing bulky, or dark clothes
Worry a lot more than others about body odor
Experts will not be certain why, but excessive sweating while asleep is not common for people who have primary hyperhidrosis (what type not connected to any underlying disease).
Causes of hyperhidrosis
The sources of primary hyperhidrosis usually are not well-understood; alternatively, secondary hyperhidrosis has a long list of known causes.
Reasons for primary hyperhidrosis
[Sweaty man in grey shirt]
Primary hyperhidrosis appears to have a genetic component.
People employed to believe that primary hyperhidrosis was connected to the patient’s mental and emotional state, how the condition was psychological and only affected stressed, anxious, or nervous individuals.
However, recent research has demonstrated that people who have primary hyperhidrosis are no quite likely going to feelings of anxiety, nervousness, or emotional stress than the other population when exposed to the same triggers.
In fact, this is basically the other way round – the emotional and mental feelings gone through by many patients with hyperhidrosis are due to the excessive sweating.
Research has also shown that certain genes play a role in hyperhidrosis, rendering it look much more likely could possibly be inherited. The majority of patients with primary hyperhidrosis possess a sibling or parent with the condition.
Factors behind secondary hyperhidrosis
Hyperthyroidism – an overactive thyroid gland
Some cancers, for example Hodgkin’s disease
Some infections – HIV, malaria, TB (tuberculosis)
Some medications, including some antidepressants, anticholinesterases (for Alzheimer’s disease), pilocarpine (for glaucoma), propranolol (for hypertension)
Initially, a doctor may try to eliminate any underlying conditions, for example an overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism) or low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) by ordering blood and urine tests.
Patients is going to be asked in regards to the patterns of their sweating – which body parts suffer, the frequency of which sweating episodes occur, and whether sweating occurs throughout sleep.
The person may be asked some questions, or must complete a questionnaire concerning the impact of sweating in excess; questions could include:
Would you carry anything around to cope with episodes of excessive sweating, including napkins, antiperspirants, towels, or pads?
Does hyperhidrosis affect your behavior or mental state while you are in public places?
Has hyperhidrosis had any impact on your employment?
Maybe you have lost a pal due to hyperhidrosis?
How often can you alter your clothing?
The frequency of which can you wash or have got a shower/bath?
How many times you think about sweating in excess?
Thermoregulatory sweat test: a powder that is responsive to moisture is used towards the skin. When sweating in excess occurs at room temperature, the powder changes color. The person is going to be exposed to high heat and humidity in a sweat cabinet, which triggers sweating during the entire whole body.
When in contact with heat, individuals who do not have hyperhidrosis tend not to sweat excessively from the palms of the hands, but patients with hyperhidrosis do. This test can also help the doctor determine the severity of the condition.
Some alterations in daily activity and lifestyle can help improve symptoms:
Antiperspirants – deodorants do not stop sweating, but antiperspirants sprays do. Some prescription antiperspirants include aluminum chloride, which plugs the sweat glands.
Armpit shields – pads worn from the armpit to protect a garment from perspiration.
Clothing – certain synthetic fibers, for example nylon, may worsen symptoms. Loose clothing is much better.
Shoes – synthetic materials are more likely to worsen symptoms. Natural materials, including leather, are recommended.
Socks – some socks are better at absorbing moisture, such as thick, soft ones created from natural fibers.
In case the measures stated earlier are certainly not effective enough, a physician may refer the individual to your skin specialist (dermatologist), who may recommend:
Iontophoresis – the hands and feet 73dexlpky submerged inside a bowl of water. A painless electric current is passed from the water. Most patients need two to four 20-thirty minute treatments.
Botulinum toxin (Botox injections) – Botox injections block the nerves that trigger the sweat glands. Patients with hyperhidrosis may require several injections for effective results.
Anticholinergic drugs – these medications inhibit the transmission of parasympathetic nerve impulses. Patients generally notice a noticeable difference in symptoms within about 2 weeks.
ETS (Endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy) – this surgical intervention is just recommended in severe cases which have not responded to other treatments. The nerves that carry messages for the sweat glands are cut.
ETS may be used to treat iontophoresis machine from the face, hands or armpits. ETS is not appropriate for treating hyperhidrosis of the feet because of the risk of permanent sexual dysfunction.