Hyperhidrosis, also referred to as polyhidrosis or sudorrhea, is really a condition seen as a sweating in excess. The sweating may affect just one single specific area or the entire body.
However, not life-threatening, it can be uncomfortable and cause embarrassment and psychological trauma. In this article, we are going to glance at the causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and therapy for hyperhidrosis.
Exactly what is hyperhidrosis?
Fast facts on hyperhidrosis
Here are several tips about hyperhidrosis. More detail and supporting information is incorporated in the main article.
Hyperhidrosis will begin during adolescence
Approximately 7.8 million Americans have hyperhidrosis
Mostly, the feet, hands, face, and armpits are affected
There are numerous of remedies that could reduce symptoms
What is hyperhidrosis?
Hyperhidrosis could be psychologically damaging.
The excessive sweating linked to hyperhidrosis is normally most active in the hands, feet, armpits, and the groin because of the relatively high concentration of sweat glands.
Focal hyperhidrosis: As soon as the excessive sweating is localized. For instance, palmoplantar hyperhidrosis is excessive sweating from the palms and soles.
Generalized hyperhidrosis: Excessive sweating affects the entire body.
Hyperhidrosis might be present from birth or might develop in the future. However, many instances of sweating in excess usually start throughout a person’s teen years.
The disorder might be as a result of an underlying health issue, or have zero apparent cause:
Primary idiopathic hyperhidrosis: “Idiopathic” means “of unknown cause.” In nearly all cases, the hyperhidrosis is localized.
Secondary hyperhidrosis: The individual sweats too much as a consequence of a fundamental health condition, such as 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 suffer from hyperhidrosis; that’s around 7.8 million people.
For some, hyperhidrosis symptoms are so severe which it becomes embarrassing, causing discomfort and anxiety. The patient’s career choices, spare time activities, personal relationships, self-image, and emotional well-being might be affected.
Fortunately, there are several options which may treat symptoms effectively. The largest challenge for treating hyperhidrosis may be the significant number of people who do not seek health advice, either because of embarrassment or because they do not understand that effective treatment exists.
Signs and symptoms of hyperhidrosis
Hyperhidrosis is identified as sweating that disrupts normal activities. Instances of excessive sweating occur at least one time per week for no clear reason and possess an impact on social interaction or daily activities.
Symptoms of hyperhidrosis might include:
Clammy or wet palms of your hands
Clammy or wet soles of the feet
Noticeable sweating that soaks through clothing
Individuals with hyperhidrosis might experience the following:
Irritating and painful skin problems, such as 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 not really a job requirement
Spend a substantial amount of time every day working with sweat, like changing clothes, wiping, placing napkins or pads underneath the arms, washing, wearing bulky, or dark clothes
Worry over other people about body odor
Experts will not be certain why, but sweating in excess throughout sleep is not common for those who have primary hyperhidrosis (what type not linked to any underlying medical condition).
Causes of hyperhidrosis
The sources of primary hyperhidrosis will not be well-understood; alternatively, secondary hyperhidrosis has a lot of known causes.
Factors behind primary hyperhidrosis
[Sweaty man in grey shirt]
Primary hyperhidrosis appears to have a genetic component.
People accustomed to assume that primary hyperhidrosis was linked to the patient’s mental and emotional state, how the condition was psychological and only affected stressed, anxious, or nervous individuals.
However, recent studies have demonstrated that people who have primary hyperhidrosis are no very likely to feelings of anxiety, nervousness, or emotional stress than the remainder of the population when open to the same triggers.
The truth is, it is the other way round – the emotional and mental feelings felt by many patients with hyperhidrosis are as a result of excessive sweating.
Studies have also shown that certain genes play a role in hyperhidrosis, making it look more inclined could possibly be inherited. The vast majority of patients with primary hyperhidrosis have a sibling or parent together with the condition.
Causes of 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 elevated blood pressure)
Initially, a physician may try to eliminate any underlying conditions, like an overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism) or low blood glucose levels (hypoglycemia) by ordering blood and urine tests.
Patients will likely be asked concerning the patterns of the sweating – which parts of the body are affected, the frequency of which sweating episodes occur, and whether sweating occurs throughout sleep.
The patient could be asked some questions, or need to complete a questionnaire about the impact of sweating in excess; questions might include:
Do you carry anything around to handle instances of sweating in excess, such as napkins, antiperspirants, towels, or pads?
Does hyperhidrosis affect your behavior or mental state when you find yourself in public places?
Has hyperhidrosis had any effect on your employment?
Maybe you have lost a colleague on account of hyperhidrosis?
How often would you alter your clothing?
How many times would you wash or have a shower/bath?
The frequency of which do you consider about excessive sweating?
Thermoregulatory sweat test: a powder which is responsive to moisture is applied to the skin. When excessive sweating occurs at room temperature, the powder changes color. The person will be in contact with high heat and humidity in a sweat cabinet, which triggers sweating throughout the whole body.
When subjected to heat, people that do not possess hyperhidrosis tend not to sweat excessively in the palms with their hands, but patients with hyperhidrosis do. This test will also help the doctor determine the severity of the situation.
Some alterations in daily activity and lifestyle may 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 within the armpit to shield a garment from perspiration.
Clothing – certain synthetic fibers, for example nylon, may worsen symptoms. Loose clothing is way better.
Shoes – synthetic materials will probably worsen symptoms. Natural materials, including leather, are recommended.
Socks – some socks are better at absorbing moisture, including thick, soft ones made of natural fibers.
In case the measures mentioned above are not effective enough, your doctor may refer the individual to a skin specialist (dermatologist), who may recommend:
Iontophoresis – the hands and feet 73dexlpky submerged within a bowl water. A painless electric current is passed through the water. Most sufferers 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 might require several injections for effective results.
Anticholinergic drugs – these medications inhibit the transmission of parasympathetic nerve impulses. Patients generally notice an improvement in symptoms within a couple of weeks.
ETS (Endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy) – this surgical intervention is merely recommended in severe cases which may have not responded with other treatments. The nerves that carry messages to the sweat glands are cut.
ETS are often used to treat iontophoresis machine from the face, hands or armpits. ETS will not be suggested for treating hyperhidrosis in the feet because of the probability of permanent sexual dysfunction.