Hyperhidrosis, also referred to as polyhidrosis or sudorrhea, is really a condition characterized by excessive sweating. The sweating may affect just one specific area or maybe the entire body.
While not life-threatening, it could be uncomfortable and cause embarrassment and psychological trauma. In this post, we are going to consider the causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatments for hyperhidrosis.
Exactly what is hyperhidrosis?
Fast facts on hyperhidrosis
Here are some key points about hyperhidrosis. More detail and supporting information is in the main article.
Hyperhidrosis will begin during adolescence
Approximately 7.8 million Americans have hyperhidrosis
Most frequently, the feet, hands, face, and armpits are affected
There are a variety of remedies that could reduce symptoms
Exactly what is hyperhidrosis?
Hyperhidrosis may be psychologically damaging.
The unwanted sweating linked to hyperhidrosis is commonly most active from the hands, feet, armpits, and the groin due to their relatively high concentration of sweat glands.
Focal hyperhidrosis: When the excessive sweating is localized. For instance, palmoplantar hyperhidrosis is excessive sweating from the palms and soles.
Generalized hyperhidrosis: Excessive sweating affects the complete body.
Hyperhidrosis may be present from birth or might develop down the road. However, most cases of excessive sweating often start during the person’s teenage life.
The disorder might be due to an underlying health issue, or do not have apparent cause:
Primary idiopathic hyperhidrosis: “Idiopathic” means “of unknown cause.” In nearly all cases, the hyperhidrosis is localized.
Secondary hyperhidrosis: Anyone sweats too much because of an actual health condition, such as obesity, gout, menopause, a tumor, mercury poisoning, diabetes mellitus, or hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid gland).
According to the International Hyperhidrosis Association, approximately 2.8 percent of Americans are influenced by hyperhidrosis; that’s around 7.8 million people.
For several, hyperhidrosis symptoms are extremely severe which it becomes embarrassing, causing discomfort and anxiety. The patient’s career choices, free time activities, personal relationships, self-image, and emotional well-being might be affected.
Fortunately, there are several options which can treat symptoms effectively. The biggest challenge in treating hyperhidrosis may be the significant number of people who do not seek medical advice, either on account of embarrassment or as they do not recognize that effective treatment exists.
Indications of hyperhidrosis
Hyperhidrosis is identified as sweating that disrupts normal activities. Episodes of excessive sweating occur at least once weekly for no clear reason and have an effect on dating life or daily activities.
Indications of hyperhidrosis may include:
Clammy or wet palms of your hands
Clammy or wet soles from the feet
Noticeable sweating that soaks through clothing
Individuals with hyperhidrosis might go through 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 not a job requirement
Spend a great deal of time each day dealing with sweat, for example changing clothes, wiping, placing napkins or pads under the arms, washing, wearing bulky, or dark clothes
Worry a lot more than other people about body odor
Experts are not certain why, but excessive sweating throughout sleep is just not common for people who have primary hyperhidrosis (the type not associated with any underlying disease).
Reasons behind hyperhidrosis
What causes primary hyperhidrosis are not well-understood; on the flip side, secondary hyperhidrosis has a lot of known causes.
Reasons for primary hyperhidrosis
[Sweaty man in grey shirt]
Primary hyperhidrosis appears to experience a genetic component.
People accustomed to assume that primary hyperhidrosis was linked to the patient’s mental and emotional state, the condition was psychological and merely affected stressed, anxious, or nervous individuals.
However, recent studies have demonstrated that individuals with primary hyperhidrosis are no very likely to feelings of anxiety, nervousness, or emotional stress than all of those other population when exposed to the identical triggers.
In reality, this is basically the other way round – the emotional and mental feelings seen by many patients with hyperhidrosis are because of the excessive sweating.
Studies have also shown that certain genes play a role in hyperhidrosis, so that it is look more inclined that it could be inherited. The vast majority of patients with primary hyperhidrosis have got a sibling or parent with the condition.
Reasons 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, like an overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism) or low blood sugar levels (hypoglycemia) by ordering blood and urine tests.
Patients will be asked in regards to the patterns in their sweating – which areas of the body are affected, how frequently sweating episodes occur, and whether sweating occurs while sleeping.
The patient may be asked a number of questions, or have to complete a questionnaire concerning the impact of excessive sweating; questions can include:
Would you carry anything around to deal with episodes of sweating in excess, like napkins, antiperspirants, towels, or pads?
Does hyperhidrosis affect your behavior or mental state when you are in public areas?
Has hyperhidrosis had any impact on your employment?
Have you ever lost a colleague because of hyperhidrosis?
How many times do you make positive changes to clothing?
The frequency of which can you wash or have a shower/bath?
How many times do you reckon about sweating in excess?
Thermoregulatory sweat test: a powder which happens to be understanding of moisture is applied to the skin. When excessive sweating occurs at room temperature, the powder changes color. The individual is then subjected to high heat and humidity in the sweat cabinet, which triggers sweating throughout the entire body.
When subjected to heat, people who do not have hyperhidrosis tend not to sweat excessively inside the palms of 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 can help improve symptoms:
Antiperspirants – deodorants will not stop sweating, but antiperspirants sprays do. Some prescription antiperspirants include aluminum chloride, which plugs the sweat glands.
Armpit shields – pads worn in the armpit to safeguard a garment from perspiration.
Clothing – certain synthetic fibers, including nylon, may worsen symptoms. Loose clothing is way better.
Shoes – synthetic materials are more inclined to worsen symptoms. Natural materials, such as leather, are recommended.
Socks – some socks are better at absorbing moisture, for example thick, soft ones created from natural fibers.
If the measures stated previously are not effective enough, a doctor may refer the person to some skin specialist (dermatologist), who may recommend:
Iontophoresis – the hands and feet 73dexlpky submerged in a bowl of water. A painless electric current is passed with the water. Most patients need 2 to 4 20-half hour treatments.
Botulinum toxin (Botox injections) – Botox injections block the nerves that trigger the sweat glands. Patients with hyperhidrosis might need several injections for effective results.
Anticholinergic drugs – these medications inhibit the transmission of parasympathetic nerve impulses. Patients generally notice a noticable difference in symptoms within a couple of weeks.
ETS (Endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy) – this surgical intervention is only recommended in severe cases that contain not responded to many other treatments. The nerves that carry messages to the sweat glands are cut.
ETS may be used to treat iontophoresis in the face, hands or armpits. ETS is not really recommended for treating hyperhidrosis in the feet due to probability of permanent sexual dysfunction.