Hyperhidrosis, also referred to as polyhidrosis or sudorrhea, can be a condition characterized by excessive sweating. The sweating may affect merely one specific area or the whole body.
While not life-threatening, it can be uncomfortable and cause embarrassment and psychological trauma. In this post, we are going to check out the causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and management of hyperhidrosis.
What is hyperhidrosis?
Fast facts on hyperhidrosis
Here are several key points about hyperhidrosis. More detail and supporting information is within the main article.
Hyperhidrosis has a tendency to begin during adolescence
An estimated 7.8 million Americans have hyperhidrosis
Most often, the feet, hands, face, and armpits are affected
There are a number of remedies that may reduce symptoms
Precisely what is hyperhidrosis?
Hyperhidrosis may be psychologically damaging.
The excessive sweating connected with hyperhidrosis is normally most active inside the hands, feet, armpits, and also the groin due to their relatively high power of sweat glands.
Focal hyperhidrosis: As soon as the sweating in excess is localized. For instance, palmoplantar hyperhidrosis is sweating in excess in the palms and soles.
Generalized hyperhidrosis: Sweating in excess affects the entire body.
Hyperhidrosis can be present from birth or might develop later in life. However, many cases of sweating in excess have a tendency to start during the person’s teenage life.
The condition can be on account of an underlying health issue, or have no apparent cause:
Primary idiopathic hyperhidrosis: “Idiopathic” means “of unknown cause.” In the majority of cases, the hyperhidrosis is localized.
Secondary hyperhidrosis: The person sweats an excessive amount of as a consequence of an underlying health problem, for example obesity, gout, menopause, a tumor, mercury poisoning, diabetes, 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 a few, hyperhidrosis symptoms are incredibly severe that it becomes embarrassing, causing discomfort and anxiety. The patient’s career choices, extra time activities, personal relationships, self-image, and emotional well-being can be affected.
Fortunately, there are numerous options which may treat symptoms effectively. The biggest challenge for hyperhidrosis will be the significant amount of people who do not seek medical advice, either as a result of embarrassment or because they do not realize that effective treatment exists.
Indications of hyperhidrosis
Hyperhidrosis is identified as sweating that disrupts normal activities. Episodes of excessive sweating occur at least once every week for no clear reason and possess an impact on social interaction or day to day activities.
Signs and symptoms of hyperhidrosis can include:
Clammy or wet palms of your hands
Clammy or wet soles from the feet
Noticeable sweating that soaks through clothing
Those with hyperhidrosis might feel the following:
Irritating and painful skin problems, like fungal or bacterial infections
Worrying about having stained clothing
Hesitant to make physical contact
Socially withdrawn, sometimes leading to depression
Select employment where physical contact or human interaction is not work requirement
Spend a great deal of time each day dealing with sweat, like changing clothes, wiping, placing napkins or pads within the arms, washing, wearing bulky, or dark clothes
Worry greater than other folks about body odor
Experts usually are not certain why, but sweating in excess during sleep will not be common for those who have primary hyperhidrosis (what type not connected to any underlying condition).
Causes of hyperhidrosis
What causes primary hyperhidrosis are certainly not well-understood; alternatively, secondary hyperhidrosis has a long list of known causes.
Reasons behind primary hyperhidrosis
[Sweaty man in grey shirt]
Primary hyperhidrosis appears to have a genetic component.
People accustomed to think that primary hyperhidrosis was connected to the patient’s mental and emotional state, that the condition was psychological and just affected stressed, anxious, or nervous individuals.
However, recent reports have demonstrated that people with primary hyperhidrosis are no very likely to feelings of anxiety, nervousness, or emotional stress than the remainder of the population when exposed to a similar triggers.
In reality, it will be the other way round – the emotional and mental feelings gone through by many patients with hyperhidrosis are because of the excessive sweating.
Studies have also shown that particular genes be a factor in hyperhidrosis, which makes it look much more likely that it could be inherited. The majority of patients with primary hyperhidrosis have a sibling or parent with all the condition.
Reasons for secondary hyperhidrosis
Hyperthyroidism – an overactive thyroid gland
Some cancers, including 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 doctor may try to eliminate any underlying conditions, including an overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism) or low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) by ordering blood and urine tests.
Patients will probably be asked about the patterns in their sweating – which parts of the body suffer, how frequently sweating episodes occur, and whether sweating occurs while sleeping.
The sufferer can be asked a series of questions, or have to fill in a questionnaire regarding the impact of excessive sweating; questions could include:
Do you carry anything around to manage episodes of sweating in excess, for example napkins, antiperspirants, towels, or pads?
Does hyperhidrosis affect your behavior or mental state when you find yourself in public?
Has hyperhidrosis had any impact on your employment?
Perhaps you have lost a friend due to hyperhidrosis?
The frequency of which would you alter your clothing?
How frequently can you wash or possess a shower/bath?
How many times do you reckon about sweating in excess?
Thermoregulatory sweat test: a powder that is understanding of moisture is used on the skin. When sweating in excess occurs at room temperature, the powder changes color. The patient is then in contact with high heat and humidity within a sweat cabinet, which triggers sweating through the entire entire body.
When open to heat, individuals who do not have hyperhidrosis tend to not sweat excessively within the palms with their hands, but patients with hyperhidrosis do. This test likewise helps a doctor determine the seriousness of the problem.
Some alterations in daily activity and lifestyle might 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 from the armpit to safeguard a garment from perspiration.
Clothing – certain synthetic fibers, like nylon, may worsen symptoms. Loose clothing is much better.
Shoes – synthetic materials are more inclined to worsen symptoms. Natural materials, for example leather, are recommended.
Socks – some socks are better at absorbing moisture, for example thick, soft ones made of natural fibers.
If the measures stated earlier are not effective enough, a doctor may refer the patient to a skin specialist (dermatologist), who may recommend:
Iontophoresis – the hands and feet 73dexlpky submerged in a bowl water. A painless electric current is passed from the water. Most people 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 a marked improvement in symptoms within a couple of weeks.
ETS (Endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy) – this surgical intervention is only recommended in severe cases which have not responded to other treatments. The nerves that carry messages on the sweat glands are cut.
ETS may be used to treat Iontophoresis Machine in the face, hands or armpits. ETS is not really suggested for treating hyperhidrosis from the feet due to risk of permanent sexual dysfunction.