Hyperhidrosis :: Excessive sweating – Hyperhidrosis

Excessive sweating or hyperhidrosis is a dysfunction of the pseudo motor center, the center in the brain that controls the body temperature, which promotes excessive stimuli to sweat glands in specific areas, independent of physiological necessity. The cause is unknown. Hyperhidrosis can occur in any part, but the hands, the feet, the underarms, and the face, in isolation or in combination, are the most affected areas.

Hyperhidrosis is a genetic condition that causes abnormal and excessive heat loss, through excessive sweating, from the hands, feet or underarms. The heat loss may be so efficient that most persons with hyperhidrosis have body temperatures below 98.6 degrees F.

Hyperhidrosis is not due to emotional distress. Hyperhidrosis is caused by a physiologic trigger that results in the hands and feet becoming cold and clammy and literally drips with sweat.

Hyperhidrosis affects men and women, all races and every age group.

Hyperhidrosis – as part of an underlying condition (secondary hyperhidrosis)

– Hyperthyroidism
– Endocrine treatment for prostatic cancer
– Severe psychiatric disorders
– Obesity
– Menopause

Hyperhidrosis without known cause (primary or essential hyperhidrosis)

This is a far more frequent condition than secondary hyperhidrosis.

Essential hyperhidrosis usually starts during childhood or adolescence and persists all life. Nervousness and anxiety can elicit or aggravate sweating, but psychological/psychiatric disturbances are only rarely the cause of hyperhidrosis.

Facial Hyperhidrosis

Sweat pouring down from the forehead in conditions of stress can be very distressful, inducing the patient to think that others may consider him/her nervous and insecure.

Palmar Hyperhidrosis

Excessive sweating of the hands is, generally, by far the most distressing condition. The hands are much more exposed in social and professional activities than any other part of our body. Many individuals with this condition are limited in their choice of profession, because unable to manipulate materials sensitive to humidity (paper etc) or reluctant to shake hands; some patients arrive to the point to avoid social contact. The degree of sweating varies and may range from moderate moisture to dripping. Most patients notice that their hands not only feel moist, but also cold.

Axillary Hyperhidrosis

Also hyperhidrosis of the armpits can be embarrassing causing large wet marks and sometimes a white halo of salt from sweating on the cloths.

Plantar Hyperhidrosis

Hyperhidrosis Treatment

Conservative medical treatments such as Drysol, Drionics or oral medications may be helpful for mild and moderate cases of hyperhidrosis, but are usually ineffective in cases of severe hyperhidrosis.

The most effective treatment of severe hyperhidrosis is by a procedure called Endoscopic Sympathetic Blockade (also called Sympathectomy).

Leave a Comment