What is excessive sweating? What are the causes and treatments?
What is excessive sweating (Hyperhidrosis)?
Sweating is a physiological phenomenon that occurs to control the body’s temperature. Hyperhidrosis is a state of excessive sweating independent of environmental conditions and the body’s temperature control. Patients with hyperhidrosis do not need to move to sweat. They can even drip sweat from their hands where they sit. The disease may develop primarily due to a drug or a medical condition. Regional excessive sweating is sweating that occurs especially in the armpits, palms, soles, and more rarely in the head and neck region.
Sweating while eating is seen in a condition called Frey’s syndrome. diffuse hyperhidrosis; may occur due to hormonal, neurological, infectious reasons or cardiovascular diseases, respiratory system diseases, drugs, and poisoning.
Regional excessive sweating is more common than other sweating disorders. Although the cause is not fully known, improper functioning of the nervous system is seen as the main cause of the disease.
What are the symptoms of excessive sweating?
Excessive sweating without a specific cause is called primary hyperhidrosis. It occurs equally in both men and women. The average age of onset is usually around 25 years. However, hand sweating and foot sweating may start earlier. For the diagnosis of primary regional hyperhidrosis to be made, the patient must have regional and excessive sweating lasting at least 6 months, as well as the following symptoms:
- Having at least one sweating attack per week.
- Sweating is symmetrical.
- Impairment of quality of life.
- Occur before age 25.
- Having a family history.
- No sweating during sleep.
Excessive sweating can cause psychosocial problems as it makes people very uncomfortable. Fungal infections are also common in areas with excessive sweating.
What are the complications related to excessive sweating?
Bacterial and fungal infections, eczema and skin rashes, social and emotional problems in areas with excessive sweating are the most common complications.
How is excessive sweating diagnosed?
It is essential to take a detailed history from the patients. Additional tests are not required in primary regional hyperhidrosis that is not thought to be due to a specific cause. However, if there is general hyperhidrosis, the patient’s blood pressure and weight are checked, detailed neurological examination and blood tests are performed.
How is excessive sweating treated?
If excessive sweating is in the form of general body sweating, the cause is investigated and the cause is treated. There are surgical and non-surgical treatment options for primary regional sweating. In non-surgical treatment, sweating is reduced by topical or oral medications. Botox and iontophoresis are other treatment methods used. Iontophoresis treatment is especially suitable for cases of hand sweating. In this treatment, patients place their hands in a plastic container with tap water and electrodes. Initially, the treatment is applied for 10 minutes a day for 2-3 days. The supplied electrical energy is gradually increased.
Botox treatment is applied for both hand and foot sweating and armpit sweating. Before Botox application, a starch iodine test can be done to determine the seating area on the area to be applied. There is a decrease in sweating in periods ranging from 4 days to 2 weeks after treatment. The duration of action is about 4-12 months.
Especially in the case of sweating that does not go away under the armpit, surgical treatment for the armpit nerves can be applied or the sweat glands under the armpit can be surgically removed. Today, these surgical methods can also be performed endoscopically.
Modern devices that destroy the sweat glands in the area to be treated have also been developed. Although successful results have been obtained with these devices, side effects such as edema, redness, and loss of sensation have also been reported.
If you have the symptoms listed above, you should go to the nearest health institution and consult a specialist.