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Hyperhidrosis is abnormally excessive sweating that’s not necessarily related to heat or exercise. Hyperhidrosis can either be generalized, or localized to specific parts of the body. Hands, feet, armpits, groin, and the facial area are among the most active regions of perspiration due to the high number of sweat glands (eccrine glands in particular) in these areas. When excessive sweating is localized (e.g. palms, soles, face, underarms, scalp) it is referred to as primary hyperhidrosis or focal hyperhidrosis. Excessive sweating involving the whole body is termed generalized hyperhidrosis or secondary hyperhidrosis. It is usually the result of some other, underlying condition.
The cause of primary hyperhidrosis is unknown, although some physicians[who?] claim it is caused by over-activity of the sympathetic nervous system. Anxiety or excitement can exacerbate the condition for many sufferers. A common complaint of patients is they get nervous because they sweat, then sweat more because they are nervous. Other factors can play a role, including certain foods and drinks, nicotine, caffeine, and smells.
Complications of hyperhidrosis include:
People who sweat profusely are more prone to skin infections.
- Social and emotional effects.
Having clammy or dripping hands and perspiration-soaked clothes can be embarrassing. Your condition may affect your pursuit of work and educational goals.
- Aluminium chlorohydrate is used in regular antiperspirants. However, hyperhidrosis requires solutions or gels with a much higher concentration. These antiperspirant solutions or hyperhidrosis gels are especially effective for treatment of axillary or underarm regions
- Anticholinergics used for hyperhidrosis include propantheline, glycopyrronium bromide or glycopyrrolate, oxybutynin, methantheline, and benzatropine. Use of these drugs can be limited, however, by side-effects, including dry mouth, urinary retention, constipation, and visual disturbances such as mydriasis (dilation of the pupils) and cycloplegia
- Injections of botulinum toxin type A can be used to block neural control of sweat glands. The effect can last from 3–9 months depending on the site of injections
- Roberto de Menezes Lyra, Campos JR, Kang DW, Loureiro Mde P, Furian MB, Costa MG, Coelho Mde S; Sociedade Brasileira de Cirurgia Torácica. (Nov 2008). “Guidelines for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of compensatory hyperhidrosis”. J Bras Pneumol. 34 (11): 967–77. doi:10.1590/s1806-37132008001100013. PMID 19099105.
- Roberto de Menezes Lyra. (July–August 2013). “Visual scale for the quantification of hyperhidrosis”. J Bras Pneumol. 39 (4): 521–2. doi:10.1590/s1806-37132013000400018. PMC 4075875 Freely accessible. PMID 24068276.