Issues Sweating

Sweating is something everyone experiences and it is said to be good for the human body. However, there is an ailment that causes one to sweat more than required. You! takes a look...

Sweating is a natural phenomenon that is necessary to maintain the internal body temperature of an individual. However, the medical condition known as Hyperhidrosis causes a reaction in the body, leading to one perspiring far greater than the physiological needs of the body. It is a condition that usually begins in either childhood or adolescence and affects areas like the palms, soles and axillae. Hyperhidrosis is not contagious and may be idiopathic or secondary to other diseases - metabolic disorders or febrile illnesses. Unfortunately, many don't seek guidance from a doctor because they are unaware that a treatment to reduce the amount of sweat a person produces exists. Read on to find out more about the condition. 

The amount one sweats varies from person to person and can be influenced by numerous factors such as genetics, food, weather patterns, stress levels, weight and even medical disorders. Other triggers that can cause one to sweat include warm temperatures, exercise, nervousness, fear, or embarrassment. Those with hyperhidrosis tend to produce sweat even when the surrounding temperature is cool.

Causes of Hyperhidrosis
The main cause of hyperhidrosis is overactive sweat glands. The two types of hyperhidrosis are: generalised and focal.
In generalised hyperhidrosis (also known as secondary hyperhidrosis), excessive sweating occurs over the entire body. It is often caused by a medical condition such as an infection, a chronic disease, or a disorder that disrupts the body's natural balance of hormones. It may also be caused by medications (e.g., antidepressants).
Focal hyperhidrosis (also known as primary hyperhidrosis) occurs on a specific part of the body including the armpits, soles of the feet, palms of hands, face, or other areas. Genetics also play a role in focal hyperhidrosis.

People with hyperhidrosis suffer throughout their lives in many ways. Following are a few of the complications they face on a day-to-day basis:
*  Great emotional distress and occupational disability is caused for the patient.
*    The wetness on the surface of the hands, the face, and other areas of the body affects one's social life.
*   Those with this ailment feel self-conscious about shaking hands or hugging.
*  They may avoid physical activity because it makes them sweat.
*  Feelings of embarrassment and humiliation are common.
*  The excessive sweating may also interfere with a person's ability to do their job.

For diagnosis, your doctor will perform a physical examination to determine the presence of sweat, as well as medical tests to rule out any underlying condition that might be causing generalised hyperhidrosis.
Two common tests include:
Starch iodine test: A doctor applies iodine solution to the sweaty area and then sprinkles starch to look for a dark blue or purple colour. This colour indicates the area of excess sweat. 
Paper test: A doctor places a special paper on the area where excessive sweating is observed. Sweat absorbs into the paper and then the paper is weighed to indicate how much sweat was absorbed. 

Unfortunately, there is no way to prevent hyperhidrosis, but its treatment can bring relief to those with this condition. Various types of treatment are available for focal or localised hyperhidrosis. 
The main forms of treatment include: 

Topical medications (applied to skin): Topical medications contain aluminum salts in higher concentrations than those found in regular antiperspirants. They are used to treat mild forms of hyperhidrosis. Some irritation may occur with this type of treatment including burning or stinging. 

Oral medications: Certain medications that reduce sweating by affecting the nerves may be recommended. Side effects of these medications include dry mouth, constipation, increased heart rate, urinary difficulties and blurry vision. 

Botulinum toxin A: This treatment is used for focal hyperhidrosis in the armpit area. Treatment involves injecting the affected area with a chemical that blocks the signal from the nerve to the sweat gland. Side effects include pain at the injection site, itching, and headache. 

Surgical procedures: Surgical destruction of nerve pathways that cause sweat glands may be used for people who do not respond well to other treatments. Surgery risks include infection, bleeding, and nerve damage.
Issues Sweating Issues Sweating Reviewed by rta on Friday, November 09, 2012 Rating: 5
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