Hyperhidrosis

General Illness Information

Common Name:
Hyperhidrosis

Medical Term: Hyperhidrosis

Description:

Excessive perspiration due to over activity of the sweat glands.

May be general or confined to the palms, soles, armpits, below the breasts or groin.

Often causes social embarrassment.

Causes:

  • Genetic factors;
  • Anxiety;
  • Fever and infection;
  • Malignancy;
  • Hyperthyroidism;
  • Menopause;
  • Some drugs and medicines, such as narcotics;
  • Withdrawal from addictive drugs;
  • Unknown in some cases.

Prevention:

  • Control anxiety;
  • Keep cool.

Signs & Symptoms

  • Heavy perspiration from underarm area, soles and palms and to a lesser degree, from other body parts;
  • Unpleasant odor, which is caused by bacteria in sweat.

Risk Factors

  • Stress;
  • Strenuous activity;
  • Hot weather.

Diagnosis & Treatment

This is a clinical diagnosis.

General Measures:

  • Treatment for underlying conditions;
  • Psychotherapy or counseling, if stress is a major factor;
  • Bathe frequently;
  • Change clothes frequently;
  • Wear loose-fitting clothes of natural fibers, such as cotton;
  • Use underarm sweat shields;
  • Use antiperspirants and deodorants;
  • Use drying powders;
  • Wear cotton socks;
  • Wear leather shoes or sandals. Don’t use man-made materials;
  • Shave underarm hair;
  • Surgery to remove sweat glands or sever nerves to major sweat areas (rare).

Medications:

  • Treat with soap containing chlorhexidine. Apply aluminum chlorhydroxy complex after bathing;
  • Localized hyperhidrosis – treat with nighttime applications of aluminum chloride in absolute ethyl alcohol. Cover with polyethylene films if possible. Wash applications away next morning.

Activity:

No restrictions.

Diet:

No special diet. Drink at least 8 glasses of water a day, more in hot weather.

Possible Complications:

  • Psychological distress caused by social embarrassment;
  • Rashes from deodorants or antiperspirants.

Prognosis

Symptoms can be controlled with treatment.

Other

Nothing specified.