In medical practice, excessive sweating, or hyperhidrosis (from the Greek. hyper – "high", "excessive", hidros "sweat"), is a sweating that is not associated with physical factors such as heat, intense physical activity, high ambient temperature, etc.
Sweating occurs in our body constantly, is a physiological process by which sweat glands secrete a watery secretion (sweat). This is necessary to protect the body from overheating (hyperthermia) and to support its self-regulation (homeostasis): the sweat evaporating from the skin cools the surface of the body and reduces its temperature.
So, in the article we will focus on the phenomenon of excessive sweating. Causes, treatment of hyperhidrosis will be considered. Also talk about the generalized and local forms of pathology.
Excessive sweating in healthy people
In the body of a healthy person sweating increases when the air temperature is above 20-25 degrees, when the emotional and physical stress. Physical activity and low relative humidity contribute to the enhanced heat dissipation – thermoregulation is not permitted overheating of the body. Conversely, in a humid environment where the air is motionless, the sweat does not evaporate. That's why it is not recommended to stay long in the steam room or sauna.
Sweating is increased by excessive fluid intake, so while in the room where high air temperature, or when hard physical exertion should not drink a lot of water.
Stimulation of sweating occurs in the case of emotional excitation, so excessive sweating of the body may be observed when the person experiences strong emotions such as fear, excitement.
All of the above is a physiological phenomena which is characteristic for healthy people. A pathological disorder of excessive sweating are expressed in the strengthening or, on the contrary, reduction of sweat, and changing its smell.
The physiology of perspiration
Moist armpits, wet the soles and palms, the sharp smell of sweat – all of this adds confidence to the person and negatively perceived by others. Difficult for people who have increased sweating. The reasons for this state can find out if you understand the physiology of perspiration in General.
So, sweating is a natural mechanism for cooling the body and removing toxic substances, excess fluid and products of water-salt metabolism and decay. It is no coincidence that some of the medications that are excreted through the skin, give a sweat of blue-green, reddish or yellowish tint.
The sweat secreted by sweat glands located in the subcutaneous fat. The greatest number observed on the palms, armpits and feet. The chemical composition of the sweat on 97-99 percent water, and admixtures of salts (sulfates, phosphates, chloride sodium and potassium) and other organic substances. The concentration of these substances in sweat secret are different for different people, because each person has an individual body odor. In addition, the composition mixed with the bacteria on the surface of the skin and sebum.
Causes of hyperhidrosis
What if the increased sweating? Reasons should be find out first. Hyperhidrosis can be a symptom of somatic or neuropsychiatric diseases, as well as the consequence of non-compliance with personal hygiene.
Pathology is primary, which is often found in puberty, and secondary, which usually appears as a result of endocrine or neurological disease.
The sweat secreted on the skin surface to the sweat glands through the pores, while the regulation of sweating provides the sympathetic autonomic nervous system. With its hyperactive normal functioning of the sweat glands is disturbed, and at the slightest excitement people immediately sweating. But the question about what triggers these processes, modern medicine does not know the answer. Therefore, the causes of excessive sweating of the whole body and its separate parts are still outstanding.
Types of hyperhidrosis
Excessive sweating can be generalized or local. In the first case, there is excessive sweating of the whole body, which may be due to the following factors:
- infectious diseases: tuberculosis, malaria, brucellosis
- disorders of the endocrine system: hypoglycemia, acromegaly, diabetes mellitus, thyrotoxicosis
- pathology of the nervous system: cystic fibrosis, stroke, Parkinson's disease.
Excessive sweating in women can be associated with the onset of menopause.
One of the varieties of pathology performs night hyperhidrosis. It can occur due to HIV infection, tuberculosis, hypoglycemia, hyperthyroidism and other ailments.
Local excessive sweating is divided into several subtypes depending on the predominant localization. They will be discussed below.
This is essentially a harmless phenomenon, but rather unpleasant and causing discomfort. Also called axillary hyperhidrosis. Absolutely fine when armpit sweat during exercise, stress or thermal effect. Only certain faults in the functioning of the system of sweating occurs a pathological condition.
By its nature causes excessive sweating of the underarms are very diverse. The most common are dystonia, emotional stress and hormonal changes. In this case, the stimulus of sweat glands is a frequent speaker heat. One of the strongest catalyst for sweating, alcohol and spicy foods.
Hyperhidrosis of the palms
This is the most common form of disease. This phenomenon is always characterised by a wet and cold palms, and the symptoms intensify in stressful situations. Sometimes the sweating is accompanied by unpleasant odor and appearance of the rash. Doctors say that such a breach does not pose a risk to health, but, psychologically it is very heavy to carry, especially by the fairer sex. Excessive sweating in women often leads to psychological problems, insecurity and reduced sociability. It is difficult to adapt to society, get a job and make friends.
Most often hyperhidrosis of the palms is due to the increased concentration of sweat glands. In other cases, this phenomenon is associated with an abnormal response of the body to thermal treatment, stress and physical activity. In addition, the sweating of palms can be hormonal disruptions and overdose of certain drugs.
Hyperhidrosis of the head
A subspecies of pathology is quite rare. It is characterized by excessive sweating in the forehead and the hairy area of the head. Often excessive sweating of the head combined with hyperhidrosis of the hands and face, as well as erythrophobia that makes the face appear red spots.
Modern medicine can not yet give a clear answer to the question of what factors have caused such violation. But we know that it usually develops on the background of chronic infectious diseases, thyroid pathologies and cancer. Excessive sweating of the head in women, oddly enough, may be observed during pregnancy. In addition, a similar phenomenon occurs with SARS, accompanied by high fever, taking certain medications, metabolic disorders. Another reason of excessive sweating of the head – Allergy. To trigger this form of hyperhidrosis can also stress, poor diet, alcoholism, drug abuse, etc.
Sweating on the face
It is also quite rare. It is also called cranifacial hyperhidrosis or sweaty face syndrome. For many people this is a big problem, because to disguise the sweat in this area is almost impossible. As a consequence, public speaking, and sometimes communication, become overwhelming. Excessive sweating of the face in severe form can lead to major psychological problems: a person becomes introverted, suffers from low self-esteem and avoids social contacts.
This type of hyperhidrosis can also be increased activity of the sympathetic nervous system. The problem often combined with excessive sweating palms and blashing syndrome (the sudden appearance of red spots), against which may develop and erythrophobia (fear of blushing). Hyperhidrosis of the face can appear as a result of dermatological disorders, causes of hormonal origin, the result of reactions to medications.
Sweating during menopause
In women, excessive sweating can be the result of thermoregulation due to hormonal changes. In this case there are so-called hot flashes. Incorrect impulses of the nervous system cause the blood vessels to expand, which inevitably leads to overheating of the body, which in turn gives impetus to the sweat glands, and they begin to actively secrete sweat to normalize the body temperature. During menopause hyperhidrosis is usually localized to the underarms and face. It is important in this period to follow the diet. You need to eat more vegetables as phytosterols contained in them is able to reduce the strength and number of flushes. It is recommended to replace coffee with green tea, which helps to eliminate toxins. Spicy food and alcohol from the diet should be deleted, because they increase the separation of the sweat.
When at menopause there is increased sweating in women, treatment should be complex. It is necessary to drink vitamins, to lead an active life, to observe personal hygiene, to apply antiperspirant and positive in the surrounding reality. With this approach you will definitely win in the fight against hyperhidrosis.
Excessive sweating in a child
In children, excessive sweating is not uncommon. But this phenomenon should concern parents because it can indicate serious disease. To determine the nature of the symptom, you must consult the pediatrician. Excessive sweating in a child can be accompanied by restless sleep or insomnia, changes in behavior, crying and whims for no apparent reason. What caused this condition?
- A lack of vitamin D. in children under two years of sweating can be a symptom of rickets. In this case, at the time of feeding can be seen on the baby's face clear of sweat, and at night he sweats head, especially in the occipital region, so it's getting wet all over the pillow. In addition to sweating a child has had itching in the area of the head, the baby becomes lethargic, or, conversely, restless, capricious.
- Colds. Angina, influenza and similar illnesses are often accompanied by an increase in body temperature that leads to excessive sweating in children.
- The lymphatic diathesis. This pathology is common among children three to seven years and is manifested by swollen lymph nodes, high irritability, and hyperhidrosis. It is recommended to frequently bathe the baby, to engage with him in physical therapy.
- Heart failure. If there are violations of the heart, it affects the functioning of all organs and systems, including sweat glands. One of the disturbing symptoms in this case – cold sweat.
- Dystonia. This disease in children may manifest essential hyperhidrosis – excessive sweating in feet and palms.
It should be remembered that excessive sweating in children can be temporary physiological phenomenon. Toddlers often sweat when they don't get enough sleep, tired or worried.
If hyperhidrosis is not the symptom of any disease, in medical practice it is treated conservatively using medications, antiperspirants, psycho - and physiotherapeutic methods.
If to speak about drug therapy, you can apply different group of drugs. The purpose of a particular medication depends on the severity of the pathology and the contraindications.
People with unstable, labile nervous system are shown tranquilizers and sedatives (sedative herbal medicines with the content of motherwort, Valerian). They lower anxiety and help to fight daily stress, acting as a factor the occurrence of hyperhidrosis.
Medications, which include atropine, reduce the secretion of sweat glands.
You should also use antipersperant. They have a local effect and prevent perspiration due to its chemical composition comprising salicylic acid, ethyl alcohol, aluminium salts and zinc, formaldehyde, triclosan. These drugs constrict or even block the excretory ducts of the sweat glands and thus inhibit the excretion of sweat. However, their use may experience negative effects, such as dermatitis, allergies, and swelling at the site of application.
Psychotherapeutic treatment aims to resolve psychological problems in the patient. For example, to cope with their fears and to learn to keep my emotions under control by using hypnosis.
Among the physiotherapeutic methods are widely used hydrotherapy (cold shower, coniferous-salt bath). These procedures have on the nervous system tonic effect. Another approach is electric, it is the effect on the brain of a pulsed low frequency current. The therapeutic effect is achieved due to the improvement activities of the autonomic nervous system.
Excessive sweating in men and women are now also treated with Botox injections. In this procedure the pharmacological effect is achieved due to the prolonged blocking of nerve endings that Innervate the sweat glands, resulting in greatly reduced sweating.
All of the above conservative methods when used in the complex can achieve a stable clinical result at a certain time, but they do not solve the problem fundamentally. If you want to once and for all get rid of hyperhidrosis should pay attention to the surgical treatment.
Local surgical treatment
- Curettage. This operation is destruction of the nerve endings and the subsequent removal of the sweat glands in the place where there is excessive sweating. Surgical procedures are conducted under local anesthesia. In the area of hyperhidrosis is a 10-mm puncture, resulting in flaking skin, and then scraping is done from the inside. Curettage is most often used in the case of excessive sweating of the armpits.
- Liposuction. The fast event is shown to people who are overweight. During the operation the nerves of the sympathetic trunk are destroyed, whereby the pulses that trigger perspiration, suppressed. On the implementation of technology similar to liposuction with curettage. In the area of hyperhidrosis is a puncture, it introduces a small tube through which then destroyed the nerve endings of the sympathetic trunk and removed the tissue. If under the skin is a fluid accumulation, clean it with the help of puncture.
- Excision of the skin. Such manipulation gives good results in the treatment of hyperhidrosis. But in place of the impact leaves a scar length of about three centimeters. During the operation, carried out the determination of the zones of excessive sweating and its complete excision.