Generalised hyperhidrosis : a type of excessive sweating

What is generalized hyperhidrosis ?

When one makes a physical effort while playing sports or when the heat is important, the body secretes sweat. It is the hypothalamus gland that regulates this and allows the body to cool down. In case of a generalised hyperhidrosis, people suffer from excessive sweating. They sweat excessively and abnormally which can be very inconvenient (wet clothesodourssweaty feet and sweaty palms for instance).

Who are the people most affected ?

1-3% of the population appears to be affected by this problem. People with more risk of being tormented by this condition are those who are predisposed by their heredity. You should know that 25% to 50% of people who suffer from hyperhidrosis of the hands have relatives with the same problems. 1 out of 4 children will have to suffer this problem if one of the parent has it. Also, obese people are more likely to have hyperhidrosis. People who are also affected by this bothering trouble are those living in Southeast Asia. In fact, they are more affected by hyperhidrosis of the hands.

What are the causes of sweating ?

This condition usually occurs during puberty. It is more common with people who are uncomfortable and shy in public, which often results in flushing and heart palpitations. As you know, when it is too hot, our body produces more sweat through the hypothalamus. When one suffers from hyperhidrosis, excessive sweating can be induced by both phenomena. Firstly, one might attribute this problem to an excessive functionof the usual circuit initiated by the hypothalamus. However, be aware that other neural circuits controlled by the anterior cingulate cortex are involved. This part of the brain is very important and allows us to control our emotions as well as accommodating us to various situations that occur frequently in our lives.

Do tips and treatments exist ?

In case of hyperhidrosis, one can use an antiperspirant found in pharmacies and which are available without prescription. If this were to not work, doctors can opt for different solutions. They can prescribe their patients an anticholinergic medication or decide to use methods such as iontophoresis or the injection of botulinum toxins. Also note that surgery can be performed as a last resort. However, some of these methods to cure sweating are not without consequences.


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