Everyone sweats when it's hot, but people who suffer from hyperhidrosis have excessive sweating to the point that water can literally run their hands. Hyperhidrosis causes them to sweat profusely even when there is no reason for it.
In reality, your sweat glands produce sweat to cool the surface of the skin, especially when the air temperature increases, if you have a fever, you are working out, you are anxious, nervous or in a stress situation. In the absence of these factors, the nerves that activate sweat are on standby and the production of sweat is stopped.
However, for 2% to 3% of the population who suffers from hyperhidrosis, these glands do not stop when needed, generating excessive sweating, especially of the hands and feet, even in situations the most enjoyable: watching TV, in a calm and cool atmosphere, outside in the winter or even in a pool.
Types of hyperhidrosis :
There are two types of hyperhidrosis :
- Primary hyperhidrosis (focal hyperhidrosis) which causes excessive sweating of the hands, armpits, face and feet for no apparent reason.
- Secondary hyperhidrosis (generalized hyperhidrosis) which causes excessive sweating all over the body or on a large body surface and is caused by a medical condition or certain drugs.
Causes of primary hyperhidrosis and possible treatments :
People who are suffering from primary hyperhidrosis sweat excessively due to a malfunction of one type of sweat gland called eccrine sweat glands. These sweat glands represent the majority of 2 to 4 million sweat glands in the body. These eccrine sweat glands are particularly numerous on the feet, the palms of the hands, face and armpits.
In fact, the causes of primary hyperhidrosis are not really known. Scientific studies that have been carried explain this problem by an overreaction of the eccrine sweat glands malfunction and inhibition of these mechanisms.
People with primary hyperhidrosis can opt for the following non-surgical treatments:
- Antiperspirants treatments containing aluminium.
- Medications called anticholinergics that regulate nerve signals to the sweat glands.
- A low intensity electric-based treatment called iontophoresis (see Generator : IONOMAT)
- Botox injections in the armpits and even hands.
Surgery is generally considered as last recourse for people with severe hyperhidrosis of the hands and armpits. This surgery involves removing the sweat glands of the region. Another procedure is also called thoracic sympathectomy, which aims to condemn and destroy the nerves responsible for the activation of these glands.
However, it should be noted that a frequent and troublesome side effect is the appearance of excessive sweating in other parts of the body such as the chest, back or legs.
Causes of secondary hyperhidrosis:
Secondary hyperhidrosis differs from primary hyperhidrosis as it is widespread all over the body. Unlike primary hyperhidrosis, sweating due to secondary hyperhidrosis may persist even during sleep.
This type of hyperhidrosis is usually caused by :
- Parkinson's disease
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
- An infection
- Some medications
Therefore, the discovery of the underlying disease and the monitoring of an appropriate treatment will help reduce this secondary hyperhidrosis.