Everyone has stepped outside into hot weather or worked out to the point that they were dripping in sweat. Some people struggle with this constantly and have a hard time going out in public because of the uncomfortable amount of sweat that they produce. This condition is called hyperhidrosis.
Definition of Hyperhidrosis
Hyperhidrosis is defined as an abnormal amount of sweating that is more than is required to regulate body temperature.
Anatomy of Hyperhidrosis
The body works hard to remain at a normal temperature to optimize cellular functions. When too much heat is created by exercise or due to weather, the body uses sweating as a method to keep the body cool. The sweat glands produce sweat and if they produce an excess amount of sweat, this is called hyperhidrosis.
Causes of Hyperhidrosis
Hyperhidrosis can be either local or generalized as well as primary or secondary. Primary hyperhidrosis starts at some point during childhood and is often an inherited trait. This is typically characterized by an increased amount of sweat glands in the area. Secondary hyperhidrosis is acquired later in life and could be due to thyroid disorders, diabetes, cancer, menopause, or even mercury poisoning.
Symptoms of Hyperhidrosis
While the amount of hyperhidrosis can vary in amount and location, the only symptom required to diagnose this condition is increased sweating. Common locations include:
Diagnosis of Hyperhidrosis
The diagnosis of hyperhidrosis is largely based on a patient’s history and physical. Patients with focal hyperhidrosis typically have increased sweating distributed in a symmetric manner. If the increased sweating is more generalized, this is more indicative of an acquired form of hyperhidrosis often due to a particular medication or underlying medical issue.
Prevention of Hyperhidrosis
Patients can prevent hyperhidrosis by preventing some of the diseases that can cause it such as diabetes and other causative conditions.
Am I At Risk for Hyperhidrosis?
Patients with a family history of hyperhidrosis and some medical conditions such as diabetes are at risk for developing this condition.
Treatment of Hyperhidrosis
There are many treatments for hyperhidrosis. One procedure to stop patients with excessively sweaty palms is thoracoscopicsympathectomy. In this procedure the surgeon cuts the nerves to the hands causing the sweating. It is a relatively simple procedure with a short recovery.
To learn more about treatment procedures for this condition please visit the following:
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