Hyperhidrosis is defined as sweating in excess of that required for the normal thermoregulatory maintenance in the body. Commonest sites affected by hyperhidrosis are: soles, palms and axillae. It may be a primary disorder or secondary to a number of pathological conditions.
There are three types:
It is a cause of psychological trauma for the patient and affects personal, social and professional life.
A number of signs and symptoms, which can indicate that the person is suffering from hyperhidrosis are:
Wet and moist palms and soles
Visible sweating that even drenches the clothes
Discoloration of the affected area
Maceration of the skin
Cracking and scaling of the skin
Hyperhidrosis can be localized or generalized.
Localised hyperhidrosis affects armpits, palms, soles, face or other sites
Generalised hyperhidrosis affects most or all of the body
It can be primary or secondary.
Starts in childhood or adolescence
May persist lifelong or improve with age
There may be a family history
Tends to involve armpits, palms and or soles symmetrically
Sweating usually reduces at night and disappears during sleep
Less common than primary hyperhidrosis
More likely to be unilateral and asymmetrical or generalized
Surgery to cut out the sweat gland-bearing skin of the armpits: If a large area needs to be removed, it may be repaired using a skin graft.
Sympathectomy: Division of the spinal sympathetic nerves by chemical or surgical endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy (ETS) may reduce sweating of face (T2 ganglion) or armpit and hand (T3 or T4 ganglion), but is reserved for the most severely affected individuals due to potential risks and complications.
Hyperhidrosis may recur in up to 15% of cases often accompanied by undesirable skin warmth and dryness. New-onset hyperhidrosis of other sites in 50–90% of patients, severe in 2%. It is reported to be less frequent after T4 ganglion sympathectomy compared with T2.
Serious complications include Horner syndrome, pneumothorax (in up to 10%), pneumonia and persistent pain (in fewer than 2%). Lumbar sympathectomy is not recommended for hyperhidrosis affecting the feet as it can interfere with sexual function.
Preventive measures for hyperhidrosis include:
Drink a lot of water.
Bring down your caffeine intake.
Avoid using harsh deodorant or soap.
Avoid taking hot baths.
Shun hot drinks.
Stave off from alcohol, drugs and cigarettes.
Avoid eating sugary, spicy and chemically-processed foodstuff.
Natural Vinegar - Intake of two teaspoons of natural vinegar and one teaspoon of apple cider vinegar thrice in a day is an excellent remedy to cure the excessive sweating. Take this mixture on an empty stomach, half an hour after or before the meal.
Tomato Juice - Every day, drink a glass of fresh tomato juice made at home to get rid of the problem of excessive sweating.
Herbal Tea - Sage tea has proven to be a great remedy to cure the troubles of excessive sweating. Brew some sage herbs in warm water and let them cool. Drink this every day as sage is rich in magnesium and Vitamin B, which reduces the activities of sweat glands. This remedy is especially meant for stopping excessive sweating in the underarms.Green tea is equally effective if you do not get sage herbs easily.
Potato - This is the easiest remedy to get rid of too much sweating. Simply cut slices of potato and rub them under your arms and the areas, which sweat more.
Witch Hazel - This herb is a great astringent and antiperspirant, which gently dries up the sweating area. Tea made up of this natural herb can also be used.
Cornstarch and Baking Soda - To get rid of excessive underarm sweating, apply a mix of cornstarch and baking soda under the arms after thoroughly cleaning them. Let it stay for half an hour and wash it off later. You can also add any essential oil as a deodorant into the mixture.
Wheatgrass Juice - A glass of wheatgrass juice a day is an effective remedy for treating the problem of excessive sweating. Wheatgrass juice neutralizes the acids in the body and is a rich source of vitamin B6, protein, vitamin C, folic acid, and vitamin B12.
Tannic Acid - Tea is the prominent source of tannic acid. Steep some tea bags in the boiling water. When the water cools down, immerse your palms in it. This is a superb remedy if you face a lot of perspiration in your palms.
Coconut Oil - Infuse about 10gms of camphor in a bowl of coconut oil and apply it on the sweat prone areas to treat the trouble naturally.
Tea Tree Oil - Thin layers of tea tree oil can be applied to the high perspiring areas. Tea tree oil has natural astringents, which will give you the desired results within a few days of using it.
Grapes - Eating grapes every day can soothe out the problem of extreme sweating. It has natural antioxidants and it balances the temperature of the body.
Salt - Mix a tablespoon of salt with lime juice and massage your hands with this mix. It will decelerate the activities of sweat glands and will cure excessive sweating.
Homeopathic Medications for Excessive Sweating:
Apart from home treatments, homeopathic remedies are equally beneficial in getting rid of excessive sweating.
Silicea: Silicea is generally used for clammy and sweaty feet.
Acidum hydrofluoricum : This homeopathic remedy is used for curing excessive sweating in the palms and is meant for those, who have a sour odour sweat.
Calcarea : Calcarea treats those patients, who suffer from excessive sweating due to obesity.
Botulinum: This homeopathic remedy cures excessive underarm sweating.
8 Lifestyle and Coping
A range of lifestyle measures can be taken to minimize the impact of hyperhidrosis on daily living and help individuals cope with their condition. Appropriate measures vary depending on the anatomical sites affected.
Maintaining good hygiene - Maintaining good hygiene is important for individuals affected by hyperhidrosis. They should bathe daily and pay special attention to drying affected areas of skin (particularly the feet) to reduce bacterial concentrations. Affected feet should be aired regularly.
Absorbent pads - Individuals with axillary hyperhidrosis may benefit from using absorbent pads to prevent sweat from soaking through clothing.
Changing clothing - Axillary hyperhidrosis can result in sweat-soaked clothing and individuals who experience this may need to carry extra clothing to allow them to change as needed.
Selecting appropriate clothing and footwear - Individuals with hyperhidrosis affecting the armpits may benefits from wearing clothing made from breathable materials such as silk and cotton, and avoiding man-made fibers and tight or restrictive clothing.Wearing black or white clothes may help reduce the visibility of sweat stains. Those with affected feet should wear thick socks made from cotton or wool, and rotate their socks and shoes. Shoes made from leather, mesh or canvas is most appropriate and those made from synthetic materials should be avoided by individuals with plantar hyperhidrosis.
Wearing gloves - Wearing gloves may make it easier for those with palmar hyperhidrosis to complete some tasks.
Relaxation - In some cases, hyperhidrosis occurs in response to emotional stimuli. Practising relaxation techniques may assist individuals to cope with emotional stimuli that trigger sweating.
Rehydration - Excessive sweating may lead to dehydration if fluids are not replaced. Ensuring proper hydration is maintained is therefore an important component of managing the condition.
9 Risks and Complications
Complications of hyperhidrosis can be embarrassing, and might include changing clothes multiple times a day.
Clothing becomes damp, stained and must be changed several times a day
Wet skin folds are prone to chafing, irritant dermatitis and infection
Slippery hands lead to avoidance of hand shaking
Marks left on paper and fabrics
Difficulty in writing neatly
Malfunction of electronic equipment such as keypads and trackpads
Prone to blistering type of hand dermatitis (pompholyx)
Affects soles of the feet
Prone to blistering type of dermatitis (pompholyx)
Prone to secondary infection (tinea pedis, pitted keratolysis)
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