What is it?
Hyperhidrosis is the excessive production of sweat. Among its causes are emotional stimuli (emotional hyperhidrosis) or greater sensitivity of the temperature-regulating centers, since sweating is directly related to body temperature control. Furthermore, some metabolic or neurological conditions can also lead to the disease.
Characteristics and symptoms
The most affected areas are the armpits, palms, soles, groin and perineum, with great elimination of sweat, which has no smell.
In emotional hyperhidrosis, sweating increases in situations of discomfort or emotional stress, and the palms and soles are the most often affected sites. The discomfort caused by excessive sweating can bring more tension to the patient, worsening the sweating and causing relationship difficulties.
At school age, affected children may have serious problems for tests, because the hand's sweat soaks the paper, disturbing the writing.
When excessive sweating occurs during exercise or due to heat, sweating is usually widespread and unrelated to situations of emotional stress.
Treatment is done with local use of medications intended to decrease the secretion of sweat glands or through the use of apparatus for iontophoresis. Oral medications may interfere with cardio-vascular functions, and its use requires specific care.
In cases of emotional hyperhidrosis, psychological support can be helpful and, in more severe cases, the use of tranquilizers is indicated.
Botulinum toxin appears to be a good therapeutic option, preventing sudoral secretion in the treated area for periods ranging from 6 to 8 months.
Severe cases of axillary hyperhidrosis can be treated surgically, with removal of sweat glands or by sympathectomy, when the nerves responsible for stimulating sweating are cut.