Hyperhydrosis is a chronic medical disorder that causes the excessive production of sweat. Affecting only 2.8% of the population, it is a rare kind of medical condition. People suffering from this condition can experience excessive sweating in various parts of the body including hands, feet or underarms.
The primary cause of hyperhydrosis is still unknown, but it is believed that nervousness, excitement, certain foods, drinks, nicotine, caffeine and smells can trigger a response in many sufferers.
It can be divided into following categories including:
- Generalized or localized: When the perspiration occurs due to relatively high concentration of sweat glands and sweating is localized including on palms, soles, face, underarms and scalp.
- Generalized or secondary: When the medical condition usually involves the body as a whole and is the result of an underlying condition.
- It can be also be congenital or acquired.
Hyperhydrosis can be diagnosed by Starch-iodine test and paper test.
This condition can be treated by following methods
Medicines: A natural purified protein can be used to treat excessive sweating, targeting sweating at its surface. This protein enters the specific glands responsible for the excessive sweating and blocks the release of a chemical that causes sweating. The procedure takes just 20 minutes, and its affect last for an average 7 months. Apart from these Anticholinergics drugs like glycopyrrolate are also used. These prevent stimulation of sweat glands.
Antiperspirants: Excessive sweating can be controlled by using strong antiperspirants. Usually doctors prescribe a product containing a higher dose of aluminium chloride.
Iontophoresis– This is FDA approved procedure that uses electricity to temporary turn off the sweat gland. This method is most effective for sweating of hands and feet. In this procedure, hands and feet and placed into the water and a gentle current of electricity is passed through it. The electricity is passed until the patient feels a light sensation. This lasts for 10-20 minutes.
Endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy (ETS): This method is used in severe cases usually when other treatments fail to respond. This procedure turns off the signal that tells the body to sweat excessively. It is performed on those who sweat in excess than usual.