What causes excessive sweating

What causes excessive sweating 5 things to know about hyperhidrosis

What causes excessive sweating After a sports training, in case of strong heat or when eating a spicy dish, the body temperature increases. This overflow of heat will be evacuated in the form of water by the sudoriferous (or sudoral) glands. This process is called sudation or perspiration. 

But even without making any particular physical effort, some people sweat profusely. This phenomenon can be linked to a very specific phenomenon: hyperhidrosis . This disorder can be very disabling on a daily basis. According to the International Hyperhidrosis Society,  hyperhidrosis affects nearly 5% of the world’s population .

It affects young people more

Hyperhidrosis can occur at any age but it is more common in young people and it is not uncommon for it to appear at puberty. “ The fact that hyperhidrosis affects young people more confirms that the disorder tends to lessen over time ,” explains Martine Schollhammer, dermatologist. 

If this disorder is related to the central nervous system, the anatomy represents an important risk factor. Some people, for example, have hyperactivity in the sweat glands. Emotions also play a significant role in the appearance of hyperhidrosis: anxiety or stress in the face of a new situation can promote excessive sweating. 

” When it is not linked to pathologies such as cancer, we speak of essential hyperhidrosis. It is often referred to as a disease but I find the term a bit strong. I would speak more of a disorder or discomfort “, underlines the dermatologist.  

Hyperhidrosis affects the daily life of those who suffer from it

Between the possible smell and the embarrassment of wearing clothes that are soaked or marked by halos in the armpits, this disorder can prove to be a real source of social handicap for people who suffer from it, especially among adolescents .

When seeing patients for this reason, dermatologists rely on the Hyperhidrosis Severity Scale . Psychological support can be offered if it is established that the disorder has significant repercussions on the patient’s daily life. 

” I receive a lot of patients who consult on this subject. Raising awareness among the general public is very important to encourage people to push the door of the practice “, considers Dr. Schollhammer. 

Hyperhidrosis can emanate from the whole body or from a specific part. Traditionally associated with perspiration, the armpits are the part of the body where there are the most sweat glands. This is the area most affected by hyperhidrosis, followed by the hands and feet.

“ Generalized hyperhidrosis is much less common and is often a sign of other diseases ,” Dr. Schollhammer points out. 

What causes excessive sweating Treatments are possible

What causes excessive sweating

What causes excessive sweating First-line treatments are antiperspirants (deodorant, aluminum chloride such as alum stone, hydro-alcoholic gel), recommended for both generalized and localized hyperhidrosis.

Iontophoresis sessions , a medical device using a weak electric current, can also be prescribed in the specific case of excessive sweating in the palms and soles of the foot.

“ Botulinum toxin is also available for localized hyperhidrosis in the armpits ,” says Dr. Martine Schollhammer. 

Laser sessions can also be effective in permanently getting rid of excessive sweating. This is for example the case of Miradry, a technique approved at European level, the objective of which is to destroy the sweat glands located under the armpits under the effect of microwave heat. But these interventions are expensive.

In the most severe cases, surgical methods can also help patients. ” Before, we went so far as to remove all the sweat glands. There was also sympathectomy, which consists of cutting specific fibers sending signals to the sweat glands, in the case of localized hyperhidrosis in the hands and armpits. But given the sequelae and the risks, these major surgery techniques are falling into disuse ,” comments Dr. Schollhammer.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *