Hyperhidrosis: does excessive perspiration have a solution?

Hyperhidrosis is a pathology characterized by excessive sweating in different parts of the body, without the need to be exposed to high temperatures or to perform physical activity.

The affected areas are, mainly, armpits, palms of the hands and soles of the feet, although it also occurs less frequently on the face and back.

Although it is a physical problem that does not represent a serious picture, it generates certain limitations in the social, emotional and work life of those who suffer from it.

Causes of hyperhidrosis

  • stressful situations
  • genetic predisposition
  • idiopathic (no clear origin)

Tipos de hyperhidrosis

It occurs due to disorders of the autonomic nervous system and affects areas with a high concentration of sweat glands, such as the palms of the hands, soles of the feet and armpits.

According to statistics from different private plastic surgery centers in Argentina, 51 percent of patients suffer from axillary hyperhidrosis, 25 percent suffer from it in the hands alone or in combination with another type, and one percent suffer from palmar hyperhidrosis.

There is primary and secondary hyperhidrosis, depending on the original cause. (Allende Sanatorium)
  • Hyperhidrosis secundaria
It arises as a result of a secondary medical condition, including pregnancy, menopause, infections, fever or excessive heat.

It can also be caused by pathologies such as hyperthyroidism, hypoglycemic agents and the consumption of certain medications, among other causes.

How is hyperhidrosis diagnosed?

A thorough physical examination is performed to confirm the pattern of distribution of excess sweat.

One of the most used tests is the iodine-starch technique, which evaluates the estimated volume of sweat production and hyperhydrotic zones.

Gravimetry is a useful technique in patients whose diagnosis of hyperhidrosis is uncertain. In this procedure, paper filters are used, which are weighed before and after contact with the affected area for a specified period of time.

In the most severe cases there are other therapeutic alternatives. (Allende Sanatorium)

Hyperhidrosis, has a solution?

There are various medical and surgical treatments for hyperhidrosis, depending on the degree of sweating and the affected area.

For mild or moderate hyperhidrosis, topical treatments such as creams, sprays, or lotions are used. Oral medications such as anticholinergics or anxiolytics can also be added to reduce sweating, although they can cause annoying side effects.

For severe cases of hyperhidrosis, the Botulinum toxin, a minimally invasive option that temporarily reduces sweating (between 4 and 6 months). By inhibiting the production of acetylcholine, stimulation of the sweat gland is prevented.

Botulinum toxin treatment consists of injecting small amounts of the product into the affected areas. It is an effective, painless treatment that does not require minimal aftercare and does not generate excessive sweating in other parts of the body.

If the sweating is only axillary, a local surgery can be performed in the area that consists of the resection of the sweat glands in this region. As it does not require general anesthesia and is carried out on an outpatient basis, the postoperative process is not painful and allows a quick return to work.

If sweating occurs in several areas of the body (for example armpits and hands), an endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy may be performed.

This surgical intervention requires general anesthesia and a day or two of hospitalization. As a side effect, it can produce compensatory sweating, which is well tolerated by most patients.

If you present excessive and unexplained sweating and your daily activities are affected, we suggest you perform a consult with a medical professional to opt for a treatment and improve your quality of life.

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