Profuse sweating that is centralised in some parts such as Palms, Scalp, Underarms, soles and Face area are referred to as Focal Hyperhidrosis or Primary Hyperhidrosis, while profuse sweating that involves the whole body is referred to as Generalized or Secondary Hyperhidrosis, hyperhidrosis is further classified based on its onset which could be at birth (congenital) or later in life (Acquired).
Majorly, primary hyperhidrosis starts at birth, adolescent or at an early stage, while Secondary hyperhidrosis starts at a later period in ones’ life.
Secondary hyperhidrosis is usually caused by an underlying health condition such as Drug reaction, Menopause, Mercury Poisoning, Diabetes Mellitus, disorder of the pituitary gland or thyroid gland, cancers, gout, disturbances of the endocrine system or other infections.
On the other hand, the cause of primary hyperhidrosis is shrouded in mystery while some Doctors postulate that it is caused by hyperactivity of the sympathetic nervous system. Secondary hyperhidrosis can further be triggered by Pregnancy, Anxiety, Drug reactions, hypoglycaemia (low blood Sugar), overactive thyroid gland (hyperthyroidism) and other infections.
This dermatological condition can be quite a challenge to treat, it takes commitment, patience and endurance to successfully combat this condition, it could also take time to identify the right and effective treatment. Physicians generally advise patients suffering from hyperhidrosis to start with non-invasive treatment such as modification of one’s lifestyle which includes:
• Wearing loose and light clothes.
• Avoiding things of food that might trigger sweating or make it worse.
• Alcohol, spicy food.
• Change of wardrobe, by wearing black or white clothes into minimize the signs of sweating.
• Use of antiperspirants.
Hyperhidrosis is a long term condition that could be demanding for both the patient the doctor, there are treatments available for people suffering from hyperhidrosis, treatments that range from therapy to Minimal Invasive surgery.
The goal of every hyperhidrosis treatment is to curtail the heavy sweating, once the profuse sweating has been effectively controlled, the major problem has been dealt with, it is also pertinent to identify underlying cause(s) of the disease, once the cause has been identified, the appropriate treatment option will be determined by your physician depending on the severity of the condition.
The first course of treatment prescribed by your doctor might be the use of topical anticholinergics, anticholinergics interfere with the actions of the Neurotransmitter acetylcholine, it opposes the transmission of parasympathetic nerve impulses, other agents such as potassium Permanganate, formaldehyde, methenamine, boric acid could also be used. Some of these antiperspirants have limitations, they have a short term effect, they stain and they are most likely to cause reactions or sensitivity, although all these agents are effective at reducing perspiration, they produce attar keratin by obstructing the pores of the sweat glands.
These antiperspirants are usually applied on the affected skin area at night before bed and washed off in the morning.
This is the use of oral medications that are regarded as nerve blocking medications, these oral systematic agents produce chemicals that helps to interfere with the interaction of certain nerves. Anti-cholinergic drugs such as propantheline bromide, glycopyrrolate, oxybutynin and benztropine are mostly prescribed, although most people find this treatment option less appealing as a result of its side effects, the side effects are; drowsiness, dryness of the mouth, blurry vision, constipation, mydriasis, micnitririon.
The use of Anti-Depressants can also minimize sweating, especially for those whose hyperhidrosis is triggered by anxiety provoking situations such as stage fright, special events like wedding, public speaking. The use of anti-depressant will limit the anxiety that worsens hyperhidrosis.
Surgery is used as a last resort after every other non-invasive treatment have been tried without success. Surgery is recommended in cases where hyperhidrosis is especially severe. The surgery could take the following form;