MEDICAL DERMATOLOGY I HYPERHIDROSIS (Excessive Sweating)
WHAT IS HYPERHIDROSIS?
Yes, it’s necessary to sweat. Sweating cools the body, which prevents us from overheating. Hyperhidrosis, however, is a disorder that results in excessive sweating. Hyperhidrosis affects the water-producing (“eccrine”) sweat glands in the body. It can be localised or affect the whole body.
Excessive sweating can be embarrassing and can interfere with work and personal relationships. Some people find hand sweating produces problems with writing on paper. There are 2 different types of hyperhidrosis, namely:
- Localised symmetrical hyperhidrosis – this is the most common type of hyperhidrosis that is localised and symmetrical. The palms, soles, underarm skin, face and scalp, or a combination of these, can be affected. The cause of symmetrical hyperhidrosis is not known, but the condition often begins in the teen years and tends to improve gradually as you get older. This type of hyperhidrosis is also called focal or primary hyperhidrosis.
- Generalised hyperhidrosis (affecting the whole body) – also known as secondary hyperhidrosis, this type of hyperhidrosis can be caused by hormonal conditions such as menopause, diabetes and an overactive thyroid gland and certain medications.