Health28 Nov 2009 03:09 pm
Hyperhidrosis is the excessive excretion of sweat normally associated with elevated body temperature, physical exertion, exposure to heat and mental or emotional stress. Perspiration is controlled by the sympathetic nervous system, and its primary role is to keep the body from overheating. However, excessive sweating can occur without these common external triggers, leading to significant emotional and physical discomfort for the sufferer.
When excessive sweating affects the hands, feet, and armpits, it’s called primary or focal hyperhidrosis. Primary hyperhidrosis appears to run in families, and for the majority of sufferers, there is no specific cause for the condition. If the excessive perspiration is the result of an underlying medical condition, it is called secondary hyperhidrosis. Conditions associated with secondary hyperhidrosis include the following:
Certain medications and substances of abuse;
Glucose control disorders;
Spinal cord injury;
Tuberculosis or other infections.
Primary hyperhidrosis is usually treated with prescription-strength antiperspirants, Anticholinergics drugs (which help to prevent the stimulation of sweat glands), Iontophoresis (a procedure that uses electricity to temporarily turn off the sweat gland) and Botox. In severe cases, Primary hyperhidrosis is treated with a minimally invasive surgery called Endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy (ETS). When hyperhidrosis is pathologic (secondary), the underlying condition should be treated.
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