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Could I Have a Sweating Disorder?

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  • Written By: Sheri Cyprus
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 19 January 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2018
    Conjecture Corporation
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Excessive perspiration, or sweating, is called hyperhidrosis. Everyone sweats as a reaction to demanding physical activity or in humid or high temperatures, but if you sweat excessively in a certain area to the point where it interferes with your daily life, you may have hyperhidrosis, or what could be called a sweating disorder. The different types of hyperhidrosis include plantar, axillary and palmar.

Palmar hyperhidrosis is excessive sweating of the palms of the hands. This is the most common type of sweating disorder and often the most difficult to treat. The main sign of palmar hyperhidrosis is sweaty palms. This sweating disorder may be worse during times of stress. Palmar hyperhidrosis can be very embarrassing as those who suffer from it are often afraid to shake hands in business or social situations and the fear can create even more stress and make the sweating disorder even worse.

Axillary hyperhidrosis is excessive sweating in the armpits. This type of sweating disorder can be embarrassing as underarm oder can be a problem. Antiperspirants and deodorant products may help in some milder cases of axillary hyperhidrosis, but not in more severe cases. Also, the excessive sweating in the armpits may cause permanent stains in clothing.

Plantar hyperhidrosis is excessive sweating of the feet. Moist feet can lead to bacteria and odor problems, especially in closed-toe shoes. A sign of plantar hyperhidrosis is constantly damp socks even when the feet may not feel particularly overheated.

Often, the cause of a sweating disorder is difficult to pinpoint. Hyperhidrosis may be a symptom of an anxiety disorder or a symptom of a disease. Milder forms of hyperhidrosis may not require surgery and medications may work in these cases.

Surgical options for sweating disorders include removal or destruction of the ganglions, which are units of nerve cells that connect the sweat glands with the sympathetic nervous system. The sympathetic nervous system controls perspiration in the body. Risks of surgery for hyperhidrosis are usually considered low, but sometimes the body reacts to the reduction of sweat glands by compensatory sweating. Compensatory sweating means that the body compensates for the lack of sweat glands in one area by sweating excessively in another part of the body as a means of trying to cool the body.

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