It is a condition that causes excessive sweating, in which patients can sweat a lot even at rest. Sweating is a normal condition of our body and helps to maintain temperature. It is normal to sweat when it is hot, during physical activities or in certain specific situations, such as moments of anger, nervousness or fear. However, excessive sweating occurs even without the presence of any of these factors. This is because patients' sweat glands are hyper-functioning. Hyperhidrosis can result from different causes, such as emotional, hereditary or disease factors. Different regions of the body can be affected: armpits, palms, face, head, soles and groin. When there is extreme sweating, it can be embarrassing, uncomfortable, anxiety-inducing and can become disabling. It can disrupt all aspects of a person's life, from career choice and recreational activities to relationships, emotional well-being and self-image.
The main symptom of hyperhidrosis is excessive sweating, either on the whole body or in localized areas, such as the armpits, hands, feet or face. There are two types of hyperhidrosis, focal primary and generalized secondary:
Primary focal hyperhidrosis: appears in childhood or adolescence, usually in the hands, feet, armpits, head or face. People do not sweat when sleeping or at rest. Usually, there are more people in the same family with the same problem. It affects 2% to 3% of the population, however, less than 40% of patients with this condition see a doctor.
Generalized secondary hyperhidrosis: caused by a medical condition or the side effect of a medication. Unlike the primary focal, people with the secondary sweat in all areas of the body or in unusual regions. Another fundamental difference between the two types is that in the case of the secondary, people can also sweat excessively during sleep. It usually appears in adulthood. There are two tests to discover the specific area of hyperhidrosis: the starch test, which consists of applying an iodine solution to the sweaty area and, after drying, the starch is sprayed on the area. The combination of starch and iodine with sweat in the region results in a dark blue color. The other method is that of the test paper: a special paper is placed over the affected area to absorb sweat and then it is weighed. The more weight you have, the more sweat has accumulated.
It can be treated with chemical exfoliation creams that can reduce the thickening caused by excess keratin in the outermost layer of the skin, such as Queratofin, which leaves the skin thin and silky. If symptoms persist, seek professional help.