Hyperhidrosis refers to excessive sweating that occurs occasionally or is present all the time. There are from two to five million sweat glands in the human body - most of all in the armpits, the palms, and feet.


Hyperhidrosis refers to excessive sweating that occurs occasionally or is present all the time. There are from two to five million sweat glands on the human body - most of all in the armpits, on the palms, and feet.

However, there are a number of conditions in which sweat begins to be released too intensely, which indicates certain dysfunctions and brings significant physical and psychological discomfort to a person. According to statistics, about 3% of people of both sexes complain of hyperhidrosis.

Sweating is controlled by the autonomic nervous system, of which the parasympathetic nervous system is a part - a failure in its work can be either a consequence of other diseases or an independent violation.

Varieties of hyperhidrosis

By localization:

  1. Local hyperhidrosis - occurs in certain parts of the body - on the palms, soles, armpits, skin folds, the forehead, and above the upper lip.
  2. Generalized - increased sweating is noted over the entire surface of the body, but is most noticeable in places where the sweat glands are most concentrated.

Depending on the cause, there are:

  1. Primary hyperhidrosis is when excessive sweating is not associated with other diseases. Usually manifests itself in childhood or adolescence.
  2. Secondary hyperhidrosis - occurs against the background of other diseases.

By intensity:

  1. Easy.
  2. Moderate. 
  3. Heavy.

Possible Causes of Hyperhidrosis

Primary hyperhidrosis is one of the most common causes of excessive sweating. It is based on the individual physiological characteristics of the organism.

On the one hand, people with primary hyperhidrosis have more sweat glands, on the other hand, sweat glands are more sensitive to various stimulating factors that cause sweating.

Usually, this type of hyperhidrosis manifests in childhood and intensifies in adolescence. This pathology is hereditary and is often transmitted from one of the parents. The severity can vary from moderate to very strong.

Secondary generalized hyperhidrosis is observed in infectious diseases in response to an increase in body temperature.

Purulent processes in the body, such as abscesses, phlegmon, and destructive pneumonia, can lead to sharp temperature fluctuations during the day.

These are serious conditions that require hospitalization, and often surgical treatment.

Excessive sweating can be the result of chronic infections - tuberculosis, malaria, brucellosis, etc.

Generalized hyperhidrosis is observed with endocrine pathologies - for example, with an increase in the level of thyroid hormones. In addition, there is a loss of body weight with normal appetite, heart palpitations, and emotional arousal. Patients with diabetes often complain of increased sweating - special attention should be paid to the appearance of cold, sticky sweat, which may indicate a sharp drop in blood sugar levels. Hormonal changes during pregnancy, with menopause, are often accompanied by hyperhidrosis.

People with oncological diseases of the hematopoietic system are characterized by increased sweating, especially at night. In addition, patients have no appetite, they lose weight, there is severe fatigue, body temperature can fluctuate between 37–38 ° C, and one or more groups of lymph nodes may increase.

Neurosis and panic attacks are often accompanied by increased sweating.

What diseases cause hyperhidrosis?

  1. Acute viral or bacterial infections.
  2. Chronic infections (tuberculosis, malaria).
  3. Endocrinological diseases (diabetes mellitus, hyperthyroidism, pheochromocytoma, acromegaly, carcinoid).
  4. Cardiovascular insufficiency.
  5. Neurosis, panic attacks.
  6. Obesity.
  7. Neurological diseases (polyneuropathy, syringomyelia, drum string syndrome).
  8. Lymphomas.

Which doctors to contact for hyperhidrosis

Since hyperhidrosis can be not only an independent condition but also a symptom of other diseases, first of all, you should consult a general practitioner. After a thorough examination, history taking, laboratory and instrumental studies, it may be necessary to consult narrow specialists: endocrinologist, neurologist, cardiologist, oncologist, infectious disease specialist, and dermatologist.

Diagnostics and examinations for hyperhidrosis

The degree of distribution of hyperhidrosis and its boundaries can be determined using the Minor test. You need to apply a 2% iodine solution to the area where there is increased sweating, allow the liquid to dry, and sprinkle the skin with starch. In the presence of excessive sweating, the skin will turn purple, sometimes black.

To clarify the diagnosis, the doctor prescribes the following examinations:

  1. Clinical blood test with a detailed leukocyte formula to detect inflammatory processes in various infectious and viral diseases.

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