Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Hyperhidorsis. What is it?

If you experience excessive sweating this is called  hyperhidrosis.  In individuals with hyperhidrosis, the autonomic stimulation of sweat glands are hyperactive. Perspiration is controlled by the autonomic nervous system and it is a normal bodily function. The autonomic nervous system is located in the brain that controls the involuntary movement of the body. Movements we have no conscious control over.

We have sweat glands widely dispersed throughout the body. But a great deal more under the breasts, hands, groin, armpits, genital area and feet. Which explains why we sweat more in those areas. Facial blushing is also a symptom of hyperhidrosis. Perspiring is a normal physiologic response of the body when the core body temperature rises. Perspiring is the body's way of cooling down it's core temperature. Stressful situations will stimulate the autonomic nervous system which increases sweat production by the glands in highly concentrated areas, such as in the hands.

For most people, perspiring is not a problem. However, in individuals with hyperhidrosis the autonomic nervous system in response to stress is hyperactive. For these individuals, shaking someone's hand can be embarrassing. The physiologic response of the autonomic nervous system to exercise or high temperature is normal. It is estimated 1% of adults suffer from hyperhidrosis. Excessive sweating begins in childhood and increases in severity into adulthood. Both men and women are affected equally.

Usually symptoms are mild and not disabling. Sweaty palms is the most common manifestation and the most socially disturbing. This can psychologically impact the person's ability to interact effectively in social situations. Hyperhidrosis can also have embarrassing effects with your partner in intimate situations.

If are experiencing excessive sweating even under normal circumstances, you can seed help from a Dermatologist. There are creams, antiperspirants, etc to help treat the symptoms.

Good health,

Trisha M. Pacenti RN,BSN