Hyperhidrosis is the exaggerated expression of a natural mechanism essential for our survival. There are several treatments, depending on the forms
Sweating profusely, enough to feel uncomfortable just at the thought of shaking someone’s hand. hyperhidrosis, a condition that affects 1 to 5 percent of the population and which in summer risks becoming even more difficult to tolerate.
What are the characteristics of hyperhidrosis?
Sweating is a necessary mechanism for regulating body temperaturebut in some people she is hyperactive enough to sweat a lot more than necessary – he begins Andrea Carugnospecialist in dermatology and venereology at the complex operating unit of dermatology of the Asst Papa Giovanni XXIII of Bergamo and contract professor at the University of Milan-Bicocca -. The first signs of hyperhidrosis usually appear in childhood or adolescence and then persist for life. In most cases it is a chronic idiopathic primary condition, which means that the precise causes are not known. However there is also a secondary form linked to other conditionssuch as infections, endocrine pathologies, tumors, or taking certain medications.
What causes hyperhidrosis?
Sweating promotes thermoregulation, skin hydration and fluid and electrolyte balance. Sweat is essential for man’s survival and acts as a coolant for the body, protecting it from overheating. There are two to four million sweat glands distributed throughout the body. Most are sweat glands “Eccrine”, which are found in large numbers on soles of the feet and palms of the hands and, to a lesser extent, on the forehead, cheeks and armpits. In general, the type of sweat involved in hyperhidrosis is eccrine.
There are also called sweat glands “Apocrine”which are found in the armpits and in the genital region. They produce a thick fluid which, in contact with the bacteria present on the skin, produces the characteristic “body odor”. The sweat glands are activated by the nerves, which respond to a variety of stimuli, including excess heat, hormones, emotions and physical activity. In people suffering from hyperhidrosis, the sweat glands, especially the eccrine ones, overreact to stimuli and are generally hyperactive, producing more sweat than necessary.
How can this be countered?
Secondary hyperhidrosis must be addressed by treating the pathologies or conditions that cause it, while in the case of primary hyperhidrosis the therapeutic possibilities are different. The choice of the most suitable treatment must be made together with the doctor, after evaluating the pros and cons. Medical treatments are generally well tolerated but have no definitive effects. For this reason they must be repeated at time intervals. Generally antiperspirants based on aluminum saltswhich should not be confused with traditional deodorants that do not act on the production of sweat, they are the treatment of first choice.
For patients with palmar or plantar hyperhidrosis, iontophoresis, which consists in applying a low intensity direct current capable of blocking the ducts of the sweat glands for a certain period of time, may be indicated. Second-line treatments include local injection of botulinum toxin and the use of specific drugs (anticholinergics, sedatives, anxiolytics, etc.). Botulinum toxin allows the
blockage of the nerve endings that activate the sweat glands, temporarily inhibiting its activity. The use of systemic drugs, due to potential side effects, is not always practical or suitable for long periods. In specific cases, surgery can also be done
Thorough cleansing of the skin is certainly an important daily habit, especially after intense sweating. For this purpose it is recommended to use products that are delicate, emollients and, if necessary, antibacterial, then taking care to dry well – reports Andrea Carugno -. To reduce the discomfort associated with excessive sweating, it is also advisable to avoid clothing that is too tight and synthetic. Using absorbent insoles in shoes as well as the use of breathable shoes. Finally you can have benefits with some tricks at the table, limiting foods that can affect sweating such as alcohol, caffeine, spicy foods as well as elaborate and overly salty dishes.
August 16, 2022 (change August 16, 2022 | 15:15)
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