Perspiration (Sweating) can occur in many different areas on the body. Most commonly, hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating) occurs on the palms/hands (palmar hyperhidrosis), feet (plantar hyperhidrosis) and armpits (axillary hyperhidrosis).
When the act of shaking hands presents a problem, business and day-to-day life can become very uncomfortable. Many patients report that they are even embarrassed to hold the hands of those they love and those they are closest to. Some patients report that the perspiration prevents them from being as sociable as they would like to be, as they are forced to hide in the shadow of hyperhidrosis. Regardless of where it occurs, perspiration presents an incredible problem to those living with the condition. Other problems occur such as smeared ink when writing or an inability to use electronic devices such as keyboards and computers. Hyperhidrosis can extremely affect people socially and functionally in their everyday lives. Thankfully, there is a permanent surgical cure for excessive perspiration.
Hyperhidrosis is not a temporary condition. Many people who suffer from it have suffered for many years, usually since childhood. Also, whether living in a hot or cold climate, patients who experience hyperhidrosis experience constant perspiration.
Causes of Excessive Perspiration:
While doctors do not know why excessive sweating starts, the most likely cause is a genetic one. They have successfully linked hyperhidrosis to over-activity in the sympathetic nervous system. Specifically, it is the Thoracic Sympathetic Ganglion Chain, which runs along the vertebra of the spine inside the chest cavity. The gene responsible for hyperhidrosis activates the sympathetic ganglia located in the upper chest cavity (for palmar hyperhidrosis – hands) and in the lumbar region for (plantar hyperhidrosis – feet).
This chain controls the glands, known as the apocrine and eccrine glands, responsible for perspiration throughout the entire body. The eccrine sweat glands are mainly concentrated in the palms of the hands and soles of the feet. In most cases, the hands and feet are affected. To a lesser degree, the face and armpit (axillae) regions are affected. Another manifestation of the hyperactive sympathetic activity is facial blushing.
Sometimes people perspire heavily because of other illnesses such as hyperthyroidism, psychiatric disorders, menopause and obesity. These causes must first be ruled out before Primary Hyperhidrosis can be diagnosed. Dr. Reisfeld speaks with potential candidates for the procedure over the phone or in person to review their condition and advise them of their best options.
Have any sweat related questions that were not answered here? Would you like to speak with Dr. Reisfeld about those questions? To learn more about what we can do for you, contact The Center for Hyperhidrosis by contacting our office.
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