Child Sweating – Young Age Hyperhidrosis:
Excessive hand sweating or palmar hyperhidrosis can appear at a very young age. Children as young as 6 or 7 can have problems with excessive hand sweating which is often poorly understood by their parents, teachers and schoolmates. Obviously this can very stressful and create a lot of functional and social problems. The surgical solution should not be applied at a very young age. I believe that children suffering from hyperhidrosis should be supported by their families and try any conservative measures available.
Even though surgical treatment was offered to children as young as 10 years of age it was observed that there recurrence rate in the younger age groups is higher. Dr. Reisfeld believes that within this age group (10-14 years old) the regeneration ability is much more pronounced giving a reason for a higher rate of recurrence. Also during these younger years and time of growth the body has more ways to change. Because of that Dr. Reisfeld at present limits the surgical treatment for patients who reach mental and physical maturity (Over 14 to 15 years of age). Having said that, when one encounters this younger population, with enormous physical and mental anguish, then after careful consideration the procedure can be offered.
Alternative Hyperhidrosis Treatments
A surgical approach should be reserved for only the severe cases once the child enters maturity. This should be determined with your doctor. The decision about performing sympathectomy in the younger age groups should NOT be done on an emotional basis. The decision should only be made after careful consideration.
Since Hyperhidrosis is known to be a genetic disorder the clinical manifestations can come at a very young age. Obviously having hyperhidrosis will cause problems to the affected child and to his family. Affected children can experience not only embarrassing comments by their peers but also some misunderstanding from their parents, teachers and other adult instructors. This in turn can aggravate the negative impact on the child. Stories about affected children who did not want to go back to school or failed in their classes is something I hear from parents all the time.
The treatment for children affected severely by hyperhidrosis or excessive hand sweating should be given both to the patients and their families. First the families should understand the problem by discussing the situation with an appropriate medical care provider. They should understand this is a physiological issue and not a mental problem with their child. The affected children on the other hand should be supported as much as possible by explanations and re-enforcing the fact that there is nothing wrong with them. The most appropriate time for surgical treatment is not yet determined but physiologically and mentally matured children could be offered a surgical solution after the age of 14. In the mean time alternative methods are available.
For teenagers the situation becomes more serious due to the social and functional pressures that are more prevalent at this age. Driving for example becomes a problem which is not recognized by a regular person. Social interaction becomes much more involved at this age and it can cause anxiety and introversion as well. Teenages become embarrassed of the effects of the condition such as their sweaty hands or feet. The use of electronic devices, which has become an imperative part of our lives, can be a serious problem. Having said that that the impact of severe hyperhidrosis is much more acute at this age group. Teenagers choice or motivation for future professions can also be affected by this condition.
Obviously attempts should be made to treat this with conservative measures as we recommend throughout our website. Teenagers become more mature and a decision should be made with them after careful discussions with an appropriate specialist about the benefits as well as the side effects of the operation. Only after a careful discussion can a decision be made.
The vast majority of patients from this age group describe their operation as a life changing step.