In most mammals, water is given off by the intact skin during perspiration. perspiration is carried out either as vapour by simple evaporation from the epidermis (insensible perspiration) or as sweat which is a inbuilt cooling method of body in which the water actively secreted from sweat glands, evaporates from the body surface.
Perspiration is carried to the skin’s surface when the air temperature increases, or you’re feeling anxious and under stress, or you develop a fever, or you’re exercising, . If these factors do not create any problems, then the nerves that control sweating are put in control.
Sometimes our sweat glands do not show proper functioning and create a lot of health hazards. Let us discuss about these disturbing and life threatening problems.
Anhidrosis, in which health problem, perspiration occurs very little and makes body over-heated can be life-threatening. It can cause heat stroke. Causes of anhidrosis include dehydration, burns, and some skin and nerve disorders.
Signs and symptoms of anhidrosis include:
- Little or no perspiration
- Feeling hot
- Muscle cramps or weakness
A lack of perspiration can occur:
- Over most of your body
- In a single area
- In scattered patches
- Conditions with which one is born such as certain congenital dysplasia that affect the proper development of sweat glands.
- Genetic conditions that affect your metabolic system, such as Fabry’s disease.
- Connective tissue diseases, such as Sjogren’s syndrome, which causes dry eyes and mouth
- Skin damage, such as from burns or radiation therapy, or diseases that clog your pores (poral occlusion), such as psoriasis
- Conditions that cause nerve damage, such as diabetes, and Guillain-Barre syndrome.
- Certain drugs, such as morphine and botulinum toxin type A, and those used to treat psychosis.
Heat-related illnesses are present in anhidrosis. Such problems include –
Heat cramps. Symptoms include muscle pain or spasms. Take rest and drink water. Get medical help if cramps last more than one hour.
Heat exhaustion. This creates weakness, nausea and a rapid pulse. Take rest and take enough fluid.
Heatstroke. This life-threatening condition occurs when your body temperature reaches 103 F (39.5 C) or higher. Skin may be hot, red or dry. If not treated immediately, heatstroke can cause loss of consciousness.
Excessive sweating than usual is the symptom of such health problem. For the 1% to 2% of the population who have hyperhidrosis, the sweat glands work excessively. They sweat even when staying in cool atmosphere. Some people even tell their doctors that they sweat in a swimming pool.
The causes of hyperhidrosis depend on the type of sweating that’s happening. Most times, excessive sweating is harmless. In some cases, doctors don’t know why people sweat too much. In other cases, the causes of hyperhidrosis may be a medical condition that you need to be aware of.
There are two types of hyperhidrosis.
- Primary hyperhidrosis causes excessive sweating in the hands, underarms, face, and feet without any proper reason.
- Secondary hyperhidrosis causes excessive sweating all over the body or in a larger area of the body and can be caused by excessive heat as well as a medical condition or medication.
Primary Hyperhidrosis Causes
People with primary hyperhidrosis generally sweat from a certain type of sweat gland called eccrine sweat glands. These sweat glands make up the majority of the 2-4 million sweat glands in your body. Eccrine sweat glands are numerous on the feet, palms, face, and armpits.
When your body is overheated, when you’re moving around, when you’re feeling emotional, or as a result of hormones, nerves activate the sweat glands. When those nerves overreact, it causes hyperhidrosis. For instance, someone may only need to think of a situation that causes anxiety in order to break out in a sweat.
Doctors aren’t sure why people have primary hyperhidrosis, although it may be inherited. Many people tell their doctors they’ve had excessive sweating since they were a child.
One common side effect is excessive sweating in other parts of the body, such as the chest, back, or legs. Other possible risks include bleeding into the chest and nerve problems.
Secondary Hyperhidrosis Causes
Sweating from secondary hyperhidrosis is different from primary hyperhidrosis. It tends to happen all over or in one specific area of body. Unlike primary hyperhidrosis, this type is more likely to cause sweating during sleep.
A number of medical conditions can cause hyperhidrosis. They are –
- Parkinson’s disease
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Heart attack or heart failure
- Respiratory failure
- Alcohol or substance abuse
Many medications can also cause excessive sweating. Tell your doctor if you take:
- Alzheimer’s drugs
- Diabetes drugs.
- Some drugs related to eye disease.
To prevent Anhidrosis symptoms –
- Wear loose, light clothing when it’s warm.
- Stay indoors on hot days.
- Use a spray bottle containing water to cool yourself.
- Do not over do any physical activities.
- Keep in check whether any symptoms are present.
Treating the underlying condition will help decrease the sweating of secondary hyperhidrosis.
People with primary hyperhidrosis may be able to cope with nonsurgical treatments, including –
- Over-the-counter antiperspirants that contain aluminum.
- Medications that affect the nerve signals to sweat glands. You may take them in pill form or apply. them to your skin as a cream or with a medicated wipe.
- A low-intensity electrical current treatment called iontophoresis.
- Botox injections for underarm sweating.
- Anti-anxiety medications to manage the stress than can cause you to sweat.
During another procedure, called thoracic sympathectomy, a surgeon cuts and destroys the nerves responsible for sweating.