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March 23, 2020

Sudden sweating – what could be the reason?

Hyperhidrosis heavy sweatingSweat stains on your shirt and an unpleasant odor – a sudden outbreak of sweat is very unpleasant in pretty much any situation. If the outbreaks occur more frequently and without any recognizable influence, those affected usually feel helpless. Many people avoid events or social contacts in general out of shame. What can be the cause of heavy and uncontrolled sweating be? And what treatment options are there?

(Image: © Andrey Popov – stock.adobe.com)

Possible cause of heavy sweating: Hyperhidrosis

From one moment to the next, the skin is covered with an excessive amount of sweat and large stains appear on the clothing. When sudden outbreaks of sweating occur, those affected often do not even suspect that it is a disease. Extreme sweating is often dismissed as a genetic “peculiarity” of the body or blamed on a lack of fitness or excessive body weight.

The condition in question is known as hyperhidrosis. In this case, the sweat glands are overactive and therefore secrete a quantity of sweat that exceeds the healthy level required to regulate body temperature, for example. Hyperhidrosis also occurs during physical rest or at low temperatures, so that those affected also suffer from heavy sweating in winter.

What causes hyperhidrosis?

In primary hyperhidrosis, the sudden outbreaks of sweating occur without any recognizable cause. It is not yet clear why the sweat glands produce more sweat. It is assumed that a disturbance in the autonomic nervous system leads to the release of larger amounts of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, which activates the sweat glands. What can trigger this disorder is still unclear. A familial predisposition appears to play a significant role here.

Causes of secondary hyperhidrosis

A second form of hyperhidrosis is secondary hyperhidrosis. The heavy sweating is a consequence of another underlying illness or another trigger. Possible underlying conditions that can cause hyperhidrosis include hyperthyroidism, diabetes or tumor diseases. Neurological or mental illnesses can also lead to excessive sweating. Obesity, changes in hormone levels or the menopause can also cause hyperhidrosis. In some patients, the intake of certain medications is also the trigger for extreme sweating.

A detailed medical history is essential in order to find out the exact causes of the heavy sweating or to diagnose primary hyperhidrosis. Only on the basis of the individual medical history and a thorough examination can the doctor put together an appropriate and effective therapy.

Hyperhidrosis therapy with antiperspirants

The treatment of primary hyperhidrosis should above all be as gentle as possible, but still effective. The use of antiperspirants is one of the gentlest treatment options. The medicinal sprays or creams are applied to the affected areas. Primary hyperhidrosis is usually located in the axillary area, but it can also occur on other parts of the body such as the back or feet. Medical antiperspirants ensure that the channels leading from the sweat glands to the surface of the skin are narrowed. This reduces the amount of sweat secreted. At the same time, the products care for the skin.

Remedy with botulinum toxin

In medicine, botulinum toxin type A (Botox®) is mainly known from the anti-ageing field. In addition to wrinkle treatment, hyperhidrosis therapy is also one of the areas of application for the active ingredient. Botox® injections reduce the release of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. As one of the tasks of the neurotransmitter is to send information to the sweat glands, for example, a lower amount of acetylcholine has a direct effect on the activity of the sweat glands. If these do not receive the information to secrete sweat, the heavy and sudden sweating is also reduced.

Both antiperspirants and botulinum toxin do not achieve lasting results. They must be used regularly or repeated in order to maintain the sweat-reducing effect.

Sweat gland surgery

If the usual therapies with special medical products, botulinum toxin, relaxation exercises and other measures do not work or only with insufficient results, surgical intervention may also be advisable in severe cases of hyperhidrosis. There are various surgical procedures that are discussed individually with the patient. The sweat glands in the affected area are often removed to stop the heavy sweating.

Personal consultation on hyperhidrosis therapy

At our Weißensee Skin Center in Berlin, we will be happy to advise you in more detail about hyperhidrosis and the individual treatment options. We do not perform surgical procedures in our practice, but we have had very good experience with minimally invasive treatment options (antiperspirants, Botox®). We will work with you to create a treatment plan that suits you and reduces excessive sweating effectively and as gently as possible. Simply arrange a consultation consultation appointment in our practice !

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