Almost everyone knows an occasional overactivity of the sweat glands - hardly anyone who wears airtight, non-breathable shoes and socks over a longer period of time passes a welding foot. And almost all people sweat under stress. But some people have hyperhidrosis (hyperhidrosis).
Hyperhidrosis: Excessive sweating
Hyperhidrosis is a genetic predisposition to pronounced sweating - especially pronounced on the arms, hands and feet, but in principle, the sweat is obvious throughout the body. In the case of hyperhidrosis, heavy sweating is usually associated with unpleasant odor. Those affected barely dare to reach out to others or take off their shoes, constantly have wet underarms and garments and feel unclean and unkempt. People who sweat excessively and suffer from hyperhidrosis have a tremendous amount of suffering - they carry stacks of cloths to dry themselves off, hardly trusting people or relationships.
Causes of hyperhidrosis
The causes of such hyperfunction of the sweat glands as in Hyperhidore are often unclear - a hereditary component may play a role in hyperhidrosis. The psyche can help keep the vicious cycle of hyperhidrosis going: stress and anxiety cause sweating, and sweat attacks in turn lead to stress.
Hyperhidrosis can be the concomitant of other diseases: In addition to diabetes and tuberculosis sweat especially in malaria, hyperthyroidism (hyperthyroidism), in certain tumors (for example, Hodgkin's lymphoma) or after taking drugs (antidepressants or caffeine). Even as a troublesome companion of menopause hot flashes and strong sweats felt.
In new Schwitzattacken especially at night in any case, a doctor should rule out serious causes!
Therapy for hyperhidrosis
On a modest scale, daily showering, underarm hair shaving, natural fiber or de-soaping clothing, and deodorants help. In mild to moderate sweating antiperspirants inhibit sweat production. They contain, for example, aluminum chloride, hexamethylene tetramine, formalin or glutaric acid. For more pronounced cases, there are other possibilities:
- There are some medications, for example, with the active ingredient methanthelinium bromide, which reduce the sweating of the whole body; However, these have significant side effects and are therefore little used.
- Ionophoresis (low-current therapy): A standard therapy for severe hand or foot sweat is tap water iontophoresis. Here, hands and feet are immersed in a salt bath to which a weak direct current is supplied via electrodes. The electricity is generated by a specially designed DC generator. In the process, the outgoing channels of the sweat glands are temporarily blocked by coagulation of the proteins, without the glands being damaged. A session lasts approximately 20 minutes and must be repeated at least initially, several times a week on a regular basis. For many patients who sweat only slightly or moderately excessively, ionophoresis will help for up to 3 months over a longer period of time. The success, however, is not individually calculable. Who sweats especially on the body or in the armpits, can not use this treatment method. Whether and to what extent this treatment is taken over by the health insurance must be clarified in individual cases.
- Treatment with Botox: Botulinum toxin A is a toxin of the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. This bacterium is actually known as the cause of food poisoning. As an active ingredient, Botox has recently caused a stir, especially in cosmetic surgery. Therapeutically, however, industrially produced toxin is used to inhibit the transmission of nerve stimuli. In the case of hyperhidrosis (especially in underarm perspiration), one can prevent the nerve impulses on sweat gland cells and thus the sweating. The active ingredient is injected in very low concentrations directly into the subcutaneous fatty tissue, which can be very painful especially on the feet and requires good anesthesia. The treatment must usually be repeated (at the earliest after half a year).
- Surgical and not uncontroversial are surgical interventions - from the removal of sweat glands in the armpits (by means of suction = suktionskürrettage) to the severing of "sweaty nerves" in the chest or abdomen. This endoscopic transthoracic symphathectomy (ETS) is used primarily for sweating on the face, under the armpits and / or hands; As a side effect, the sweating on other parts of the body occurs.
- For some patients, concomitant psychotherapeutic treatment helps to better manage their condition.
From the Pflanzenheilkunde particularly the sage is known for its antiperspirant effect - it must however be used over a longer period of time. In some cases, methods from complementary medicine such as acupuncture and homeopathy have proved helpful.