About one million people in Germany suffer from hyperhidrosis. What do we know about profuse sweating?
Our cooling mechanism is an evolutionary achievement. But what if he does too much of a good thing?
Living beings that have water cooling based on the principle of evaporation form a manageable group. Horses, zebras and camels are among them, as well as other monkeys besides us humans. Cats and dogs cannot sweat; in many predators, the remaining sweat glands on the paw or paw serve only to place scent trails.
Although we experienced a record number of hours of sunshine in 2022, our relationship with the smell of cooling perspiration is divided: the dog proudly stamps the field with it, the owner muffles the smell and moisture with the deodorant can. This also works, unless you suffer from hyperhidrosis. Like many evils in the medical vocabulary, this one too has a Greek name, which, however, denotes nothing more complicated than the overzealousness of the sweat glands.
Especially the palms, soles and armpits are affected, in whose sphere of influence the sweat stains can reach enormously, a serious torment for those affected.
Why do some people sweat more than others?
But why is it that the slightly salty water that the sweat glands secrete flows so strongly? The sheer amount is not the measure of it – at the right time, ie in high heat, any adult and healthy person can secrete liters of sweat during the day. There is therefore no simple metric for diagnosing hyperhidrosis. The wrong timing, on the other hand, is the main symptom: “The occurrence of sweating independent of temperature, unpredictable and not voluntarily controllable,” says the guideline of the responsible medical associations. She divides the condition into three degrees of severity. In the most severe, grade III, the sweat stains reach more than 20 centimeters in diameter and, clinical texts are very direct, the “sweat drips off”.
Those affected in this way, starting in child or Unfortunately, adolescence is often discriminated against and experiences early on that home remedies are not enough. The symptoms are not caused by too many or too large glands, but by overactivity of the nerves that control them. These can be dampened with medications, but sweat glands can also be removed or sealed with botulinum toxin (botox for short). The right amount of treatment can be easily controlled thanks to medical advice and the normal cooling function of sweating is preserved.