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Sweatingis a natural bodily function that helps regulate body temperature, however forsome individuals, excessive sweating can be a persistent concern.

Excessivesweating or Hyperhidrosis is a condition that affects millions of peopleworldwide and is characterized by excessive sweating in various parts of thebody, including palms, feet, underarms, and face. Sweaty palms are the mostcommon type of Primary Hyperhidrosis.

Sweatypalms become embarrassing for some people in social situations and may alsosignificantly impact an individual’s quality of life.

What is Hyperhidrosis?

Hyperhidrosisis a medical condition that causes excessive sweating in areas of the body thatare not typically associated with sweating. Affecting both men and women, thecondition typically begins during adolescence or early adulthood.

Theexact cause of hyperhidrosis is yet to be discovered, however, it could be berelated to overactive sweat glands. Triggered by a variety of factors,including stress, anxiety, hormonal changes, and certain medications, some peoplemay be genetically predisposed to this condition.

Thereare two main types of Hyperhidrosis, namely;

  • Primary hyperhidrosis,being the most common type, is believed to be related to an overactivesympathetic nervous system.
  • Secondary hyperhidrosisis less common and is generally caused due to an underlying medical conditionor medication.

Identifyingthe symptoms

Theprimary symptom of the condition is sweating in various areas of the body. Othersymptoms include:

  • Wetness on the skin
  • Damp clothing
  • Beads of fluid dripping from theforehead or cheeks

Overtime, with sweat irritating the skin, hyperhidrosis can lead to itching andskin inflammation, body odour when bacteria on the skin mix with sweatparticles and cracked or peeling skin, especially on the feet.

Symptomsvary, while some individuals experience mild, intermittent symptoms, othersface constant and significant sweating affecting their daily activities.

Commonareas where primary hyperhidrosis occurs include:

  • Armpits or underarms (axillaryhyperhidrosis)
  • Soles of the feet (plantarhyperhidrosis)
  • Palms of the hands (palmarhyperhidrosis)
  • Forehead and cheeks (craniofacialhyperhidrosis)

When to seek medical attention?

Excessivesweating accompanied by dizziness, pain in the chest, throat, jaw, arms,shoulders, or back, or cold skin with a rapid pulse, requires immediate medicalattention as it could be indicative of an emergency.

Consultyour healthcare provider to help identify potential underlying causes ofexcessive sweating and ensure appropriate management or treatment.

Yourdoctor will likely conduct a physical examination and ask you questions aboutyour symptoms and medical history. They may also perform diagnostic tests, suchas a sweat test, to help diagnose hyperhidrosis. Once diagnosed, there are varioustreatment options available, including, prescription antiperspirants,medications, and in some cases surgery. Lifestyle changes, such as avoidingtriggers like caffeine and spicy foods, may prove effective in managingsymptoms. Minor changes that one can bring about in their life include alsoinclude;

  • Wearing breathable clothing
  • Using absorbent materials in shoes
  • Avoiding situations that may triggerexcessive sweating

Thoracicsympathectomy for treating Hyperhidrosis.

Incases of excessive sweating or hyperhidrosis that do not respond well toconservative treatments like medication and lifestyle changes, surgery may bethe treatment of choice. Thoracic sympathectomy is an effective treatment forhyperhidrosis. It is commonly used to treat severe cases of palmarhyperhidrosis (excessive sweating of the palms) and axillary hyperhidrosis(excessive sweating of the underarms). On the other hand, endoscopicsympathectomy is very useful to treat patients dealing with facial sweating or flushing(redness).

Performedby a Thoracic Surgeon, this minimally invasive and day case procedure, involvesinterruption or removal of certain parts of the sympathetic nerves responsiblefor excessive sweating. This disruption helps reduce the stimulation of sweatglands, thereby alleviating symptoms.

Aswith any surgical procedure, Thoracic Sympathectomy has potential risks andside effects, hence it is essential to seek medical advice to understand ifthis is the appropriate treatment, considering one’s condition and medicalhistory.


Cardiac Surgery vs. Thoracic Surgery

Cardiac Surgery vs. Thoracic Surgery