Our expert says:
Claire, assuming that you’re not overweight, don’t suffer from a thyroid problem, adhere to the accepted hygiene regimens and that you’re in good general health, you might suffer hyperhidrosis. This is basically excessive perspiration due to over activity of the sweat glands. It usually occurs in otherwise healthy persons and is confined to the palms, soles, axillae, inframammary regions, or groin.
Hyperhidrosis may be a contributory factor in various skin diseases (fungal or pyogenic infections; contact dermatitis). Generalized hyperhidrosis frequently accompanies fever. An endocrine dysfunction (eg, hyperthyroidism) or, occasionally, a CNS disorder may also cause generalized sweating. Excessive sweating of the palms and soles may be psychogenic.
For generalized hyperhidrosis, the underlying systemic disease must be treated, yet the hyperhidrosis may be refractory. Systemic anticholinergic drugs have only a temporary effect, and side effects (eg, dry mouth, blurred vision, difficulty with urination) are problematic. For localized hyperhidrosis, a 20 to 25% solution of aluminium chloride hexahydrate in absolute ethyl alcohol applied at night to the dried axillae, palms, or soles and covered tightly with a thin polyethylene film is usually effective. In the morning, the polyethylene film is removed and the area is washed free of salt. Two applications usually protect the area for 1 week. If the aluminum chloride under occlusion is irritating, it should be tried without occlusion. This solution should not be applied to inflamed, broken, wet, or recently shaved skin. In some patients, tap-water iontophoresis may be effective. A 5% solution of methenamine (available in some countries) in water may also be effective. Topical solutions containing glutaraldehyde or formaldehyde may be effective but can be irritating. If the anhydrous aluminium chloride treatment fails, extreme axillary hyperhidrosis may be relieved by surgically excising the concentrated group of glands in the axillary vault or injecting the area with Botox®. An operation called a sympathectomy can also be done where the nerve supply to the offending glands is cut off and keeps them from secreting any sweat. This operation is not possible for excessive sweating of the head.
All this said, the easiest would be to see a dermatologist and if he can’t help, a surgeon. Good luck.
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