Perspiration Guide - Why do we perspire?

This comes from those small sweat glands. These are small organs located in the skin. Due to certain stimuli, nervous, humoral or increased temperature they will secrete sweat which in turn helps with thermal regulation. The main function of sweat is to regulate the body temperature. When sweat occurs it follows with evaporation of the sweat produced and hence cooling of the body surface happens.

There are two main types of sweat glands eccrine glands and apocrine glands. The eccrine glands are controlled by the sympathetic chain. The production of apocrine sweat maybe stimulated by humoral epinephrine. Apocrine secretion is not blocked by sympathectomy hence the unpredictable results for Auxiliary sweating with sympathectomy. The botox injection can be applied for Auxiliary sweating only and also sub-dermal suction of the skin in the armpit region can offer a long lasting relief.

In cases of hyperhidrosis the perspiration is pathological and beyond the physiological need of the body. Hyperhidrosis can be functionally and socially disabling. Different treatment modalities are used but the surgical option is the one that gives long lasting results.

Among the conservative methods the usage of aluminum chloride lotion is the most commonly used. Another popular method is the usage of the Iontophoresis machine. The machine sends very low voltage currents into the palms of the hands or the plantar surface of the feet. The exact mechanism in terms of how it works is not yet known. There are some oral medications that are used as well. All of them are coming from the family of anticholinergic drugs. Botox® is also offered as a treatment modality but so far it is not an FDA approved method specifically for the treatment of excessive hand sweating or palmar hyperhidrosis.

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