June 23, 2010

Hyperhidrosis or Excessive Sweating in Children

Posted in Category : Child Health

Hyperhidrosis is a medical condition that causes a person to sweat profusely. The sweating is higher in areas like the palms, face, armpits and soles of the feet. This condition is genetic and can occur at right from a young age, affecting children who are as young as 6 or 7 years old. Having hyperhidrosis causes problems, not just for the child, but also for the child’s family, as this condition can lead to a lot stress and embarrassment for the child, especially at social functions. Unfortunately, not a lot of people are aware of hyperhidrosis and believe it to be excessive sweating in children. Normally the Sympathetic Nervous System regulates the production of sweat, by controlling all the sweat-glands in the body. In case the body temperature rises for any reason, the flow of hot blood to the brain signals the brain to increase the blood flow to the skin, thereby increasing the amount of perspiration. In hyperhidrosis, the sweat glands do not follow any signals and produce high amounts of sweat, which are directed to the face, palms, feet and underarms.

In order to diagnose this problem, you may need to have your child visit a dermatologist, who will begin the diagnostic process, by conducting a physical exam. In case your child suffers from hyperhidrosis, droplets of sweat will probably be visible even if the child is not anxious or nervous. The doctor may need to check family history as around 25% to 50% of hyperhidrosis patients have a family history of the condition. A blood test may be required, to check for the presence of other medical conditions like diabetes or thyroid. The doctor may conduct a minor-starch iodine test, where an iodine solution will be rubbed on the child’s palms along with some starch powder. In case of excessive sweating the powder will turn blue. The volume of sweat is further measured through filter paper.


Fortunately, there are different hyperhidrosis treatments that can improve the symptoms of this condition. Opting for natural treatments is the most preferable way, as it is the best form of a hyperhidrosis natural cure. In case natural and home remedies are not very effective, a doctor may suggest anti-cholinergic drugs, to control the sweating. Some doctors may recommend surgery, in the case of older children. There are several books as well as websites with information on the most effective treatment of hyperhidrosis. However, it is very important to consult your doctor, before giving any medications to a child.