Advertisement
 

doctorslounge.com

 
Powered by
Careerbuilder

 

                    Home  |  Forums  |  Humor  |  Advertising  |  Contact
   Ask a Doctor

   News via RSS

   Newsletter

   Dermatology

   News

 

 Conferences


   CME

   Forum Archives

   Diseases

   Symptoms

   Labs

   Procedures

   Drugs

   Links
   Specialties

   Cardiology

   Dermatology

   Endocrinology

   Fertility

   Gastroenterology

   Gynecology

   Hematology

   Infections

   Nephrology

   Neurology

   Oncology

   Orthopedics

   Pediatrics

   Pharmacy

   Primary Care

   Psychiatry

   Pulmonology

   Rheumatology

   Surgery

   Urology

   Other Sections

   Membership

   Research Tools

   Medical Tutorials

   Medical Software

 

 Headlines:

 
 

Back to Dermatology Articles

Friday 15th July, 2005

 

Excessive sweating disorder, also known as hyperhidrosis, and its treatment options are gaining greater attention from physicians.

 
 

tellfrnd.gif (30x26 -- 1330 bytes)send to a friend
 
prntfrnd.gif (30x26 -- 1309 bytes)printer friendly version
 

  Related
 
   
   

ROCHESTER, Minn. -- The often embarrassing, excessive sweating disorder, hyperhidrosis, and its treatment options are gaining greater attention from physicians. This is improving the efficacy of treatment and minimizing its adverse effects, Mayo Clinic authors write in the May issue of Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

Hyperhidrosis is one of the oldest known dermatologic conditions that even today is misconceived as rare and untreatable, says John Eisenach, M.D., a Mayo Clinic anesthesiologist and the primary author of the clinical review.

"Both ancient and modern medicine have been perplexed by this entity," says Dr. Eisenach.

The description and definition of excessive sweating date back to Hippocrates in the 4th century B.C. Today, the diagnosis and treatment of severe cases command a stepwise, multidisciplinary approach from the primary care physician, the dermatologist, the neurologist, and the surgeon. Variables include the site affected, the degree of severity and the response to treatment.

Dr. Eisenach and colleagues outline their findings on the evolving therapies and how this disorder is not as rare as commonly thought. "I think we've all shaken hands with someone who is affected by this," he says. "I just hope people with this condition seek help, because of the emerging treatment options and high satisfaction rates that can be obtained, even in severe cases."

The Food and Drug Administration approval of botulinum toxin type A (Botox) has provided an effective treatment of excessive sweating, particularly for the underarms. Other treatments may be utilized for excessive sweating on the face, the palms, or soles of the feet. A recent survey suggests that the prevalence of primary hyperhidrosis is 2.8 percent in the U.S. population, 1.4 percent have excessive sweating in the underarms (axillary hyperhidrosis), and one-sixth are projected to have sweating that is intolerable or interferes with daily activities. There also is a hereditary component, as approximately half of these patients have a relative with hyperhidrosis, says Dr. Eisenach.

Dr. Eisenach says one part of the brain controls the sweating response to body temperature, while another area controls the sympathetic, or emotional sweating response. For reasons unclear to hyperhidrosis researchers, the emotional component is in overdrive. The result is typically a healthy individual who perspires excessively, even in mildly stressful situations, such as a handshake or job interview. This can have socially debilitating consequences, particularly in young adults, Dr. Eisenach notes.

Not all sweating is benign, however. Primary hyperhidrosis affects people while they are awake, but nighttime sweating is never normal. A careful history and physical examination must be performed to rule out other causes of excessive sweating, which physicians call secondary hyperhidrosis. In contrast to the primary form, secondary hyperhidrosis is associated with other potentially serious medical problems that need further workup from physicians.

Treatment options are based on the severity of hyperhidrosis and the risks and benefits of therapy. They can range from antiperspirants to surgery, which involves disconnection of the sympathetic nerves that direct sweating in the arms and hands.

"Mayo Clinic's surgeons frequently perform these procedures for severe over-sweating of the hands when other treatments have failed," says Dr. Eisenach. "From an integrative standpoint, we are interested in studying the long-term effects of this surgery on the skin and blood vessels of the arm. So far, we have found essentially no adverse consequence in the patients' warm and dry hands."

Dr. Eisenach says Mayo researchers continue to gain insight into how this condition affects the body, before and after surgical correction. It also increases physicians' understanding of the sympathetic nervous system, also known as the "fight or flight response."

Other Mayo Clinic physicians who helped write the article are John Atkinson, M.D., a neurosurgeon, and Robert Fealey, M.D., a neurologist.

###

A peer-review journal, Mayo Clinic Proceedings publishes original articles and reviews dealing with clinical and laboratory medicine, clinical research, basic science research and clinical epidemiology. Mayo Clinic Proceedings is published monthly by Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research as part of its commitment to the medical education of physicians. The journal has been published for more than 75 years and has a circulation of 130,000 nationally and internationally.

advertisement.gif (61x7 -- 0 bytes)
 

Are you a doctor or a nurse?

Do you want to join the Doctors Lounge online medical community?

Participate in editorial activities (publish, peer review, edit) and give a helping hand to the largest online community of patients.

Click on the link below to see the requirements:

Doctors Lounge Membership Application


 

 advertisement.gif (61x7 -- 0 bytes)

 

 



We subscribe to the HONcode principles of the HON Foundation. Click to verify.
We subscribe to the HONcode principles. Verify here

Privacy Statement | Terms & Conditions | Editorial Board | About us
Copyright 2001-2012 DoctorsLounge. All rights reserved.