Hyperhidrosis - excessive perspiration 

Why do some people sweat more than others?

The word hyperhidrosis comes from the Greek ὑπέρ (hypér) „even more, beyond“ and ἱδρώς (hidrós) 'sweat' and denotes an excessive sweat production.

It is a medical diagnosis.

An estimated 1-2% of Germans are affected by hyperhidrosis. The number of unreported cases is said to be even higher.

Scientifically speaking, hyperhidrosis is a condition in which at least 100 mg of sweat is produced within five minutes in an armpit (guideline of the German Dermatological Society).

Hyperhidrosis sufferers do not have more sweat glands than others, but their sweat glands are stimulated more often.

Hyperhidrosis occurs to 60 % on the palms of the hands (sweaty hands) or soles of the feet, 40 % in the armpits, 10 % on the head (mainly the forehead) and rarely in other parts of the body.

A distinction is also made between primary and secondary hyperhidrosis.

Primary hyperhidrosis:

This is called congenital hyperhidrosis. Typical of primary hyperhidrosis is:

·      Commencement of symptoms in childhood or adolescence (< 25 years)

·      The occurrence of sweating is temperature-independent, unpredictable and cannot be deliberately controlled

·      Occurrence more than once a week with impairment in everyday life

·      No increased sweating during sleep

Secondary hyperhidrosis:

Consequence or follow-up symptom of a different medical condition.

Consequences of this illness:

-      Feeling of inferiority

-      Mental problems

-      Isolation

-      Reduced enjoyment of life, both private and professionally

How do I know if I have hyperhidrosis?

Iodine strength tests

The doctor coats the dry part of the body with an iodine solution, which excretes sweat more often. 

As the sweat reacts (chemically) with iodine, the sweating skin area becomes black-blue.

The aim of the test is to determine the exact body part affected by excessive sweat production.

Gravimetry test

With the help of this method, on the other hand, the physician can determine the amount of sweating. The necessary equipment for this test: filter paper, stopwatch and a scale.

With the filter paper, the doctor absorbs the perspiration that you gave off within a specified period of time.

This filter paper is then weighed.

Of course, the result can vary greatly from time to time. The aim is to use such measurements to determine whether applied therapies - such as an antiperspirant (such as NovelProtection by Soummé) work.

More than 100 milligrams of sweat in five minutes indicate hyperhidrosis.


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