Health

Hyperhidrosis: Know About Excessive Sweating in Children

Jul 21 2019 By Sriya

Except while playing, does your child sweat too much? Does excessive sweating interfere with your child’s life on daily basis?

Similarly, does your child experience extreme bouts of sweat that soaks though his/her clothes?

Unlike older children and teens, extreme sweating in younger children is not common. So, if your child has those symptoms, it may be hyperhidrosis.

Hyperhidrosis is a condition that causes sweat up to five times more than necessary to regulate body temperature.

In other words, extreme sweating of your kid might be a symptom of an underlining medical problem.

Therefore, take a look at what you should know about excessive sweating in your children.

What Is Hyperhidrosis?

We usually sweat to keep our body temperature constant because sweat evaporating from the skin creates a cooling effect for the body.

However, when our body produces much more sweat than it needs to keep cool, it is called hyperhidrosis.

Hyperhidrosis, excessive sweating, is a condition that affects about 1-3% of the population all around the world.

In some cases the hyperhidrosis disappears after a few years whereas, in others it gets worse.

Children often get hyperhidrosis in their palms and feet, then later on, often during their teens, the armpits are affected.

How Much Sweat Is Normal?

Physical activity and warm or humid environments cause kids to sweat that’s why children sweat for certain amount.

In addition, child who is suffering from cold, flu or fever may also experience excessive sweating. This condition usually disappears as soon as it gets over.

Henceforth, it’s normal for your child to sweat in situations where normal human beings sweat.

However, if your child experiences persistent excessive sweating for no apparent reason, they might be suffering from hyperhidrosis.

Symptoms of Hyperhidrosis In Children

Visible Sweating And Weakness

If your child is suffering from hyperhidrosis, he/she may experience excess sweating on his/her feet, palms, and armpits.

Similarly, your child’s clothes may become wet, and he/she may go through an embarrassing situation in his/her daily life.

Sweating Interfering Daily Activities

Above all, the excess sweat condition in your child can adversely affect his/her daily activities.

You child might not be able to play games like other, his/her pen may slip from his/her hand or the sweat drips down on papers or computer.

Skin Turns Whitish

Excessive sweat accumulated in a particular region of the body can turn your child’s whitish and peeled off.

Skin Infections

Hyperhidrosis or excessive sweat can sometime increase the risk of skin infections including ringworm in your child.

Also, it may affect his/her daily life especially if your child is extremely interested in physical activities.

Other Skin Conditions

If your child is suffering from excessive sweating, he/she also may encounter conditions of eczema, skin inflammation, or white rashes elevated due to the onset of Hyperhidrosis.

Types of Hyperhidrosis in Children

Hyperhidrosis affects 0.6 percent of children and 1.6 percent of adolescents. There are two different types of excessive sweating or hyperhidrosis in medical terms:

Primary Hyperhidrosis

Primary Hyperhidrosis refers to a condition in which there is sweating only in the armpits, palms of the hands and feet.

Children with primary hyperhidrosis typically don’t sweat while sleeping. Doctors aren’t exactly sure what causes primary hyperhidrosis.

However, research have shown that it can be due to hereditary condition. Otherwise healthy children can still be diagnosed with primary hyperhidrosis.

While primary hyperhidrosis symptoms usually appear during puberty or early adulthood, they can develop during childhood.

Secondary Hyperhidrosis

Secondary Hyperhidrosis refers to excessive sweating that is usually generalized and occurs all over the body.

It’s typically caused by an underlying medical condition or medication. Kids having secondary hyperhidrosis are more likely to sweat at night.

For instance, children having diabetes, infections or any sort of other medical conditions have chances to suffer from secondary hyperhidrosis.  

Causes of Hyperhidrosis In Children

Sweating is the internal mechanism to control the elevating temperature of the human body. The nervous system automatically initiates perspiration in the sweat glands.

The internal body’s heat gets liberated out of the body. Sweating of palms may occur when the person feels nervous or excited.

However, there are certain metabolic or neurological conditions to initiate the condition of child excessive sweating.

Complex health disease or excessive emotion can cause your child’s sweat glands to trigger causing excessive sweat in their body.

When your child suffers from hyperhidrosis, the nerves responsible for the sweat glands become overactive and initiate excess sweat.

In addition, this condition worsens when your child is under extreme stress, tension or on atmosphere having high temperature.

Some of the more serious causes of excessive sweating in young children include:

Infections

Any type of infection whether mild or serious also can lead to causing your child with excessive sweating.

Sometimes low grade infections such as tuberculosis may have only sweating as a symptom.

Hyperthyroidism

Hyperthyroidism, overactive thyroid may also cause excess sweating and sweating may be the only symptom.

When your child has hyperthyroidism, he/she may also experience weight loss, a rapid heartbeat, and anxiety with excessive sweat.

Diabetes

Excessive sweating also can be a symptom of diabetes. Having diabetes at small age might not be that common.

However, if your child has diabetes he/she may experience increased thirst, increased urination, and weigh loss along with excessive sweat.

Hypertension

High blood pressure in children is another specific causes of hyperhidrosis.

If your child has the habit of taking excessive stress or getting angry, he/she may be affected by excessive sweating.

Congestive Heart Failure

Children with congestive heart failure usually have other symptoms in addition to excessive sweating.

For instance, they may tire easily with feedings, have a rapid respiratory rate, cough frequently, and have poor weight gain.

Treatment of Hyperhidrosis in Children

If your child has secondary generalized hyperhidrosis, the approach to find and treat the underlying cause of sweating is to consult with your child’s pediatrician.

However, if you child has primary hyperhidrosis, there are a number of treatment options available:

Topical Treatments

Topical treatments are medicines that are put on the skin. It includes antiperspirants and topical anticholinergic medicines.

Antiperspirants are used to clog sweat gland and decrease the amount of sweating that causes hyperhidrosis.

Your pediatrician or dermatologist can prescribe topical antiperspirants like Drysol and Xerac Ac to combat hyperhidrosis in kids.

These can be found both over the counter and by prescription of your doctor. Apply it on the affected area once a day.

Topical anticholinergic medicines help in blocking the nerve stimulation of the sweat glands, causing then to produce less sweat.

Oral Medicines

Oral medicines means the medicines taken by mouth. Sometimes, doctors recommend oral anticholinergic medicines to reduce sweating.

They reduce sweating by drying out the entire body. However, these medicines have certain side effects too.

For instance, dry mouth, constipation, increased heart rate, urinary problems, and blurry visions are some of them.

Iontophoresis

During iontophoresis, a medical device passes a mild electrical current though water to your skin;s surface using shallow pans.

It is not painful, and treatments last 20 to 30 minutes. Your doctor will recommend a regular maintenance schedule to keep your child’s sweating symptoms at bay.

Botulinum Toxin A Injections

Botulinum Toxin A Injections are used for focal hyperhidrosis in the underarm area. It blocks the signals from the nerve to the sweat gland.

The injections are made into the skin with a very fine needle, so you do not worry much about your child.

However, side effects such as itching and headache can occur to your child for a while.

Supporting Your Child With Hyperhidrosis

Other than just treatment from a doctor, you can always help your child deal with excessive sweat in many ways.

You can educate your child about hyperhidrosis. Just be honest and open with you child and keep empowering him/her to overcome embarrassing situations.

Similarly, discuss the situation with your child’s principal, teachers and instructors for extra-curricular activities.

If they know about your child’s medical condition, they will be more supportive towards your child.

You can also demonstrate and explain your child that it’s alright to show and share their feelings.

It will help both you and your child to think about the problems and solve it calmly whether be it by talking or taking precautions.

In addition, you can always encourage your child to pursue activities of interest and enjoyment, and those that may promote self-confidence.

Above all, you can keep track of what worked and what did not work and any feelings that were raised in you and your child.

Bottom Line on Hyperhidrosis in Children

Unlike teenage, excessive sweating in younger children is very uncommon, at least when they are not at hot temperature or overdressed.

If your baby has excess sweating, he/she might have serious issues with hyperhidrosis.

Therefore, instead of just ignoring the symptoms, talk to your pediatrician in order to make sure you are not missing a medical condition.

Like said, prevention is better than cure. So, make sure you notice the symptoms soon so that your child doesn’t have a severe problem later.


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