What Causes Excessive Sweating On The Face
Sweating or perspiration is necessary in life and plays an important role in protecting the body from overheating (thermal regulation). However, a strong and excessive sweating is often very unpleasant for those affected and may even be pathological.
Sweating or perspiration is the visible secretion of sweat through the sweat glands of the skin, which are found throughout the body surface except on the lips and glans. In total, the skin has more than two million sweat glands; On the forehead, the palms of the hands and the soles of the feet are in a greater concentration. Sweat is fluid and acidic (pH value = 4.5) and consists of water, sodium chloride, urea and uric acid. Sweat forms a protective layer on the skin that can protect against pathogens.
In case of intense heat, the sweating begins for the thermal regulation in the face, whereas in case of nervous excitation the perspiration (nervous sweating) first begins in the palms of the hands and the soles of the feet. Sweat secretion of several liters per day can occur even in non-pathological conditions. The vegetative nervous system regulates the production of sweat. If the body produces sweat in quantities greater than those necessary for the regulation of temperature is called hyperhidrosis. This disease does not consist of the body producing too much sweat, but in the malfunction of sweating.
What Are The Causes Of Excessive Sweating?
Strong sweating or strong perspiration can have very different causes. Increased production of sweat when exerting bodily effort (eg, sport), high outside temperature or wearing warm clothing is completely normal.
However, some habits or circumstances may favor the onset of sweating. For example, food. The consumption of foods, heavy consumption of foods, hypercaloric or spicy can stimulate the sweat glands, increasing the production of sweat. In addition, coffee or alcohol are substances that stimulate the production of sweat, so it would also be advisable to avoid or limit them to regulate sweating.
Overweight people, often produce more sweat than normal. Maintaining weight within normal body mass index allows you to control the production of sweat as well as help lead a healthy life. Through sweating fluid is lost, so it is important to have adequate hydration. Also, avoiding the hotter hours of the day between 12 noon and 5 pm, helps control the production of sweat. Increased temperature is the main cause of excessive sweating. Also psychic causes such as nervousness, fear and stress can cause excessive sweating. Palmar sweating, palms of the hands and feet is usually derived from emotional causes or by an incorrect functioning of the sympathetic nervous system.
In addition, a hormonal change such as menstruation, pregnancy or menopause can cause excessive sweating. When you are suffering from illnesses that cause fever, or if you take certain medicines (eg, acetylsalicylic acid, cortisone), you can sweat more. In addition, you may be predisposed to greater sweating.
These processes can favor the excessive appearance of sweat, which is usually momentary or short-lived. But in addition, some diseases can cause sweating or perspiration frequent or continuous as a secondary symptom:
- Hormonal diseases, hyperthyroidism
- Hypoglycemia in case of dediabetes mellitus
- Neurological diseases (Parkinson’s)
- Myocardial infarction
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Cancerous diseases (leukemia)
- Infectious diseases (HIV, tuberculosis)
How To Understand If I Have Excessive Sweating?
Excessive sweating or sweating does not require a medical diagnosis, since in most cases they are only short-term symptoms with an obvious cause. However, if the discomfort remains in the long term and are too strong or the reason for sweating is unknown, those affected should consult their doctor. This is also important when along with heavy sweating there is also pain, chest pain or other discomfort.
Since there is no generally valid measured value or test result, with the help of which one can find out if there is excessive pathological sweating, the questions raised by the physician are very important for the diagnosis. To do this, it should be clarified at what age the symptoms began and if the sweating is independent of the temperature and begins in an unpredictable way. It is also very important for further treatment if those affected feel that sweating damages them in their daily lives.
The Minor test (starch-iodine test), the area affected by sweating or perspiration can be delimited by color. The amount of sweat produced per unit of time is determined with the aid of gravimetry. Both tests can provide a clue as to whether the malfunction is called hyperhidrosis (ie if the body produces sweat in amounts unnecessary for simple temperature regulation):
Mild hyperhidrosis (degree I): the skin of the armpits, hands and feet is excessively moistened by sweating; Sweat stains in the armpits have a diameter of 5 to 10 centimeters.
Moderately strong hyperhidrosis (grade II): under the skin of the armpits, hands and feet are formed by sweat drops; Sweat stains in the armpits have a diameter of 10 to 20 centimeters; In the hands and feet the sweating is limited to the palms of the hands or soles of the feet.
Strong hyperhidrosis (grade III): drops of sweat drip from the armpits, hands and feet; Sweat stains in the armpits have a diameter of more than 20 centimeters; In the hands and feet sweating is not limited to the palms / plants but also affects other areas of the hand and foot as the back of the fingers.
Depending on the supposed causes of sweating or perspiration, other diagnostic tests may be performed. These include a blood test with hormones, a urinalysis, an electrocardiogram, a chest x-ray or, if suspected cancer, an ultrasound, a biopsy, or a bone marrow puncture.
How To Treat Excessive Sweating?
Sweating does not require specific treatment. Most of the time, in case of strong sweating, personal measures are sufficient for your treatment.
To reduce sweating or excessive perspiration in certain areas of the body, an antiperspirant can be used. There are powdered antiperspirants, creams or solutions (eg with aluminum or methenamine compounds) that contract the sweat glands. Another means against sweating is sage, which can be taken as an infusion. Sage also has an astringent effect on the sweat glands, so that they produce less sweat. With deodorants and disinfectant soaps you can neither reduce nor eliminate perspiration, however, they act against the bacterial breakdown of sweat and thus avoid body odor. In case of strong perspiration, it is important to drink isotonic fluids to recover the lost liquid.
If the use of these measures do not help with sweating you can request medical treatment. This treatment will generally depend on sweating and what parts of the body are affected by sweat production. There are conservative and surgical treatments:
Conservative treatments for excessive sweating include:
- Iontophoresis, an application of direct current that reduces the activity of the sweat glands
- Injections of botulinum toxin that block the nerves of the sweat glands
Surgical treatments in case of excessive sweating include:
- Removal of sweat glands (excision)
- The aspiration of the sweat glands (suction curettage)
- Nerve blocking triggers of sweating, (sympathectomy)
- If perspirations are symptoms of another underlying disease, treatment will consist of treating the disease in the first place