Sweating is your body's natural cooling system, and everyone whose body is functioning normally sweats when they feel overheated. Sweating is perfectly normal and the amount of perspiration that you produce at any given time can vary greatly depending on the circumstances. Hyperhidrosis is a disorder of the sympathetic nervous system that causes excessive sweating, either over the entire body or localized in one area, like the palms. Hyperhidrosis is a chronic condition. Here are the symptoms of excessive sweating.
1) Lack of Heat or Exercise
Those who suffer from excessive sweating may find themselves sweating profusely even if it isn't hot, or they haven't undertaken any strenuous physical activity. Sweating occurs mostly where sweat glands are located:
- The palms of the hands and soles of the feet
Excessive sweating may occur over the entire body at once or it may occur on only one part of the body. Hyperhidrosis might cause the soles of the feet to sweat so much, for instance, that you feel like your feet are sliding around inside your shoes. Beads of sweat may form on the palms of the hands, or on the forehead, nose and upper lip, even when it's not hot and no physical activity has occurred.
2) Cracking Skin
Hyperhidrosis can cause your skin to crack, especially on the feet. Your skin may appear to be peeling off. The cracked skin may appear to clear up and then return periodically.
3) Scaling Skin
Excessive sweating can also cause skin to take on a scaly appearance. This may happen right before the skin cracks.
4) Discoloration of the Affected Area
Those who suffer from excessive sweating may find that the skin on the affected area takes on a bluish-white or pink hue, or they may find their skin tone otherwise changed in the affected area. Hyperhidrosis often causes the skin of the affected area to turn pink even without perspiration, heat or exercise. The minerals and sodium present in sweat are what causes the skin's discolored appearance.
5) Maceration of the Skin
Hyperhidrosis may cause the skin of the palms, forearms and feet to become soft and white, and eventually break away in fine layers. This process, known as maceration, occurs when skin is allowed to remain wet for long periods of time, as it does in those who suffer from excessive sweating.
6) Foot Odor
Those who suffer from excessive sweating, especially excessive sweating on the feet (known as pedal hyperhidrosis), often experience problems with foot odor. While sweat itself doesn't have an odor, the bacteria that breed in sweat do produce and odor. They also make those with hyperhidrosis more vulnerable to foot infections.
7) Family History
Most types of excessive sweating are genetic, and can be passed down through families. Excessive foot and hand sweating are usually genetic. Excessive sweating of the underarms may also be genetic, though sometimes imporper hygiene can be at the root of this type of hyperhidrosis.