Kids sweat a lot. Owing to their active/hyperactive modus operandi, it is perfectly normal for them to sweat it out. In fact, sweating is an indication that the body is doing just about fine. It is also a symptom that body temperature is under control and there is absolutely no cause of worry! You’d be surprised if we told you that a study suggests that the glycoproteins in sweat bind to bacteria are eliminated from the body when it is sweating. But if there is sweating otherwise, you just might need to check the causes of excessive sweating in your kid.
Hyperhidrosis is a condition that results due to hormonal imbalance. It causes excessive sweating of a body even in normal atmospheric conditions. Yes, you heard that right! If the rate at which your child is sweating is hyperbolic in nature, then you should check in with your pediatrician to get some key insights as well as inputs.
What is Hyperhidrosis?
Hyperhidrosis or excessive sweating as it is known is a very common disorder. It not only affects children but adults as well. It is a condition that causes excessive sweating of the underarms, palms, and soles of one’s feet. Hyperhidrosis can strike anyone. Sweating is very common in adolescents, but a child as young as 4 years of age might show symptoms of hyperhidrosis. If your child is a teenager, the identification of such symptoms is easy. But in cases where children fall under a below 10 age bracket, parents need to step in. There are high chances that the excessive sweating might be due to an external trigger.
According to Healthline.in, Night sweats are common in children of all ages. They’re especially common in babies and toddlers. Tucking your child to sleep with too many blankets or in a room that’s too warm can make the night sweating worse. Little ones haven’t yet learned how to wiggle out of heavy clothing and bedding.
Types of Hyperhidrosis:
1. Generalized Hyperhidrosis
Like the term iterates, this is the kind of hyperhodrosis which can occur in every part of the body. When the condition is not restricted to a local area, it can cause excessive drenching of clothes with body sweat.
2. Focal Hyperhdrosis
As the name suggests, this kind of hyperhdrosis occurs at certain parts of the body. The most common parts are sole of feet, palm of hand and underarms. It is important to note here that underarms is the most common place of sweat excretion, but if your child is sweating even in moderate to cooler temperatures, there are high chance that it is hyperhdrosis.
Causes of excessive sweating (hyperhidrosis) in kids?
1. Underlying infections- one of the major causes of excessive sweating
An underlying infection could be the reason why your child is sweating so much. We would again like to highlight here, sweating is great for the body, but identifying the kind of sweating and the temperatures is the key here.
Your child would probably not even understand why he is sweating so much, so as a parent you need to step up here! Please speak to your doctor if your instinct says that the sweating is not normal.
Sweating at night is one of the most common symptoms of diabetes. A drop in blood sugar levels can trigger symptoms such as headache along with excessive sweating as well. Increased thirst, excessive urination are some other signs along with sweating as well.
Hypertension is becoming increasingly common in children and sweating might be one of the major symptoms of this medical condition.
Treatments for excessive sweating in children
1. Topical medicaments
A topical medicament basically means applying external creams, lotions or sprays externally on the affected area. Do consider your pediatrician before going ahead with any over the counter creams easily available at your chemist.
2. Oral medications
The medicine used to treat hyperhidrosis usually contains anticholinergic agents and work by blocking the innervations of the sweat glands. One must be aware that these meds have a host of side effects, hence should be given in the right quantity and with a doctor’s approval only!
Iontophoresis is a surgical treatment in which ionic medicinal compounds are introduced into the body through the skin by applying a local electric current. It uses low-voltage electricity to turn off the sweat glands temporarily. It is a complete non-painful treatment method.
Helping/Supporting a child suffering from excessive sweating:
1. Enlighten and educate your child about this health condition. Gone are the days when you would just shrug off certain questions or topics from your children. Telling them and sharing insights and information about excessive sweating in their bodies will make them feel empowered. There is absolutely nothing to hide.
2. Encourage them to speak on this condition openly to you. Remember the key here is to keep the roads of communication open both the ways. This will also give you an insight into what might be your child’s perspective and questions on this health condition.
3. Converse or talk through your child’s teachers at schools. If they are aware of the condition, they are more likely to be supportive and take care of things at the school.
In consultation with Dr. Himanshu Agarwal, pediatrician, Gurgaon, Haryana