Excessive Sweating in Children Dermatologist2019-11-08T17:42:22+00:00

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Excessive sweating, or hyperhidrosis, is a fairly common condition that often affects children and young adults more so than older individuals.

IN THESE VIDEOS, I EXPLAIN THE SYMPTOMS AND CAUSES OF HYPERHIDROSIS – AND HOW TO TREAT IT

Treatment enables people of all ages take control of their skin condition and get their life back

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How does excessive sweating impact children on a day-by-day basis?

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Excessive sweating can affect your child’s whole body or one area

Your child might sweat excessively through their palms, soles, armpits, face or scalp. They might also have generalised excessive sweating affecting their whole body.

Sweat can sometimes soak through their clothes

Your child may need to change their clothes more often and have multiple showers a day. They may develop visible sweat patches that can cause them embarrassment.

An average day with excessive sweating

Excessive sweating of your child’s palms makes it difficult to hold a pen at school and your child may experience trouble playing sports or musical instruments.

Excessive sweating can sap your child’s social confidence

When your child meets new people, do they avoid shaking hands? Does excessive sweating make them feel awkward and limit their social interactions? These feelings can hinder personal relationships and lead to feelings of seclusion.

Thankfully, many options are available

I will determine the best treatment by the type of hyperhidrosis that your child has and whether it is localised or generalised. Some options may be more suitable than others depending on their circumstances.

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Please pass on my thanks to Dr Pratsou for her assessment on my continued taking of roaccutane.

She was completely right, I didn’t need a new course, I needed to move away from the drug. The creams she gave me and Cetaphil recommendation have meant my skin has been the best it’s ever been (ongoing and since I saw her) ALL SUMMER :))))) I’ve had zero problems…and I’m loving it.

Thank you once again.


Phillip, Acne

“Dear Dr Pratsou,

Following the consultation today I feel it appropriate to say thank you for your help in dealing with my rosacea.

On each occasion, I have visited your department I have noticed the kindness and cheeriness of all the staff I have encountered and particularly wanted to say that you made me feel at ease with your calmness and excellent manner.

All is much appreciated.”


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You three were (and are) a great team!

I will remember you.

You made me feel comfortable.”


Ellie

“Tania,

Please pass to Dr Pratsou my thanks for her skilled work.

The wound is healing beautifully and now the stitches are out it looks as though it will be almost invisible once fully healed.”


Graham, Skin cancer removal

“Dear Dr Penelope, Rena & the team, (I can’t remember the nurse’s name who helped me during my 2 procedures at the Spire!)

I wanted to thank you for your support and help during a very difficult time. You guys do a wonderful job – and we are eternally grateful for your help.”


Clarissa, Skin cancer

“I would like to put on record how impressed I was with the operation you performed for the removal of the SCC on my neck. I cannot even see where the cut or the stitches were! I am indeed very grateful for the excellent work you do.”


Harry, Squamous Cell Carcinoma

“Dear Dr Pratsou,

I am very grateful to you for your diagnosis, recommended treatment and advice. Your letter to my GP sets out both the course of events, and your own analysis of probable condition and possible cause, clearly summarising our discussion.

I hope there will be no recurrence but I will certainly come back to you if there is.”


Ryan, Skin rash

“Dear Tania,

Please pass on my thanks to Dr Pratsou. I saw her this morning for a mole check. She was so lovely and reassuring. Please also thank the two nurses who assisted her during the mole removal procedure. I was very nervous, but they were very efficient, which meant I did not have too long to think about it, but most of all they were very kind. They kept me distracted and calm, which made a huge difference. Thank you also for your efficiency in both booking me in so quickly.”


James, Mole removal
Dear Ms. Pratsou,

I am writing to thank you for the care you have given me in the past few months. From the moment I walked into your consulting room with a lesion on my cheek, a lesion that I fully expected to be some sort of skin cancer (and it was), you have been thorough, reassuring, respectful and in every way professional.

You recognised that I had some insight into the condition of my skin and the procedures required to treat me. You listened to me. You projected expertise and compassion.

During the procedure to remove the growth you ensured that the atmosphere in the treatment room remained not only calm, but actually pleasant. Had it not been that you were excising a growth and sewing me up, I almost felt as if you, me and the nurse were at some sort of women’s discussion group. The time flew by. I had zero anxieties about the procedure and as we both know now, the wound healed flawlessly.

Thank you for your expertise and your communication skills and all round good nature. I feel very lucky.


Karen Tatom, Skin cancer removal

We have replaced the images and names of real patients who provided these testimonials to protect their privacy.

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More information about excessive sweating (Hyperhidrosis)

FOR THOSE WHO WANT THE DETAILS

Excessive sweating, or hyperhidrosis, is a fairly common condition that often affects children and young adults more so than older individuals.

The condition can occur due to underlying medical problems. More likely than not, we can find no specific cause. We do, however, have reliable treatments for this condition.

Symptoms and lifestyle impacts:

  • Localised excessive sweating affecting your child’s palms, soles, armpits, face or scalp
  • Generalised excessive sweating affecting your child’s whole body
  • Sweat soaking through your child’s clothes necessitating several changes of clothes and multiple showers a day
  • Visible sweat patches that can cause your child embarrassment
  • Excessive sweating of palms resulting in social awkwardness and avoiding shaking hands
  • Excessive sweating of your child’s palms resulting in difficulty holding a pen at school and trouble playing sports or musical instruments
  • General social embarrassment resulting in avoiding social situations.

In a large proportion of cases, the medical community won’t know the cause of excessive sweating.

The scientific consensus suggests some causes of localised hyperhidrosis run in families.

Interestingly, it affects many children and young adults. The problem seems to ease with age.

There can be some unusual causes for excessive sweating. It is essential that I rule out medical conditions, including an overactive thyroid gland, medication and other, more unusual triggers.

Anxiety can make hyperhidrosis worse but is not the sole cause.

However, as your child feel increasingly anxious about the possibility of excessive sweating, unfortunately, their anxiety can perpetuate the situation.

During your child’s consultation, I will work to determine to what extent excessive sweating impacts your child’s life both physically and socially.

Depending on the pattern of excessive sweating and any treatments they previously tried, we can work on a management plan together.

There are many treatment options for excessive sweating. These include:

Aluminium chloride topical preparations

I can use these in localised hyperhidrosis, such as the one affecting the armpits, hands and feet. This treatment can be useful in milder cases, but sometimes the product can cause local irritation, which limits its usefulness.

Iontophoresis

This method utilises a small amount of electric current that passes through the affected areas of skin while we immerse them in water. I mostly use this treatment for hyperhidrosis affecting the hands, feet and armpits (through special pads). The treatment lasts a few minutes and can cause a tingling sensation. Your child will usually require a course of treatment, and they can repeat it with ‘top-ups’ as needed.

Glycopyrrolate

When present in topical preparations, Glycopyrrolate can be very useful. It can be challenging to obtain Glycopyrrolate in the UK through prescription. It is, however, available in certain topical preparations sold over the counter or online. Glycopyrrolate can be an effective treatment for hyperhidrosis of the scalp and face as well as the hands and feet and axillae. Sometimes, I add Glycopyrrolate to the water in iontophoresis to make iontophoresis more effective.

Oral anticholinergic agents

These include propantheline, oxybutynin and glycopyrrolate. These agents can be really effective in cases of generalised hyperhidrosis, but they carry potential side effects including a dry mouth, constipation and other rarer problems.

Botulinum toxin injections

These injections can reduce sweating in the areas injected for a period of up to six months. Botulinum toxin injections for hyperhidrosis are only licenced for use in the armpits. It’s best to avoid using Botulinum toxin injections in areas such as the hands and feet due to some potential side effects.

Surgical methods

These can be quite risky, and I generally recommend my patients to avoid them.

“What is the best treatment for excessive sweating (hyperhidrosis)?”

I will determine the best treatment by the type of hyperhidrosis that you have and whether it is localised or generalised.

Some options may be more suitable than others depending on your child’s circumstances.

Additionally, we may need to try more than one treatment before we find the best treatment for your child. Thankfully many options are available.

“What are the potential side effects of taking oral medication?”

Though tablets carry a risk of potential side effects, the main limiting factor is a dry mouth.
Any other side effects are rare and reversible on discontinuing treatment.

If your child tolerates the oral medication well, it can be a very effective solution.

They needn’t take medication all the time. They can reserve it for specific social situations if you desire.

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About the author

Dr Penelope Pratsou | Consultant Dermatologist

MBChB, MRCP (UK) (Dermatology)

I’m Dr Penelope Pratsou, a skilled independent Consultant Dermatologist based in Berkshire. I have specialist expertise in the diagnosis and management of all skin cancers, and in performing mole checks. I’m a trained skin surgeon and remove skin cancers, moles, skin tags, cysts and warts.

I also have invaluable experience in dealing with all skin conditions, from the common skin complaints of acne, rosacea, eczema and psoriasis, to the rarer and more complex skin problems, having seen it all through years of NHS work.

After I obtained my Membership to the Royal College of Physicians, I undertook rigorous specialist training in dermatology, before being appointed as a Consultant Dermatologist at the Royal Berkshire Hospital, Reading. There, I helped set up and lead a busy clinic for the diagnosis and treatment of suspected skin cancer. I was also actively involved in supervising and training both dermatology and GP trainees.

Alongside my increasingly busy private practice, I have maintained an NHS practice in Oxford in order to continue to engage with challenging cases and to develop my specialist interest in skin allergy.

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