Excessive Sweating In Children: What Parents Need to Know
Have your noticed your kids sweats excessively? If you have and have dismissed it as a natural occurrence, you need to think again. Sometimes, it could be a underlying medical issue like hyperhidrosis
By Ashwin Dewan
Does your child feel hot and sticky all day? Do you find him dripping with sweat all the time? Of course, all of us feel uncomfortable in hot weather, especially during summer. And sweating is a natural process during which perspiration is released from pores in the body. This is meant to keep the body cool during periods of stress such as exercise or when there is exposure to heat for continuous periods. However, excessive sweating in kids could also point to an underlying medical condition called hyperhidrosis.
What is hyperhidrosis?
According to a 2015 study published in the Annals of Pediatric Surgery, "Hyperhidrosis is a condition characterized by excessive sweating than that required for normal temperature regulation". Though symptoms start in childhood, the condition is frequently under-diagnosed and untreated in children, says the study.
Also, there may be difficulty in identifying a specific trigger for the excessive sweating. This is because the condition could be triggered by many things — anxiety, spicy food, medication, exercise, hot weather or even, fever.
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Causes of excessive sweating in a child
“Sweating depends a lot on factors like the humidity, internal temperature, the level of activity and the level of stress. For example, if your child is feeling anxious or facing problems in studies, she could sweat more than normal,” says Dr Ramalingam, a paediatrician.
In fact, the doctor adds that not sweating should become a cause for worry, either. "Sweating is a compensatory mechanism employed by the human body to cool down. So, for parents of children who live in cold places, there is no need to worry in case they think their children are unable to sweat," he adds.
Is excessive sweating an indicator of a disease?
If your child sweats profusely, even if there is no rise in temperature and without indulging in strenuous physical activity, you may attribute it to a disease. Problems in the sweat glands can also lead to excessive sweating. It can also be caused by neurological or endocrine disorders, says the study in the Annals of Pediatric Surgery. In such cases, it is advisable to seek the help of a doctor.
Problems that cause excessive sweating in children:
- Hyperthyroidism: Over-active thyroid glands or hyperthyroidism can make your child sweat excessively. When children suffer from this condition, they tend to sweat a lot and develop a low tolerance for heat.
- Overdressing your child: One simple reason for your child’s excessive sweating could be too much of clothing. Overdressing your child or making her wear too many layers could make her sweat excessively. What's more, being in a hot room with insufficient circulation, can also cause excessive sweating.
Dr Ramalingam adds that parents of children who sweat excessively need not worry. "Stay calm, keep your child comfortable and seek a doctor’s help, if required," he adds. If your child feels uncomfortable all the time. Or, if the excessive sweating is affecting her quality of life, then do seek help.
About the author:
Written by Ashwin Dewan on 3 September 2017.
With inputs from Dr K Ramalingam, Director and HOD Paediatrics, Fortis Hospital, Noida
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