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Hyperhidrosis and Children
If you suspect your child has hyperhidrosis you may want to consult a physician to rule out the possibility of an underlying condition. Before treating, it is important to figure out if your child has primary/focal or secondary/generalized hyperhidrosis. About 1.6% and 0.6% of adolescents and pre-pubertal children respectively are affected.
The onset of focal hyperhidrosis is most commonly between the ages of 14 and 25 years of age. It can certainly exist in pre-pubertal individuals, including infants. In about 90% of cases, it is of the palmar (palms) or plantar (soles) type. The other regions are less likely to be involved - 15% in the underarms, about 6% facial and 4% abdominal and/or back**. More recent data^ indicates that 1/3 of individuals report their axillary hyperhidrosis started before the age of 12 years.
Studies have demonstrated that psychological and social development including well-being are affected, impacting quality of life. This can in turn lead to significant emotional and social distress. Children with hyperhidrosis often have difficulty handling a pencil or pen, keeping papers dry, gripping the handlebar of a bicycle, using a computer mouse or manipulating a video game controller. Quality of life can be significantly improved with a proper diagnosis and treatment.
Providing Support - A Key Ingredient in the Management of Hyperhidrosis in Children
Excessive sweating can have significant effects on children from a psychological, social and behavioural perspective*. As they work their way through the formative years it is critical that you provide the necessary support to help them cope with their condition. Growing up with this socially ostricizing condition can be very detrimental to a child's confidence and sense of self. Following are a few recommendations to help guide you through the process.
kids have ‘overactive’ sweat glands.
b) Let them know that they are normal in every sense of
the word and that their problem stems from their
nervous system not knowing how to tell their sweat
glands to stop sweating.
c) Tell them that they are not responsible for their
condition. In fact, it is very likely that their condition
was passed along or inherited.
We hope these tips help you and child better deal with their excessive sweating condition. Remember that the goal is to make hyperhidrosis a small part of your child’s life. Feel free to Ask the Dry Pharmacist if you have any further questions or comments.
'Growing up within the confinement of this socially ostracizing
disease can be extremely detrimental to a child’s development of confidence and sense of self'***
Jennifer R. S. Gordon* & Samantha E. Hill*†
*Department of Dermatology, University of Texas Southwestern Austin
†Pediatric Dermatology, Dell Children’s Medical Center, Austin, Texas
Available in 5, 7..5, 10, 12.5 and 15% strengths.
*1. Semin Cutan Med Surg. 2010 Jun;29(2):121-6. 2. J Pediatr Surg. 1980 Apr;15(2):172-4 ** Pediatr Dermatol 2014. ***DermatologicTherapy, Vol. 26, 2013, 452–461 ^ Dermatol Surg 2016;42:1347-53.