Have you noticed that your child sweats too much? While profuse sweating occurs quite often in teenagers and older kids, it is not common for children before puberty. Abnormal perspiration always points out some outer or inner condition. Normally, sweat is a body reaction for heat due to weather or physical activity, or some health condition. In this article, we are going to take a look for a difference between excessive sweating in children, teens, and adults. We will find out what is happening in the young body while sweating, what are triggers, causes, and solutions for this condition.
When is Sweating Excessive?
Sweat is a product of sweat glands. When we are exposed to heat, the brain sends a signal to sweat glands to produce a fluid that cools the body. This is how the sweating mechanism should work properly. The accurate temperature for all bodily processes is above 37°C. When this level is exceeded, the body reacts with perspiration. This process is common for children, teens, and adults. But when we sweat even the temperature is normal and we don’t make any physical activity, there should be some health problem behind it.
The difference between excessive sweating in children and adults lies in the activity of sudoriferous glands. We recognize two types of these glands: eccrine sweat glands and apocrine sweat glands. While eccrine glands are found all over the body and they are active from birth, apocrine glands located in armpits, chest, eyes, ear, and they start to produce sweat in the age of puberty. Apocrine sweat is different in the composition, and it is one of the culprits of body odor. You have probably noticed that young kids don’t smell. It is just because their apocrine glands are still not activated.
Symptoms of Excessive Sweating in Children
Maybe you are concerned that your child sweats too much, but usually, there is a logical reason for it. Children are sensitive to outer temperature; that’s why they can start to sweat easier than adults. Increased sweating in the summer and during hot days is normal, and you don’t need to be afraid. Most young children are active; they run and move a lot, which also provokes their sweat glands. Higher perspiration level is also needed when the child has a fever or common disease. Excessive perspiration in all these situations is temporary, and once the cause of increased body temperature is away, the sweat level comes to normal.
Now, we are going to focus on symptoms of excessive sweating in children that can point to some underlying health difficulties. When should you pay close attention to how your child sweats?
- Excessive sweating occurs even in the colder weather
- The child sweats too much even he/she doesn’t do a physical activity
- Profuse sweating is happening minimally once a week
- The child often sweats in the night
- Visible sweat marks on the clothing are regular
These are just points that can help you to realize if your kid sweats too heavy and often. But normally, every parent can recognize when their son or daughter sweats more than other children. In this case, you can ask your pediatrician who can make an examination that can confirm or disprove a possible condition that affects excessive sweating.
What Causes Excessive Sweating in Children?
Causes of heavy sweating in children are similar like in adults. These are the most common health reasons standing behind excessive sweating in children:
It is a medical term for heavy and uncontrolled sweating. We know two types of this condition: Primary focal hyperhidrosis is excessive sweating that occurs in some areas, such as armpits, head, hands, or feet. There is no other condition causing this type of sweating, and many experts believe, those genetics play the main role. Primary focal hyperhidrosis in children is manifested by increased perspiration in hands, feet, head, or underarms, and it usually happens during a day.
People with secondary generalized hyperhidrosis experience profuse sweating all around the body and night sweats are the typical sign of this type of hyperhidrosis. In this case, abnormal sweating level is affected by medicaments or some diseases or health disorder. All following conditions can affect secondary hyperhidrosis both in children and adults:
Besides other important processes, the thyroid gland is responsible for temperature management in the body. When this gland produces an excessive amount of thyroid hormone, the bodily temperature fluctuates and can cause uncontrollable sweating.
When the young body fight against an infection, excessive sweating can occur. An infection affects temperature increasing what provokes sweat glands to produce sweat.
If your child takes medicaments due to some illness, he/she can sweat more. Excessive sweating is a side effect of several medicaments. If this is happening, ask your doctor to prescribe an alternative cure without this side effect.
High blood pressure in children can also lead to excessive sweating.
Low glucose level in children is another condition that can affect heavy perspiration. Night sweats are typical manifestation of this condition.
Related: How Does Diabetes Cause Sweating?
7. Hormonal changes
When the child reaches puberty, the body comes through several changes. Increased hormonal activity can affect sweating all over the body or just in some areas. In this age, body odor can occur.
Safe Treatment of Excessive Sweating for Kids
There are several treatments that can control hyperhidrosis in kids. Before you start with a treatment, we recommend to discuss it with a dermatologist. The expert can take a look at your child medical history and suggest the proper method in terms of limiting side effects and possible allergic reaction.
1. Topical agents
When your kid sweats the most in armpits, hands, feet, or other location, an antiperspirant can be used. It is possible to apply an over-the-counter antiperspirant or a prescribed antiperspirant such as Drysol or Xerac AC. Antiperspirant combat sweat with constricting sweat glands.
2. Oral medication
Anticholinergic pills are usually taken to mitigate symptoms of hyperhidrosis. Using these prescribed medications has several possible side effects, that’s why you should consider this treatment and consult it with a pediatrician. One from the newest oral medication for kids with hyperhidrosis is Cuvposa. It is an FDA approved solution designed for children. This cure comes in the form of liquid that is much easier consumed than tablets.
This procedure uses a special medical device for treating sweaty hands, feet, and armpits. A mild, controlled electrical current produced by the iontophoresis machine is sent to the affected areas. Using of no chemicals, relative long-lasting effects, high efficiency, and a possibility of home use belong to positives of this procedure. On the other hand, this treatment requires more time (one session should take about 20 minutes), which can be a little difficult to go through it with children.
There are other treatment options, such as Botox or ETS surgery, but these procedures are not recommended for children due to their invasive character.