Excessive generalised sweating
Generalised sweating is usually due to thermoregulatory, emotional (stress) or gustatory. Thermoregulatory sweating is generally worse during sleep as is that form associated with systemic illness. Gustatory sweating is usually localised to the face but more generalised involvement may be a feature of generalised sympathetic nervous system disorders. It is quite common after surgery to the parotid gland.
Generalised increase in sweating may be a feature of other endocrinopathies eg acromegaly, carcinoid or diabetes but it is rarely a diagnostic problem. Morbidly obese patients also complain of excessive sweating but this is usually in response to unaccustomed exercise.
Asymmetrical sweating may be due to localised skin disorders or disorders of the sympathetic nervous system but it is rare for sweating to be the only clinical feature.
see also causes of generalised flushing
Drugs recognised to cause sweating:
- chlorpropamide (with alcohol)
- tricyclic antidepressants
- Davies DM (ed). Textbook of adverse drug reactions. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 4th edit 1991.
- Gelman Gr, Rumack BH (eds). Drugdex (R) Information System. Denver: Micromedex Inc (edition expires 30 June 1997).
- Sato K, Kang WH, Saga K, Sato KT. Biology of sweat glands and their disorders.II. Disorders of sweat gland function. J Am Acad Dermatol 1989;20:713-726.