Craniofacial Hyperhidrosis

Craniofacial hyperhidrosis is a condition characterised by excessive sweating of the face, head, or scalp. This form of focal hyperhidrosis is primarily idiopathic, meaning its exact cause is often unknown. In some cases, it may be secondary to other medical conditions or medications. The condition typically presents significant challenges in social and professional settings due to the visible nature of sweating in these areas. It can start at any age and affects both men and women.

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Key Points

What is craniofacial hyperhidrosis?

Craniofacial hyperhidrosis is excessive, often uncontrollable sweating of the face and scalp region. It is more localised than generalised hyperhidrosis and can be particularly distressing due to its visibility.

Who gets craniofacial hyperhidrosis?

Individuals of any age can develop craniofacial hyperhidrosis, and it affects both genders equally. Those with a family history of hyperhidrosis may be more susceptible. Secondary craniofacial hyperhidrosis can be associated with other medical conditions or as a side effect of medications.

Clinical features

The primary symptom is excessive sweating of the forehead, face, scalp, and sometimes the neck. The sweating can be triggered or worsened by heat, stress, or physical activity. It often leads to discomfort and the need for frequent wiping or patting of the affected area.

Diagnosis and differential diagnosis

Diagnosis is typically based on the clinical presentation. A detailed medical history and examination are crucial to rule out secondary causes. It’s important to differentiate craniofacial hyperhidrosis from other conditions like infections or dermatological diseases.

Impact and complications

Craniofacial hyperhidrosis can significantly impact social interactions, self-esteem, and professional life. The constant sweating can also lead to skin irritation.

Treatment Options for Craniofacial Hyperhidrosis

The treatment of craniofacial hyperhidrosis is focused on controlling excessive sweating and minimising its impact on daily life. This includes the use of antiperspirants that contain aluminium chloride and compounded anticholinergic creams designed for topical application. For more severe cases, oral medications such as anticholinergics are prescribed. Anti-sweat injections have been found to be effective in reducing sweat production in the affected areas. In extreme cases, endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy may be considered, though it carries significant risks. Lifestyle adjustments, such as using absorbent pads or cloths and avoiding known triggers, can also help manage the condition. While achieving a complete cure may not always be possible, these treatments can significantly reduce symptoms and improve quality of life.

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