What causes bromohidrosis

Excessive sweating

Sweating is experienced as uncomfortable in many situations, but it fulfills a vital function. Because when sweat evaporates, it stabilizes the body temperature and removes excess heat from the body. The same applies to sweating caused by stress: if the nervous system has set all body functions to attack or escape mode, the body produces sweat as a precaution to prevent possible overheating.

Sweating becomes a (social) problem when it occurs excessively, e.g. B. in hereditary hyperhydrosis. Excessive sweating is also a non-specific symptom of many diseases, such as hyperthyroidism, acromegaly and in the form of night sweats in many tumors.

Women do not have to worry about hormonal "exceptional situations" such as menopause or just before their period. Then the sweating is hormonal and disappears all by itself.

Cold sweat - i.e. sweat that occurs when the skin is cool and without a feeling of heat - is a typical sign of shock, such as occurs in a heart attack, a strong allergic reaction, but also in exceptional psychological situations.

Heavy sweating is experienced as particularly stressful if it is accompanied by a strong odor despite adequate body and clothing hygiene. In this case, bromhidrosis should be clarified, i.e. a disease in which special bacteria colonize the skin and produce an unpleasant odor.

Symptoms, their causes, measures and self-help

  • Excessive sweating, especially in the case of emotional tension (e.g. stress, anxiety, stage fright, pain); mainly on armpits, palms, soles of feet, forehead; often reddening and / or scaling of the skin, v. a. in the folds of skin (e.g. armpits, groin, navel, under the breasts); Hands often discolored blue-whitish; often warts and / or painful corneal softening on the feet

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  • Excessive sweating with an unpleasant odor (musty, rancid, cheesy, sour); mainly in the groin region, armpits and / or on the feet ("stinky feet"); no significant improvement from frequent washing

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  • Profuse sweating when consuming certain foods, hot drinks, large amounts of coffee, cigarettes and alcohol

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  • Excessive sweating when taking medication

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  • Increased sweating, possibly sweating (hot flashes) in women; before or during menstruation; in pregnancy and the puerperium; in menopause

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  • Excessive sweating if you are very overweight

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  • Profuse sweating with growth of hands and feet; Changes in facial features with a large skull, broad forehead wrinkles, large nose and ears

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  • Increased sweating, palpitations and shortness of breath with little exertion

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  • Sweating with fever

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  • Sweating, v. a. at night (night sweats), with exhaustion and reduced efficiency; often fever; possibly weight loss; possibly joint pain; possible rash; possibly swelling of the lymph nodes

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  • Excessive sweating with noticeable hypersensitivity to heat; Nervousness, shaking hands; Weight loss despite increased appetite

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  • Constant or spasmodic sweating with palpitations and headache; often tremors, nervousness

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  • Attack-like outbreak of sweat with restlessness in known diabetes; Cravings, palpitations, tremors; possibly drowsiness up to unconsciousness

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  • Sudden sweat, dizziness and blackening before the eyes; Nausea, palpitations, ringing in the ears; possibly brief loss of consciousness

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  • Cold sweat and noticeably gray, cool skin; Tremors, restlessness, fear; possibly drowsiness up to unconsciousness

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Excessive sweating, especially in the case of emotional tension (e.g. stress, anxiety, stage fright, pain); mainly on armpits, palms, soles of feet, forehead; often reddening and / or flaking of the skin, v. a. in the folds of the skin (e.g. armpits, groin, navel, under the breasts); Hands often discolored blue-whitish; often warts and / or painful corneal softening on the feet

Root cause:

Hyperhidrosis, hereditary predisposition to sweating in 5% of the population

Measure:

  • When you have the opportunity to see your family doctor if you cannot get the symptoms under control yourself

Self help:

  • Breathable clothing and shoes, shave armpits
  • Endurance sports, alternating showers, sauna
  • Antihydral® ointment, preparations with aluminum chloride or tanning agents (e.g. Tannolact® powder)
  • Hot spices, hot and caffeinated drinks, alcohol and large meals increase sweating

Excessive sweating with an unpleasant odor (musty, rancid, cheesy, sour); mainly in the groin region, armpits and / or on the feet ("stinky feet"); no significant improvement from frequent washing

Root cause:

Measure:

  • On occasion to the family doctor

Self-help with stinky feet:

  • File off excess callus, walk a lot barefoot, odor-inhibiting insoles (e.g. cedar wood)
  • Alternating foot baths, foot baths with tannic acid (e.g. Tannosynt®), foot powder

Profuse sweating when consuming certain foods, hot drinks, large amounts of coffee, cigarettes and alcohol

Causes:

  • Gustatory sweating
  • Effects of caffeine, nicotine or alcohol

Self help:

  • Reduce consumption of coffee, cigarettes and alcohol

Excessive sweating when taking medication

Root cause:

Measure:

  • Speak up at your next doctor's visit if you find this side effect on the package insert of a prescribed medication

Increased sweating, possibly sweating (hot flashes) in women; before or during menstruation; in pregnancy and the puerperium; in menopause

Root cause:

Result of hormonal fluctuations, e.g. B. at

Measure:

  • If necessary to the gynecologist

Self help:

  • Breathable clothing, dressed according to the onion principle
  • During the menopause, preparations with Cimicifuga (e.g. Remifemin®)

Excessive sweating if you are very overweight

Root cause:

  • Disturbed heat regulation due to increased subcutaneous fat tissue in the case of overweight or obesity

Measure:

  • In the next few weeks to the family doctor if you need help with weight loss

Self help:

  • Regular physical activity, change in diet

Profuse sweating with growth of hands and feet; Changes in facial features with a large skull, broad forehead wrinkles, large nose and ears

Root cause:

Measure:

  • In the next few weeks to the family doctor

Increased sweating, palpitations and shortness of breath with little exertion

Causes:

Measure:

  • In the next few days to the family doctor

Sweating with fever

Causes:

  • Release of excess body heat as the fever drops
  • Serious infectious diseases such as blood poisoning (sepsis), malaria

Measure:

  • The same day to the doctor if you have no explanation for the fever, the fever rises above 40 ° C or lasts for more than 3 days

Self help:

  • Drink a lot, calf compress

Sweating, v. a. at night (night sweats), with exhaustion and reduced efficiency; often fever; possibly weight loss; possibly joint pain; possible rash; possibly swelling of the lymph nodes

Causes:

Measure:

  • In the next few days to the family doctor

Excessive sweating with noticeable hypersensitivity to heat; Nervousness, shaking hands; Weight loss despite increased appetite

Root cause:

Measure:

  • In the next few days to the family doctor

Constant or spasmodic sweating with palpitations and headache; often tremors, nervousness

Causes:

Measure:

  • In the next few days to the family doctor

Attack-like outbreak of sweat with restlessness in known diabetes; Cravings, palpitations, tremors; possibly drowsiness up to unconsciousness

Root cause:

  • Recurrent low blood sugar (hypoglycaemia)

Measure:

  • Call an emergency doctor if you lose consciousness

First measure:

  • If you are conscious, have or drink sweet beverages, dissolved glucose or fruit juice

Sudden sweat, dizziness and blackening before the eyes; Nausea, palpitations, ringing in the ears; possibly brief loss of consciousness

Causes:

Activities:

  • Call an ambulance if the fainting lasts for more than a minute
  • In the next few days to the family doctor if fainting attacks occur frequently

First measure:

  • Immediately lie down flat, legs up

Cold sweat and noticeably gray, cool skin; Tremors, restlessness, fear; possibly drowsiness up to unconsciousness

Root cause:

Shock, e.g. B. at

  • Heart attack
  • Severe blood loss, severe allergy
  • Withdrawal syndrome in alcohol addiction and drug addiction

Measure:

First measure:

  • Immediately lie down flat, legs up

Your pharmacy recommends

Right clothes.

Loose-fitting clothing made of natural fibers such as cotton ensures that the air can circulate well and moisture is quickly transported away. In addition, unlike tight-fitting clothing, sweat stains form less quickly, so that sweating is not noticed as quickly by others. Frequent washing of clothing prevents bacteria from multiplying, which would otherwise create an unpleasant odor. Anyone who suffers from sudden outbreaks of sweat (for example during the menopause) benefits from the onion look in order to react quickly to the changed temperature sensation.

Right nutrition.

Obesity is often associated with increased sweating, because the pronounced subcutaneous fat tissue disrupts thermoregulation. You can find tips about healthy weight loss under the heading "Nutritional Medicine". But caffeine, nicotine and alcohol also stimulate sweat production through their effect on the nervous system. Sweating from spicy food, on the other hand, is a reflex to the strong stimulus in the mouth and usually only lasts for a short time.

Cosmetic products.

Deodorants are now offered in so many variants that mostly just trying it out helps to find the right product for you. However, only antiperspirants have a direct effect on the sweat glands and thus reduce the amount of sweat. The mostly aluminum-containing products are controversial because they are linked to breast cancer and Alzheimer's disease - not yet sufficiently scientifically proven. Deodorants with an antimicrobial effect also help against unpleasant smells. Here you have the choice between natural germ inhibitors such as hops and lemon balm and industrially manufactured active ingredients such as chlorhexidine and triclosan.

Get medical help.

Those who suffer severely can, in consultation with their doctor, consider measures to "switch off" their sweat glands. But make yourself aware that suitable active ingredients such as bornaprine have significant side effects (they are otherwise used for serious illnesses such as Parkinson's!). Botox injections also suppress sweat production for about 6 months - but they are relatively expensive.

Authors

Dr. med. Arne Schäffler; Dr. med. Brigitte Strasser-Vogel; in: Gesundheit heute, edited by Dr. med. Arne Schäffler. Trias, Stuttgart, 3rd edition (2014). Editing: Sara Steer | last changed on at 12:40


Important note: This article has been written according to scientific standards and has been checked by medical professionals. The information communicated in this article can in no way replace professional advice in your pharmacy. The content cannot and must not be used to make independent diagnoses or to start therapy.