Anhidrosis: Symptoms & Causes

by Ishani Bose last updated -

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According to the International Hyperhidrosis Society, our autonomic nervous system triggers the eccrine sweat glands, which is not less than 2.6 million in an average person. This is what discharges fluid onto the surface of the skin, also known as sweat. The body starts to cool down once the perspiration starts to evaporate. Ideally, a single bead of sweat can cool almost 1 liter of blood by 1-degree Fahrenheit. People suffer from a severe case of anhidrosis when they can’t sweat and eventually cool their bodies. This can result in serious heart-related issues among others. But what are the causes and symptoms of anhidrosis? Let’s take a look.

What is Anhidrosis?

Anhidrosis, which is also commonly known as hypohidrosis, is a condition where your body is unable to sweat, says a report published in the Archives of Dermatology. This results in your body withholding bodily fluids that it usually eliminates via perspiration. This also means that the toxins in your body that are commonly eliminated via sweating are unable to leave your body, which can be a dangerous situation. Furthermore, sweating is an essential process in the body that enables us to cool our bodies. When our bodies are unable to regulate our internal temperature in this way, our body can overheat, sometimes resulting in heat stroke or heat exhaustion. Heat stroke can be a potentially fatal condition, so anhidrosis must be taken very seriously.

Symptoms of Anhidrosis

Anhidrosis is a symptom/disease that can be inherited genetically or can even develop naturally later in life. Some homeopathic remedies and herbal treatments exist, but the most important step in treating this condition is speaking to a medical professional in case your symptoms are being caused by something else. Here are some of the symptoms of anhidrosis :

  • Flushing
  • Feeling excessively hot
  • Not Sweating
  • Cramps in muscles
  • Dizziness and weakness

Anhidrosis can occasionally just affect a certain part of the body, which is not as dangerous since the sweat will be able to leave your body somewhere else. However, this should still be taken seriously, since the condition can worsen to more dangerous levels. If your entire body is unable to sweat, that is when you can find yourself in a potentially life-threatening situation.

Causes of Anhidrosis

However, the most common cause of anhidrosis is actually an underlying condition, which manifests in the disease as a symptom. This can come in the form of skin conditions or trauma, various diseases, and even as a side effect from certain medications. In fact, there are dozens of possible causes of anhidrosis in people, all of which could potentially be treated after being identified. According to a report published in the International Journal of Medicine, some of the causes of anhidrosis are as follows :

  • Congenital reasons
  • Skin damages caused due to burns and radiation.
  • Conditions that have neurological ramifications such as alcoholism, diabetes, etc
  • Some drugs like morphine and botulinum toxin type A
  • Connective tissue disorders that cause dry eyes and mouth

This is a condition that cannot always be prevented but heat-related illnesses can be. Ensure you do the following to avoid complications.

  • Avoid going out in the sun on hot days
  • Always keep a spray bottle handy to ward off the heat and keep yourself well hydrated
  • Educate yourself about heat-related illnesses and ways to treat them
  • Wear loose, light-colored clothing

While the aforementioned points will always come handy, it’s advisable to seek medical help when you experience any of the symptoms of anhidrosis.

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About the Author

An alumnus of St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai, Ishani Bose has worked as a reporter/features writer for several leading newspapers and organizations in India. It was her love for food, health, and wellness that brought her to Organic Facts. As a Content & Culinary Outreach Specialist, she is responsible for developing and managing the website’s recipe section. An avid Instagrammer who knows the latest social media trends, Ishani helps strategize and create authentic content for the website’s social media platforms. When not writing or cooking, you’ll find her reading, traveling, soaking herself in music, arts, and culture in every way possible. Ishani is currently pursuing an online program on “Introduction to Food and Health” by Stanford University, US. 

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