Merck Manual

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Diminished Sweating

(Hypohidrosis)

By

Shinjita Das

, MD, Harvard Medical School

Last full review/revision Jun 2020| Content last modified Jun 2020
Click here for the Professional Version

Some people sweat too little (a condition called hypohidrosis).

Diminished sweating is usually limited to a specific area of the body. It can be caused by a skin injury (such as trauma, radiation, infection [such as leprosy], or inflammation) or by a connective tissue disorder (such as systemic sclerosis, systemic lupus erythematosus, or Sjögren syndrome) that wastes away the sweat glands.

Diminished sweating also may be caused by drugs, especially those that have anticholinergic effects (see Anticholinergic: What Does It Mean?). Nerve damage caused by diabetes (diabetic neuropathy) can also cause diminished sweating, as can a variety of syndromes existing at or before birth. Sometimes, people who have very severe heatstroke stop sweating.

A doctor makes the diagnosis of diminished sweating by observing the person. If the person is unable to tolerate heat or has diminished sweating over a large portion of the body, the person may overheat.

The best treatment of diminished sweating is to cool the body by using air-conditioning and wearing wet garments.

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