(See also Introduction to Sweating Disorders Introduction to Sweating Disorders Sweat is made by sweat glands in the skin and carried to the skin’s surface by ducts. As sweat wets the skin and evaporates, it helps keep the body cool. Thus, people normally sweat more when... read more .)
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 Sclerosis Systemic sclerosis is a rare, chronic autoimmune rheumatic disorder characterized by degenerative changes and scarring in the skin, joints, and internal organs and by blood vessel abnormalities... read more , systemic lupus erythematosus Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) Systemic lupus erythematosus is a chronic autoimmune inflammatory connective tissue disorder that can involve joints, kidneys, skin, mucous membranes, and blood vessel walls. Problems in the... read more , or Sjögren syndrome Sjögren Syndrome Sjögren syndrome is a common autoimmune rheumatic disorder and is characterized by excessive dryness of the eyes, mouth, and other mucous membranes. White blood cells can infiltrate and damage... read more ) 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? Anticholinergic: What Does It Mean? Drugs, the most common medical intervention, are an important part of medical care for older people. Without drugs, many older people would function less well or die at an earlier age. Older... read more ). Nerve damage caused by diabetes (diabetic neuropathy Nerve damage in diabetes People with diabetes mellitus have many serious long-term complications that affect many areas of the body, particularly the blood vessels, nerves, eyes, and kidneys. (See also Diabetes Mellitus... read more ) can also cause diminished sweating, as can a variety of syndromes existing at or before birth. Sometimes, people who have very severe heatstroke Heatstroke Heatstroke is a life-threatening condition that results in very high body temperature and malfunction of many organ systems. (See also Overview of Heat Disorders.) Heatstroke can develop after... read more 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.