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Children's Health

Sweating and drinking fluids

02/23/2009

Question:

I never noticed how much my oldest son sweats and drinks! He swam year round and was a varsity swimmer. Plus he was in marching band. So he always had a perfectly good reason to drink a lot of fluids and I was always happy that he was conscious to keep up his fluid levels. Also, as a swimmer, it`s not like I would have noticed the level of perspiration because it was all being donated to the POOL! And for band, it`s so hot in August and September, it never crossed my mind as strange that our dogs licked his clothes when he came home.

Now he doesn`t swim any more. And boy does he sweat! On a recent trip, the whole car side that he sat on (it`s winter) was all steamed up. He still drinks a lot! He is very healthy with a normal body weight and does other activities to replace swimming and band.

Is it normal to sweat so much? He doesn`t have a bad odor, other than that I consider that boys smell like puppy dogs. He showers a lot but he smells fine. So is it normal to be a sweaty person?

Answer:

Thank you very much for the question.  There is a disorder call idiopathic hyperhidrosis.  It usually begins in childhood.  Individuals with this disorder experience excessive sweating in the groin, armpits, palms of the hands and soles of the feet.  The primary treatment for this disorder is the use of antiperspirants that contain aluminum chloride, which can 'plug' the sweat glands and reduce sweating.  I would certainly have your son examined by his physician to insure that he does not have an infection that is causing the excessive sweating. 

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Response by:

Stephen E Wilson, MD, MSc Stephen E Wilson, MD, MSc
Assistant Professor of Clinical Medicine
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati