Intense sweating in the groin can be debilitating. It can leave large wet stains on clothes and lead to embarrassing situations. But did you know intense sweating may be the result of a condition called hyperhidrosis? We’ll discuss how The Center for Hyperhidrosis can help, but first, let’s dive into hyperhidrosis of the groin, how it presents, and why.

What Is Hyperhidrosis Of The Groin? 

Hyperhidrosis (HH) is the medical term for excessive sweating unrelated to stress, heat, or physical activity. Sweating is a natural bodily function that helps regulate body temperature by dispelling heat. When sweating becomes intense and uncomfortable, we suspect hyperhidrosis. 

Hyperhidrosis of the groin is called Hexsel’s Hyperhidrosis or Inguinal Hyperhidrosis (IH). It is a primary form of focal hyperhidrosis, though it can also appear with generalized hydrosis. 

Signs And Symptoms Of Groin Hyperhidrosis

Groin hyperhidrosis rarely appears after the age of 25. In most cases, it starts in adolescence and continues into adulthood. It occurs on both sides of the body, usually symmetrically, as opposed to one side only. The affected areas include:

  • The suprapubic area — below the belly button but above the pubic bone
  • The femoral triangle — the shallow depression at the top of the thigh, below the fold of the groin
  • The inside surfaces of the upper thigh
  • The genital area
  • The natal cleft (the ‘crack’)
  • The lower part of the gluteus maximus (major buttock muscle)
  • The gluteal fold (the skin crease below the buttocks)

The sweating is obvious and intense, not just excessive. Bromhidrosis (foul-smelling sweat) and chromhidrosis (colored sweat) can accompany IH.

Causes Of Inguinal (Groin) Hyperhidrosis

While the cause of IH is unknown, there are several contributing factors. In 50% of patients, there is a familial history, which suggests a genetic component. A biopsy of the glands in the affected area returns a normal histology, meaning there is no obvious physiological abnormality with the glands. IH can occur on its own or as one of several areas of hyperhidrosis. 

The central sympathetic nervous system, the hypothalamic nuclei, the prefrontal areas, or their connections may play a role, but most sufferers of IH don’t have correlating symptoms.

While generalized hyperhidrosis is associated with drug use, metabolic, endocrine, and other diseases, IH and other forms of the condition are not.

Health And Social Impacts Of Excessive Groin Sweating

Hyperhidrosis of the groin causes other common inguinal diseases or makes existing issues worse. Eczema, bacterial infections, dermatitis, erythrasma, and folliculitis are affected by IH. Tight clothing and products used to decrease groin sweat can worsen these conditions.

IH can make social interaction difficult and cause physical and emotional discomfort. It can compromise the professional and social life and make daily activities difficult for patients struggling with IH.

Hyperhidrosis Of The Groin: Treatments 

Hyperhidrosis of the groin treatments include topical, pharmaceutical, surgical, injections, and other options. 

Topical Treatments

Initial treatments for focal hyperhidrosis are topical. Unfortunately, they can sometimes provide less than promising results for IH patients. They often contain aluminum chlorhydroxide, glutaraldehyde, formol, and its derivatives. They also contain anticholinergic agents that block and inhibit certain activity in the central and peripheral nervous system.

These treatments can cause contact dermatitis. Apply after a cold bath and immediately before going to bed. Always apply to dry skin.

Pharmaceutical treatments

Antidepressants, anticholinergics, and anxiety medications can offer partial perspiration relief and primarily treat the psychological impact of IH.

A concern with these medications is their significant side effects, which include dry mouth, urinary problems, sedations, visual alterations, decreased sex drive, and blood pressure issues.

Surgical treatments

Surgical treatments, including liposuction, curettage (scraping the gland), skin ablation or resurfacing, and surgical removal of the sweating areas, aren’t suitable for IH. The skin in the inguinal area doesn’t respond as well as areas susceptible to focal HH, and these surgeries leave unacceptable scars.

Endoscopic video-assisted sympathectomies have had some success in treating armpit and palm-sole hyperhidrosis. Lumbar sympathectomies in male patients could cause impotence.

Other treatments

Iontophoresis decreases perspiration through a complex process using a galvanic current to transport ions through the skin of affected areas. Patients may experience partial improvement with repeated treatments. 

Type A botulinum toxin (BTX-A) injections have had some success in the treatment of IH. Repeat treatments are necessary, but it is considered safe, provides satisfactory results, and can help improve the quality of life for IH patients.

How To Prevent Or Reduce Groin Sweating

Once it occurs, groin hyperhidrosis is difficult to prevent, but management is possible. Many of the treatments discussed here can help with multiple affected areas. Be prepared for repeat treatments for longer-lasting effects.

The Center For Hyperhidrosis is here to help patients suffering from IH and other forms of focal and generalized hyperhidrosis. Patient satisfaction is of utmost importance to us. Plus, you don’t need to travel to New York City for an appointment. We offer online consultations through Telemedicine. Contact us today to speak to a professional about your condition and treatment options.

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