Heat-related illnesses are the most serious complications of anhidrosis. Children are especially vulnerable because their core temperatures rise faster than adults’, and their bodies release heat less efficiently.
Heat-related problems include:
- Heat cramps. Symptoms include muscle pain or spasms. Rest in a cool place and drink water or a sports drink. Get medical help if cramps last longer than an hour.
- Heat exhaustion. Signs and symptoms include weakness, nausea and a rapid pulse. Move to a cool place and get medical help if symptoms last longer than an hour.
- Heatstroke. This life-threatening condition occurs when your body temperature reaches 103 F (39.5 C) or higher. Skin may be hot, red or dry. If not treated immediately, heatstroke can cause loss of consciousness.
- Causes of anhidrosis include:
- Conditions you’re born with, such as certain congenital dysplasias that affect the development of sweat glands
- Inherited conditions that affect your metabolic system, such as Fabry’s disease
- Connective tissue diseases, such as Sjogren’s syndrome, which causes dry eyes and mouth
- Skin damage, such as from burns or radiation therapy, or diseases that clog your pores (poral occlusion), such as psoriasis
- Conditions that cause nerve damage (neuropathy), such as diabetes, alcoholism and Guillain-Barre syndrome
- Certain drugs, such as morphine and botulinum toxin type A, and those used to treat psychosis
Anhidrosis often can’t be prevented, but serious heat-related illnesses can. To stay safe:
- Wear loose, light clothing when it’s warm.
- Stay cool indoors on hot days.
- Use a spray bottle containing water to cool yourself.
- Monitor your activity level closely so you don’t overdo it.
- Learn the signs of heat-related illness and how to treat them.
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