Neurologic disorders such as Guillain-Barre syndrome
Skin diseases or scarring of the skin that block sweat glands
Trauma to sweat glands
Use of certain drugs
If there is a danger of overheating, take the following measures:
Take a cool shower or sit in a bathtub with cool water
Drink plenty of fluids
Stay in a cool environment
DO NOT do heavy exercise
When to Contact a Medical Professional
Call your health care provider if you have a general lack of sweating or an abnormal lack of sweating when exposed to heat or strenuous exercise.
What to Expect at Your Office Visit
The provider will perform a physical exam. In emergencies, the health care team will perform rapid cooling measures and give you fluids to stabilize you.
You may be asked about your symptoms and medical history.
You may be asked to wrap yourself in an electric blanket or sit in a sweatbox while the health care team watches your body's reaction.
A skin biopsy may be done. Genetic testing may be done if appropriate.
Treatment depends on the cause of your lack of sweating. You may be given medicine to cause sweating.
Miller JL. Diseases of the eccrine and apocrine sweat glands. In: Bolognia JL, Jorizzo JL, Schaffer JV, eds. Dermatology. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2012:chap 39.
Kevin Berman, MD, PhD, Atlanta Center for Dermatologic Disease, Atlanta, GA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.