Gustatory Sweating Treatment, Symptoms, Causes


Gustatory sweating is the term used for the profuse sweating of the face, forehead, scalp or neck immediately after eating. This condition is quite normal especially if the cause is the ingestion of spicy foods. However, when excessive sweating occurs even with the absence of hot and spicy foods, this could mean Frey Syndrome or a diabetes milletus complication.

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Causes of Gustatory Sweating

Frey Syndrome

With Frey syndrome, the excessive sweating happens on only one side of the head and face of the patient. Frey syndrome develops after injury to the nerve linked to the parotid gland or removal of the parotid gland through surgery. The parotid gland is the largest structure in the mouth that produces saliva. Saliva is vital in the process of digestion because it permits easier chewing of the food and swallowing. People who have undergone parotidectomy are normally more at risk of developing gustatory sweating. Parotidectomy is conducted in order to remove the existence of a cancerous tumor.

The nerves that encompass the parotid gland manage and monitor the rate and amount of the production of saliva. In the process of parotidectomy, the nerves that surround the glands are normally cut off. The problem occurs during the healing process wherein the nerves that were cut off start to grow back and connect themselves to the sweat glands that are found throughout the various areas of the face. By the time the person goes back to consuming delectable foods, the impetus that is normally targeted to the nerves to begin producing saliva is targeted to the sweat glands to generate more sweat. This is the explanation as to why some people tend to sweat a lot just by simply thinking of or looking at certain foods.

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Diabetes Milletus

Excessive sweating may also be the result of an unusual complication of diabetes mellitus. Unlike in Frey syndrome, the sweating caused by diabetes mellitus occurs on all sides of the face. This happens rarely though.

Symptoms of Gustatory Sweating

The symptoms of excessive sweating may either bother some people or not, but it can be very annoying and irritating particularly when the sweat is too abundant that it literally soaks the face. Excessive sweating may appear on the forehead of the patient, the area around the chest or the lips. For individuals who have undergone surgical removal of the parotid glands and incurred damage to the auriculotemporal nerve, which is the nerve that allows the side of the head to feel, flushing in the face may likewise happen.

Remedies or Treatment for Gustatory Sweating

The main concern with regards to gustatory sweating is more on the outward appearance than any other aspects. This is especially true when they are working and dining in public. Treating and managing this syndrome consists of applying creams or topical solutions of glycopyrrolate. This is in the lotion form applied on the face and forehead without applying to the mouth and eyes. Some patients also find applying anti-perspirants on the skin can help reduce sweating. Other treatments include clonidine, propantheline bromide and oxybutynin chloride. Another option that has a higher rate of success is through surgical operation.

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