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February 1955

CHEMICAL SYMPATHECTOMY: New Approach to Treatment of Localized Hyperhidrosis

Author Affiliations


From the Veterans Administration Regional Office. (Dr. Levine, Member, Department of Neurology; currently Chief of Neurology, Veterans Administration Hospital, Albany, N. Y.; Dr. Harris, Member, Department of Dermatology).

AMA Arch Derm. 1955;71(2):226-230. doi:10.1001/archderm.1955.01540260084018

IN THE military veteran population, excessive sweating of the palms and soles is not an uncommon complaint. Of one thousand consecutive dermatological patients with service-connected skin disorders, 30 patients were found to have hyperhidrosis of the hands and/or the feet, and 21 patients had dishidrosis. These cases were all carefully diagnosed and selected by eliminating fungus and pyogenic infections, sensitization dermatitis, and the eczematoid eruptions. According to Hopkins and his associates,1 symmetrical lividities were described as "sharply bordered plaques of white, soggy skin surrounded by narrow violet-red borders. The plaques often appeared slightly raised. Little beads of clear fluid appeared on their surface . . . the areas were often extremely sensitive to touch." Furthermore, all the selected cases of hyperhidrosis manifested secondary skin changes, such as maceration, denudation, or lividity. Most patients additionally complained of bromidrosis and burning or soreness at points of