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Includes Expert Content
Excessive sweating on one side
Petie1966 posted:
I have had problems with excessive sweating on the right side of my body. I have seen a dermatologist and an ob/gyn, had blood tests, but haven't found anything. It gets so bad that sweat will drip off my head and underarm. Has anybody had a problem like this?
Amykapamie responded:
Yes, I have the same problem with a little twist as well. When I am working (which I do every day, outdoors), I sweat PROFUSELY only on the right side of my head/face. However when I eat spicy foods such as jalapeno peppers, I sweat only on the left side. Weird. My GP didn't think it was anything to worry about, but I sure would like to know why this just began happening about five years ago and never before.
TastesLikeChicken responded:
I have been dealing with the same thing for a few years now. I sweat only on the left side of my head... and I sweat A LOT!!! I just never thought to actually google it to see if other people experience the same thing. There really isn't a lot of information online about this. Most of the articles I have read suggest talking to your doctor and then seeing a neurologist. When I am sweating, the left side of my head and face is red and soaked... the right side is normal and dry. I know that this is not normal... if anyone has actually received any decent medical information, please post it.

dawsonsmimi responded:
If you also have flushing on the same side. you may have harlequin syndrome. It's a disorder of the sympathetic nerve system, but other than that, drs don't seem to know a lot about it. Newborns get harlequin syndrome (the redness or flushing) because of immature circulatory systems, but it goes away soon after birth.

I am 60 and my symptoms began when I was around 40 I think ( maybe a little before). It has gotten worse in the last few years - I dread summer because of it; there is no way I could get dressed up and attend an outdoor function in the summer without makeup and perspiration dripping. I dont sweat at all on the left side, so I assume the right side is overworked.
vicisu replied to Amykapamie's response:
Oh my gosh, I always thought I was the only one who had this problem. I sweat profusely on the left side of my head and face in warm conditions or with little exercise and I sweat on the right side of my head and face when I eat spicy foods. This is so weird and has been happening for about 10 years. I asked my doctor a long time ago and was told it was probably hormones. It is so strange for other people to see and even more strange to experience personally.
juliejulieg replied to vicisu's response:
I have had the same type of problems for about 10 years now. I thought i was the only one but now reading all these posts its nice to know im not alone. I sweat on my upper right body and then on my lower left. The parts that dont sweat are extremely dry. In the summer if im outside to long i get a line down the center of my face and the right side is beat red. Ive been to several neurologists, had cat scans, xrays and Mri's with nothing abnormal found. I going to see another neurologist in another month because it is the most uncomfortable and embarrasing feeling. I want to be fixed! Ive been told that it does involve my sympathetic nervous system but no one will fix me! I personally think I have nerve damage in my spine from my epidural from my first sons birth. It all started after I had him and still have a sore spot on my spine. Does anyone have any answers for me? If not I at least wanted to share my story with everyone. Thanks, Julie
raineeknight responded:
I thought i was the only one. I'm glad to see so many others with this problem. I was wondering since no one knows what this is, maybe we have other commonalities. Like, I noticed it happens mostly after i eat or drink something with high acidity. And if i've burned my tongue. Also I get the feeling it's related to my sinuses. Even if we never find out what the cause is, it's somewhat comforting to know i'm not the only one suffering.
CIRCULATORY replied to dawsonsmimi's response:
does anyone have what seems to be chronic stiff neck or knot in the neck on the same side of the excessive sweating in addition to these other symptoms. I experience a stiff neck and a need to pop and manipulate my neck CONSTANTLY trying to relase tension on my neck on the same side that sweats excessively and is flushed. I'm no longer thinking this is a coincidence.
skinlover responded:
I was researching this for a patient of mine (I'm an Esthetician) and I came upon this article...
I hope it helps!

Harlequin Syndrome CausesThe following are the commonly seen causes for the harlequin syndrome:

"022 The symptoms frequently occur due to an injury to the sympathetic nervous system, that division of the nervous system that is responsive to stress.

"022 It may also occur after a unilateral endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy (ETS) or an endoscopic sympathetic blockade (ESB) surgery.

"022 Those who suffer from stroke or tumors may experience the symptoms of harlequin syndrome as well. Characteristically, the face of the person flushes suddenly and there is copious perspiration, without any warning or identified cause.

"022 From time to time, the symptoms of the disease may appear when the person exercises or spends too much time in the heat.

Harlequin Syndrome TreatmentWhen the surgeon can identify the damaged nerve, then the damage / impairment can be repaired, and treatment may be possible. Repair is done surgically. In case surgery is not possible, a stellate ganglion block is done. In this medical procedure, a local anesthetic is given, and it has been proven that it can diminish the intensity and the duration of the harlequin syndrome manifestations. Research indicates that these techniques, though rather new, are the most effective ways to manage the condition.

Prognosis of the harlequin syndrome is moderate to poor. The condition is generally not life threatening or fraught with serious complications, but it can cause awkwardness and discomfort.
Jane Harrison Hohner, RN, RNP replied to skinlover's response:
Thanks skinlover! Your research will likely benefit many other women who are looking for answers for this unusual set of symptoms. Through the magic of an internet search, over the past four years, this post has been amended many times.

In Gratitude,
skinlover replied to Jane Harrison Hohner, RN, RNP's response:
My pleasure Jane! I love the ease of research using the internet. As long as it's coupled with a professional practioner's advice too
Thanks for the comment.
Kind Regards,
bewellyall replied to skinlover's response:
Ok, I too only sweat on the right half of my head. I thought it was due to menopause or something. The left side is dry, even during a hot flash. My husband thinks I am nuts!
skinlover replied to bewellyall's response:
bewellyall, you are certainly not nuts. There are many people suffering from the very same symptoms. I would love to hear from a practioner who treats this condition. I've put in a few calls, but so far no replies. I'm considering contacting Johns Hopkins. I'll keep everyone posted.
LuisJSoria replied to skinlover's response:

I am a 50-year-old male and I have had the sweating only on my right side of my face since birth. My face will also turn a flush red (when I exercise or run) right down the middle of my face and to the right. Never have I sweat or had a flush face on my left side. I do not see one man stated he has had this symptom. Neither the sweating nor the red face has bothered me, but I do feel (at times) strongly aware of my surroundings, kind of "extra" sensitive to our environment. If that makes any sense.
skinlover replied to LuisJSoria's response:
I remember seeing photos of some men with Harlequin Syndrome, but I wonder if it's just more prevalent in Women.
Have you consulted with a neurologist? They may have a solution. Good luck. I know how difficult it must be for you.

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