Sweating – caused by the skin's eccrine glands -- is the body's natural response toward increasing temperatures in the outside environment. Sweating maintains a regular body temperature and dissipates heat generated internally. It is common to find sweat on the heads of sleeping children, but the exact cause of this condition is mysterious. Infants may experience night-sweats due to various causes.
Causes of Excessive Sweating
Endocrine dysfunction is one of the most common causes of excessive sweating or hyperhidrosis. Elevated humidity and heat illness are some of the condition's environmental causes. The congenital defect, known as eccrine nevus -- a condition in which sweat glands are overactive -- is another common cause of hyperhidrosis. Some infants may sweat abnormally due to chronic and acute infections. Idiopathic diseases like essential hyperhidrosis and peripheral nerve damage may be associated with excessive sweating.
Complications and Concerns
Several health concerns associated with excessive sweating in infants include congenital defects or underlying genetic conditions like diabetes and hyperthyroidism. Look for symptoms including dehydration, fatigue and increased thirst along with the excessive sweating, as these could be signs of health complications. Sometimes, these symptoms can be normal, but it is prudent to get your baby medically checked for any complications.
Since sweating around the head while sleeping is common in infants, check for sweating on other areas of the body. Sweaty hands and feet are warning signs. Ascertain that the sweating is not due to high humidity or high temperatures in the room. Some children may naturally sweat more than others do, but you should assess the situation and then get medical advice.
Natural and medical treatment options are available for remedying excessive sweating in babies. Ascertaining the cause of excessive sweating in children can help determine the treatment. Surgical procedures to correct faulty sweat glands may be used when sweating is only topical. Herbal remedies can be used to temporarily treat this condition, but there is no scientific proof that such treatments work well on infants. Before using herbal treatment, consult a doctor.