Why don’t I sweat?

Last updated on August 9, 2020


I do not sweat at all! What are the possibilities of what may be wrong? I have been having this problem for at least 6 months. Please help me. I am also having other skin complications. I need help. I have been to several doctors and they have all been dead ends. Thank you for your time.


There are medical conditions that include the symptom of not being able to sweat. I’m surprised that the doctors you have seen haven’t at least listed what they’ve ruled out in your case. The inability to sweat in medical terms is “anhidrotic.”

There is a hereditary disease called anhidrotic ectodermal dysplasia. It appears most often in men. The condition causes few sweat glands to develop on the skin. Without them, you would have difficulty regulating your body temperature. People with this condition are intolerant of heat. But there are other symptoms as well: thin skin that is light in color, fewer teeth than normal, chronic nasal congestion that smells awful, and little body hair.

Some medications have as a side effect a decrease in the ability to sweat.

The doctors should also look for diseases that damage your nerves, such as diabetes, multiple sclerosis, or Guillain-Barre syndrome. The lack of signals that you are too hot can cause an apparent lack of sweating. (i.e. a person doesn’t sweat because the sweat gland never got the signal to start.)

There is a disease known as miliaria rubra where the sweat glands work, but release the sweat under the surface of the skin. It is generally triggered by heavy sweating that basically gets out of control. Each sweat gland affected swells up for a while, but once the person goes back to cooler conditions it clears up. When the condition doesn’t clear itself (by going to someplace cooler), it is called miliaria profunda. This causes lesions on your skin, but they are less pronounced than those found in miliaria rubra. Conditions that would cause a normal person to sweat makes the lesions more noticeable. Usually, miliaria rubra and miliara profunda only affect regions of the skin (i.e. the whole body is not involved). Here is a link to a picture from a medical site. Those with the condition are intolerant of the heat but there isn’t much in the way of other symptoms. There is a belief that bacteria are involved because people with this condition have more than the normal levels of bacteria on their skin. This problem is found almost exclusively in tropical areas of the world.

Could you describe the other skin problems you are having or anything else you’ve noticed? The additional information would help me in searching the medical books.

The inability to sweat can be life-threatening. If you get into situations where the body must cool itself (say a hot day or heavy labor), your inability to sweat will make your body temperature rise to dangerous levels.