Home Health Parkinson’s disease symptoms: Skin signs – sweating, oily skin and seborrhoeic dermatitis

Parkinson’s disease symptoms: Skin signs – sweating, oily skin and seborrhoeic dermatitis


Parkinson’s disease symptoms usually develop over a number of years and appear mild at first. The three main symptoms are a tremor, slowness of movement and muscle stiffness. But the condition has many different types of symptoms, many of which aren’t associated with a person’s movement. People with Parkinson’s sometimes have problems with their skin and with how much or how little they sweat, according to Parkinson’s UK.


People with Parkinson’s may encounter problems with part of the nervous system that controls sweating, says the charity.

It adds: “This can lead to excessive sweating (known as hyperhidrosis), which most often happens if your drug treatments for Parkinson’s ‘wear off’.

“Sometimes, people with Parkinson’s can also experience sweating at night.”

To manage sweating try to identify any food or drinks that may trigger sweating, such as alcohol, caffeine or spicy foods, don’t wear clothes that are tight-fitting or made of synthetic materials, try to avoid situations that may trigger sweating, such as crowded rooms or situations you may find stressful.

Oily skin

Parkinson’s patients may produce more sebum than normal – this is the substance produced by the skin glands to protect the skin and keep it supple.

Producing more sebum than normal is known as seborrhoea and can cause a person’s face and scalp to become greasy and shiny.

It advises: “If you experience this, remember that oily skin can affect anyone and there are a number of treatments available.

“Try using a mild soap or a gentle cleanser and water, or an oil-free soap substitute.

“Avoid cosmetic products that contain alcohol, or that irritate your skin.

“Speak to your GP or a pharmacist for more advice on suitable products.”

Seborrhoeic dermatitis

This is a condition that affects areas of the skin that have lots of sebaceous glands. Sebaceous glands are microscopic exocrine glands in the skin that secrete sebum.

It causes these areas of skin to become red, itchy and sore, and skin can also peel, flake and develop into thick crusts or scales.

The research charity says: “Seborrhoeic dermatitis is a common problem, and people with Parkinson’s are likely to develop it.”

Areas affected most often are the scalp, the face, the ears, the front of the chest, and the bends and folds of skin.

It adds: “There is no cure for seborrhoea dermatitis but there are treatments that can control it.”

Some symptoms of Parkinson’s disease can manifest themselves in a person’s face.


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