Hyperhidrosis/Excessive sweating

Hyperhidrosis is excessive sweating that occurs on the:
  • Underarms
  • Palms
  • Face
  • Scalp
  • Feet
What is hyperhidrosis?

The body uses sweat as a form of temperature control, in order to cool itself. Hyperhidrosis is excessive sweating, which means sweating more than normal. 

People with hyperhidrosis report feelings of social isolation and withdrawal from others in order to avoid touching others. This includes dating, business activities (where shaking hands is commonplace) and other activities for fear of body odor and damp clothing.

People with hyperhidrosis don’t have more sweat glands than other people. Rather, the nerve that controls sweating—the sympathetic nerve—is oversensitive and causes the overproduction of sweat.

Who gets hyperhidrosis?

There are two types of hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating): primary hyperhidrosis and secondary hyperhidrosis.

Primary hyperhidrosis is usually inherited, which means one of your family members may have had it. Primary hyperhidrosis begins in childhood and worsens with puberty, especially in women.

Secondary hyperhidrosis is caused by some other condition or behavior. Some of these might include:

  • Neurologic syndromes
  • Thyrotoxicosis
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Gout
  • Menopause
Medications that may cause sweating

Botulinum toxin injectables should be avoided by pregnant women and nursing mothers, as well as people with an allergy to proteins in cow’s milk.

Botulinum toxin injections are relatively safe. However, some people experience pain, bruising or swelling where the drug was injected. Other possible side effects are:

  • Headache or flulike symptoms
  • Dry or watering eye
  • Drooping on one eyelid, eyebrow or side of the mouth
  • Drooling

Very rarely, if the toxin accidentally spreads into your body, other, more serious symptoms might occur over the course of hours or days.

Call your doctor right away if you notice:

    • Vision problems
    • Muscle weakness
    • Trouble speaking or swallowing
    • Inability to control the bladder
    • Difficulty breathing
    • Medications that may cause sweating
    • Chronic alcoholism
    • Spinal cord injury

Some cancers are known to cause night sweats, so if you only sweat at night, see your doctor as soon as possible to rule out a serious disease.


Hyperhidrosis Symptoms

Depending where on your body you experience hyperhidrosis will determine your symptoms. Typically, symptoms include:

  • Excess sweat on your palms, hands, underarms, face and trunk (body)
  • Some patients may experience extreme flushing on their faces


Hyperhidrosis Diagnosis
Doctors diagnose hyperhidrosis by doing a physical examination and listening to a patient’s history.
Hyperhidrosis Treatment

There are different treatments for hyperhidrosis, depending on the severity of the condition. These include:

1 Medications

Drying Topical treatments

Daily topical treatment that dry the skin are usually the first introduced treatment. Aluminum chloride or aluminum chloride hexahydrate are the most common of these products .

Some people find that they have uncomfortable side effects, including burning and skin reactions.

Oral Medications

Oral medications are known as systemic therapies, meaning they affect your entire body. These medications are called anticholinergics, which mean they cause a drying reaction in the body. These oral medications can be a good option for patients who sweat in multiple locations. There are some side effects, like dry mouth and dry eyes. Sometimes, after using these medications for a while, patients find these medications lose their effectiveness.

2 Dietary Changes

Research suggests changes in diet, such as adopting a vegetarian diet, and dietary supplements may reduce the severity of hyperhidrosis.

3 Botulinum Toxin

This treatment involves administering injections into affected areas. These injections cause a very reliable temporary decrease in sweating, typically lasting from three to six months.

4 Microwave thermolysis

5 Surgery


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