What you need to know about hyperhidrosis

Hyperhidrosis is a condition which causes people to sweat excessively.There are two main types of hyperhidrosis: focal hyperhidrosis only affects parts of the body like the hands or feet, or if affects the whole body it is known as generalised hyperhidrosis. It isn’t a serious condition but it can be embarrassing and annoying for sufferers.

Primary hyperhidrosis

Many people think that the cause of primary hyperhidrosis is a problem with the sympathetic nervous system. It is the sympathetic nervous system that starts the sweating process to regulate the temperature of the body. A theory of the cause of primary hyperhidrosis is that the brain sends information to cool the body when there is no need to. It is also believed that it can be caused by genetic mutation because one in four sufferers have a close family relative with the condition.

Secondary hyperhidrosis

Secondary hyperhidrosis can be caused by many different things - most commonly it is because of menopause or an overactive thyroid gland. Side effects from medicines can also cause secondary hyperhidrosis.

Reducing symptoms

There are many things you can do to reduce the symptoms of hyperhidrosis. Using antiperspirant instead of deodorants can make a big difference. Wearing loose clothes and wearing black or white clothes can also hide it well. You can even buy armpit shields that absorb moisture. If that fails, a doctor can prescribe prescription antiperspirant which contains aluminium chloride to plug up the sweat glands.

A trip to the dermatologist may be required for further treatment. They will either help by using electric currents, botulinum toxin or surgery.


Although hyperhidrosis is not a serious condition it can cause embarrassment and hinder people in their day to day lives. It isn’t a nice thing to have, but by simply changing what you wear and making a few lifestyle changes you can fight back against the symptoms. If that fails there are effective treatments available for you from your doctor.

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