Hyperhidrosis – Symptoms and Treatments

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By Dr Aman Sharma , Dermatology

Excessive sweating (hyperhidrosis) isn’t life threatening, but it can threaten your quality of life. How do you know when it’s time to see a doctor about excessive sweating? Hyperhidrosis or excessive sweating is caused due to the presence of extremely sensitive sweat glands.

No one can say how much sweat is “too much.” There’s really no effective and convenient way to measure the total amount of sweat.

Hyperhidrosis usually starts in adolescence or young adulthood. Sweating is worst in the palms, soles, or underarms. When excessive sweating is limited to these areas, it’s called focal hyperhidrosis.

Most people with focal hyperhidrosis are otherwise completely healthy. Studies suggest that they are no more nervous or easily upset than people who sweat normally.

At the same time, hyperhidrosis can cause real problems. Most people feel extremely embarrassed by their excess sweating. They frequently report frustrations or problems with things most people take for granted.

  1. If the excessive sweating is limited within the underarm, the feet and the palm of the hand, then it is diagnosed as Primary hyperhidrosis which is relatively harmless in the long run. However, this problem leads to severe mental and emotional problems for the person who is suffering from it. In most of the cases, the person might be suffering from a very young age but is too embarrassed to check up with a doctor. However, an early checkup might eradicate Primary Hyperhidrosis completely.
  2. If you start to sweat more than usual; that too all of a sudden and all around your body, then you should check up with your doctor, as that might be a precursor to serious medical conditions such as cancer, heart attack, diabetes, serious nerve and hormonal anomalies. This form of Hyperhidrosis, known as Secondary Hyperhidrosis, is sometimes accompanied by symptoms of nausea, the sudden rise of temperature to abnormal limits and a sudden pain in the chest.


  1. Primary Hyperhidrosis is diagnosed with antiperspirants which are to be applied in the affected regions. If the case is one of excessive sweating, then antiperspirants with high aluminum salt content might be used during the night; with a suitable prescription from the doctor.
  2. Also, usage of anti-depressants and Botulinum toxin injections might be used to treat excessive sweating.
  3. You can also opt for surgical procedures such as the removal of sweat glands if this condition is localized to only your underarm regions and nerve surgery if Hyperhidrosis is limited to your hands.