This is a medical condition that causes excessive sweating. The word “hyperhidrosis” means too much (hyper) sweating (hidrosis).
This excessive sweating can interfere with everyday activities. Hands can be so sweaty that it becomes difficult to turn a doorknob or use a computer. Sweat from the underarms often soaks through clothes, causing obvious sweat marks. Because the skin is often wet, skin infections can develop.
You can learn about other signs and symptoms, treatment, and more by visiting the pages below.
Primary focal hyperhidrosis: This type of hyperhidrosis affects one or a few areas of the body, like the underarms.
Primary focal hyperhidrosis: This is the most common type. A person who has this type will notice that the excessive sweating occurs:
Secondary hyperhidrosis: In medical terminology, “secondary” means that the excessive sweating (hyperhidrosis) has an underlying cause. The cause could be a:
It is difficult to say how many people have excessive sweating. Many people never see a doctor. Some are too embarrassed to talk with a doctor. Others do not realize that this is a treatable medical condition. Dermatologists estimate that 3% of people in the United States have excessive sweating.
We know that some people are more likely to get hyperhidrosis. Researchers have learned that most people have one of the following:
When the excessive sweating occurs in one or two areas of the body, it is likely that a family member also has this condition.
Many medical conditions can cause excessive sweating. These include diabetes and gout. A tumor or injury also can cause excessive sweating.
Women often sweat excessively when they get hot flashes during menopause. The cause is obvious. Some women, however, develop excessive sweating after they have gone through menopause. This sweating does not have an obvious cause.
People of all races get hyperhidrosis. The excessive sweating can begin at any age. For many people, it begins when they are a child or teen. Dermatologists believe that more children and adolescents have this condition than are diagnosed.
Whether you live in a cold climate or a warm one, you can have hyperhidrosis.
Certain nerves tell the body when to sweat. It is possible that these nerves overreact, causing excessive sweating.
We know that you cannot catch it from someone.
Dermatologists continue to study what causes this condition. They also continue improve treatments. If excessive sweating interferes with your life, you may want to see a dermatologist. Many effective treatments are available.
You can learn how dermatologists diagnose and treat this condition at Hyperhidrosis: Diagnosis and treatment.