Hyperhidrosis is characterized by persistent, excessive sweating. Sweating is a vital regulatory function that prevents the body from overheating. Normally, our bodies sweat due to high environmental temperature or physical activity. Individuals with hyperhidrosis experience sweating even when the body is not subjected to these stressors and does not need to be cooled. Most often, affected individuals sweat from their palms, feet, underarms, and head.
Researchers have determined that one of the following or some combination of the following criteria may increase an individual’s chances of experiencing hyperhidrosis. Firstly, research indicates that most people with hyperhidrosis have an affected family member. Secondly, internal factors may also play a role. Abnormally large sweat glands or certain nerves signaling sweat glands to overproduce sweat may be responsible. Excessive sweating may also be a clue that there is an underlying medical condition that needs to be addressed by a physician. Lastly, hyperhidrosis is a side effect of some medications.
Hyperhidrosis is treated on a case by case basis. For instance, if it is due to an underlying medical condition, the patient will be referred to a specialist for treatment. Other treatments may include prescription strength anti-perspirants, oral medications, or Botox™ injections