Excessive Sweating

Excessive sweating (hyperyidrosis) is when you sweat more than you might expect based on the surrounding temperature or your activity level or stress. Excessive sweating can disrupt daily activities and cause social anxiety or embarrassment.

Excessive sweating can affect your entire body or just certain areas, particularly your palms, soles, underarms or face. There are two categories of sweating: localised sweating and generalised sweating. Topic and tablet medications are available.


Localized Sweating: Primary Focal Hyperhidrosis

The most common form of excessive sweating is known as primary focal hyperhidrosis, affecting about 1-3 per cent of the population and starting in childhood or adolescence. Although this is a medical condition it does not cause any further illness. The symptoms of primary focal hyperhidrosis are fairly specific. It is localised to specific parts of the body including the underarms, groin, head, face, hands, or feet and is symmetrical.


Generalized Sweating: Secondary General Hyperhidrosis

Generalised sweating is a less common form of excessive sweating, however it may be of more medical concern, as it may be due an underlying health condition. As a result it is also known as secondary general hyperhidrosis.

Causes may include:

  • Menopause
  • Pregnancy
  • Thyroid problems
  • Diabetes
  • Alcoholism
  • Infectious diseases like tuberculosis
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Cancers like leukemia and lymphoma

Medications – including some psychiatric drugs, blood pressure medications, medicines for dry mouth, antibiotics and supplements.

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