Hyperhidrosis : Definition, Symptoms, Types, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment ( Home Remedies, Medication, Surgery)

Hyperhidrosis : Definition, Symptoms, Types, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment ( Home Remedies, Medication, Surgery)
Hyperhidrosis : Definition, Symptoms, Types, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment ( Home Remedies, Medication, Surgery)


Hyperhidrosis also known as seborrhea or polyhidrosis is a medical condition in which a person suffers from excessive sweating. Sweating can sometimes affect just a certain area of the body or otherwise the whole body. Although hyperhidrosis is not a life-threatening condition it can be super uncomfortable. Moreover, hyperhidrosis can lead to embarrassment, social and psychological trauma. The research indicates that the condition of hyperhidrosis tends to start during adolescence. If a patient with hyperhidrosis does not seek any effective treatment, some complications can also develop including infections on the skin and emotional health disturbances.

According to the statistics, almost 7.8 million Americans suffer from hyperhidrosis and the most common areas that go through excessive sweating include the face, armpits, hands, and feet. There are a bunch of home remedies that can help to manage the symptoms of hyperhidrosis. While for people with severe sweating, there is a need of topical, oral medications as well as surgeries to reduce the symptoms. In addition to the physical symptoms, hyperhidrosis can also be devastating on a psychological level for a patient.

Excessive sweating in hyperhidrosis patients has an association with relatively hyperactive sweat glands specifically in the areas of the body like armpits, groin, hands, and feet. There are two main types of hyperhidrosis including generalized and focal hyperhidrosis. In the case of patients with generalized hyperhidrosis, there is sweating all over the body. On the other hand, in the patients with focal hyperhidrosis, there is localized sweating. For instance, there is excessive sweating of the soles and palms specifically known as palmoplantar hyperhidrosis.

Hyperhidrosis might develop in a person at the time of birth or can occur later in life. However, for a majority of people with hyperhidrosis, excessive sweating tends to begin during the teenage years of a person. The hyperhidrosis condition can occur due to an underlying medical condition or sometimes have no apparent reasons at all. The two types of hyperhidrosis include primary idiopathic hyperhidrosis and secondary hyperhidrosis. The primary idiopathic hyperhidrosis occurs due to unknown causes.

While the secondary hyperhidrosis might be occurring due to an underlying health condition including gout, obesity, tumors, diabetes mellitus, menopause, hyperthyroidism, or mercury poisoning. Almost 2.8 percent of Americans suffer yearly from hyperhidrosis according to the data of the International Hyperhidrosis Association, which is a lot of population. In addition, the symptoms of hyperhidrosis are so severe for some people that it creates embarrassment for them which consequently leads to social anxiety and discomfort.

The career choices, personal relationships, emotional well-being, self-image, and the free time activities of a person with hyperhidrosis suffer a lot. There are numerous options, fortunately, that can help to relieve the symptoms of hyperhidrosis to an effective extent. The primary hurdle in treating hyperhidrosis patients is the largest number of people who shy away from seeking medical advice from a professional. Moreover, some people might not have knowledge that a significant treatment exists for hyperhidrosis.  Besides the disruption of normal daily activities, heavy sweating can result in social embarrassment and anxiety.

1Hyperhidrosis Symptoms

Hyperhidrosis Symptoms
Hyperhidrosis Symptoms

A majority of the people sweat when they exert themselves or exercise, are anxious, under stress, or are in a heated environment. The excessive sweating that hyperhidrosis patients experience exceeds the normal sweating levels. Sweating is a natural phenomenon that occurs in response to specific conditions such as physical activity, hot weather, feelings of anger or fear, and stress. In the case of hyperhidrosis, a person sweats more than usual with no apparent reason for sweating. However, the underlying cause of hyperhidrosis is dependent on the type of hyperhidrosis a person has. (1)

The type of hyperhidrosis that mostly affects the feet, hands, face, or underarms results in at least one episode per week and usually during the waking hours. In addition, sweating more often happens on both sides of the body. Sometimes there is excessive sweating which is an alarming sign of a more severe condition. It is important to seek medical help if you are seating heavily along with other symptoms like chest pain, nausea, or lightheadedness. Hyperhidrosis needs immediate medical help if your sweating is disrupting your daily routine.

Furthermore, hyperhidrosis needs treatment when excessive sweating is causing social withdrawal or emotional distress. Although sweating is not one of the things that needs medical treatment right away, if you suddenly start to sweat more than normal then it is worrisome. If a person is experiencing night sweats with no particular reason or causes behind it then they must visit a medical specialist to check for hyperhidrosis and start the treatment. According to medical specialists, hyperhidrosis causes excessive sweating that can disrupt your normal activities.

There is the occurrence of sudden episodes of excessive sweating for no apparent reason at least once a week and can have a damaging effect on your social life as well. However, simple changes in your lifestyle along with proper medication can help you a lot to ease your symptoms of hyperhidrosis. Following is the list of some most commonly occurring symptoms of hyperhidrosis:

  • Wet or clammy soles of the feet
  • Wet or clammy palms of the hands
  • Frequent and excessive sweating
  • Noticeable sweating soaking through clothes
  • Constant worry about having sweat stains on clothes
  • Irritation and painful skin issues, including bacterial or fungal infections
  • Self-consciousness
  • Reluctant to initiate physical contact
  • Selecting employment where there is no need for human interaction
  • Social withdrawal, that might lead to depression
  • More worrying about body odor
  • Spending a large amount of time every day dealing with sweat like wiping, changing clothes, placing pads or napkins under the arms

According to the experts, it is not certain why but excessive sweating during nighttime is not common for people suffering from primary hyperhidrosis. Following is the description of some commonly occurring symptoms of hyperhidrosis: