How to Say It: Hi-per-hi-dro-sis
by Cynthia M. Johnson, MA
Hyperhidrosis is excessive sweating. Common places are the palms of the hands, soles of the feet, and/or the armpits.
Primary hyperhidrosis does not have a cause. It may be triggered by:
Secondary hyperhidrosis is caused by an underlying health problem, such as:
Things that may raise the risk of secondary hyperhidrosis are having any of the health problems that cause it.
Problems may be:
This problem can be embarrassing and affect relationships.
The doctor will ask about your symptoms and health history. A physical exam will be done. This may be enough to make the diagnosis in some people.
Tests may be done to find out what may be causing the problem.
The goal is to manage symptoms.
Treatments can be applied to ease sweating. These are:
Medicines may be used to treat secondary hyperhidrosis. This is not common due to side effects. They may be:
Botulinum A Neurotoxin
Botulinum A neurotoxin injections can ease sweating in certain areas. It is often used on the palms of the hands and armpits. It can last 6 to 8 months.
Some people may choose to have surgery. Choices are:
There are no current guidelines to prevent hyperhidrosis.
Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians
International Hyperhidrosis Society
Hyperhidrosis. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/hyperhidrosis. Accessed October 23, 2020.
McConaghy JR, Fosselman D. Hyperhidrosis: Management Options. Am Fam Physician. 2018 Jun 1;97(11):729-734.
Last reviewed September 2020 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Daniel A. Ostrovsky, MD
Last Updated: 5/19/2021
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