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Sweatopedia is a leading source of comprehensive, objective, and accurate information on hyperhidrosis.

Body Areas Affected by Hyperhidrosis

What Causes Night Sweating?

By Katie Crissman /

Night sweats are a specific type of sweating that, like the name implies, only occur at night. True night sweats are caused by severe hot flashes that occur in sleep. They often cause a person to soak through bed sheets and are not related to how hot the surrounding environment is. Night sweats are also surprisingly common.[1] One study published in the Annals of Family Medicine found that 41% of patients questioned about night sweats at a primary care clinic responded that they had experienced night sweats in the month prior to their visit to the doctor. This is only one statistic and is not representative of the number of people in society as a whole who experience night sweats, but it still demonstrates that night sweating is a prevalent issue.[2] There are various medical reasons that people experience night sweats ranging from benign to quite serious. Below is a list of several of the most common causes.


Hyperhidrosis is the medical term used to describe unusual, excessive sweating that is not related to the heat or exertion. The two most common types of hyperhidrosis are called primary focal hyperhidrosis and secondary generalized hyperhidrosis. Most commonly, night sweats are a symptom of secondary hyperhidrosis - which is a type of hyperhidrosis caused by an underlying medical condition or medication. For example, some medications cause excessive sweating as a side effect. Due to the fact that the excessive sweating has a causative agent, the medication, a person would be said to have secondary hyperhidrosis. In contrast, primary focal hyperhidrosis develops earlier on in life and has no causative factor.[3] While primary focal hyperhidrosis could potentially cause night sweats, this is much less common.[1] The other causes of night sweats discussed in this article are actually types of secondary generalized hyperhidrosis.

Pregnancy and Menopause

Sometimes, normal physiological changes that occur over a lifetime can be the cause of night sweats.[1] This is especially true for women. Both pregnancy and menopause can night sweats due to the hormonal changes they cause in the body. Menopause typically begins some time during a woman’s 40’s or 50’s and signals the fact that her body is at the end of its childbearing years. Between 30% and 80% of women experience hot flashes and/or night sweats during and after menopause. However, it is always a good idea to have a doctor determine whether menopause is truly occuring to make sure that hot flashes are not being caused by a different, more sinister, underlying cause. This can easily be determined through a simple blood test.[4]

Hormonal Imbalances

Several hormonal disorders are known to cause both flushing, sweating, and night sweats. The causes and complications of these disorders vary and there is a wide array of possible endocrine diseases that can cause night sweats. Here are a few:

  • Pheochromocytoma
  • Carcinoid syndrome
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Diabetes and Hypoglycemia[1][5]
  • This is not an exhaustive list of endocrine disorders that can lead to night sweats so be sure to check in with a medical professional if you are concerned that an endocrine problem may be causing your sweating issues.


    There are several infections that can lead to the development of night sweats. Some of these include:

  • Tuberculosis
  • Bacterial infections (like endocarditis or osteomyelitis)
  • HIV
  • Influenza
  • Other febrile illnesses
  • It should also be noted that a fever in and of itself can cause night sweats to occur as the body struggles to fight off an infection. If you suspect that an infection is causing your night sweats then it is imperative that you speak with your doctor.[1][5]


    Unfortunately, sometimes night sweats are an early symptom of certain types of cancer. Lymphoma is the cancer most commonly associated with night sweats.[1] Leukemia can also cause night sweats.[5] If you are suffering from cancer you will most likely have other health issues that go along with your night sweats like weight loss and fevers. If you are experiencing night sweats along with other troubling health symptoms please speak with a doctor.[1]

    Mental Health Issues

    Another common cause of night sweats are mental illnesses. Most commonly anxiety is associated with night sweating, but it can also be caused by depression. For those who struggle with substance abuse disorders the drug of abuse as well as withdrawal from it can cause night sweats.[5]

    Sleep Issues

    Sleep disorders are associated with the development of night sweats.[2] This is especially true in the case of people who have obstructive sleep apnea. People with this sleep disorder are reportedly three times more likely to experience night sweats than the general population.[5] It is unknown whether other types of sleep disorders, like restless leg syndrome, are themselves responsible for night sweats or whether other factors are causing the night sweats and people with sleep issues are just more likely to notice them. More studies need to be done in order to determine the relationship between sleep disorders and night sweating.[2]


    Medication side effects are one of the leading causes of night sweats. In fact, many commonly prescribed medicines cause secondary generalized hyperhidrosis as well. Here is a list of some of the medications that can cause night sweats:

  • Pain medications: many types of opiates, NSAIDs (which are over the counter anti-inflammatories) and marinol (cannabinoid medication)
  • Psychiatric medications: antidepressants, antipsychotics, anxiolytics and ADHD medications
  • Hormonal medications: birth control and other medications containing estrogen or testosterone
  • Diabetes medication[3]
  • One meta analysis found that between 10% and 14% of people taking SSRI’s, a type of antidepressant, deal with night sweats as a result. The use of these types of medications are extremely widespread making them a common culprit of night sweats.[6]

    Neurological Diseases

    Various neurological diseases can cause night sweats to occur. These include:

  • Posttraumatic syringomyelia
  • Stroke
  • Autonomic neuropathy
  • Autonomic dysreflexia
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • The list above is not exhaustive and there are other neurological conditions that can cause night sweating.[1]

    Other Possible Reasons

    There are some other possible causes of night sweats that include conditions like obesity, gastrointestinal reflux disease (GERD), cardiovascular disease, and others. If you are not sure why you are experiencing night sweats it is important to speak with your doctor and rule out some of the more serious potential causes.[5]

    1. 8 Causes of Night Sweats. (n.d.). Retrieved August 12, 2019, from
    2. Mold, J. W., Woolley, J. H., & Nagykaldi, Z. (2006). Associations Between Night Sweats and Other Sleep Disturbances: An OKPRN Study. Annals of Family Medicine, 4(5), 423-426. Retrieved August 12, 2019, from
    3. Pariser, D. M. (2014). Hyperhidrosis (4th ed., Vol. 32). Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier.
    4. Paisly, A. N., & Buckler, H. M. (2010). Investigating secondary hyperhidrosis. BMJ : British Medical Journal (Online), 341. doi:10.1136/bmj.c4475
    5. Davis, K. (2017, December 15). What to know about night sweats. Retrieved August 12, 2019, from
    6. Giudice, M. (2006). Tracing night sweats to drug can be challenging. . Canadian Pharmacists Journal, 139(1), 59-60. Retrieved August 27, 2018, from
    Body Areas Affected by Hyperhidrosis

    Why Do I Sweat in My Groin Area?

    By Chris Reid /

    Excessive groin sweating is an embarrassing issue for many people. Here are some signs that your groin sweating may warrant further investigation:

  • Soaking through undergarments on a regular basis
  • Itching
  • Bad odor
  • Chafing
  • Irritation
  • If you are experiencing several of the above symptoms as a result of groin sweat then you may want to consider possible causes and treatment options. Here are several potential reasons that people experience excessive groin sweat.[1]

    Primary Focal Hyperhidrosis

    Primary focal hyperhidrosis (PFH) is one reason that many people experience excessive groin sweating.[2] This a condition that causes excessive sweating on specific areas of the body, including the hands, feet, face, armpits, and sometimes, the groin. When someone has PFH that affects the groin region it is often medically referred to as Hexsel’s hyperhidrosis. This type of hyperhidrosis can affect the inside surfaces of the upper thighs, the front of the pubic region, external genitalia, and sometimes the gluteal cleft. About 2.8% of the US population has some form of PFH which makes is fairly common. The number of people who have hyperhidrosis and are affected by groin sweating is unknown, but it is thought to be less common than other types of PFH. About 50% of people who have Hexsel’s hyperhidrosis have a family history of the condition which suggests that it is a heritable condition. There are many treatment options that can help people with hyperhidrosis to stop or decrease their groin sweat production so medical intervention is worth looking into. PFH usually begins around puberty and is a lifelong condition.[3]

    Secondary Generalized Hyperhidrosis

    Secondary generalized hyperhidrosis is a condition that causes excessive sweating all over the body. It typically develops suddenly and is caused by a specific factor such as disease or condition that causes secondary hyperhidrosis, or as a side effect of a medication. While secondary hyperhidrosis does not specifically affect the groin region, it can cause excessive groin sweating. However, it would probably cause sweating on other parts of the body as well. If you suspect that you might have groin sweat that is a result of secondary hyperhidrosis then you should speak with a doctor. This is because, in certain cases, it can be caused by a serious underlying medical condition. In order to resolve secondary hyperhidrosis doctors typically treat the underlying medical issue or discontinue the medication that is causing hyperhidrosis as a side effect.[3]

    Technically, excessive groin sweating that is caused by a medical condition is classified as secondary hyperhidrosis.[3] Below is a list of medical conditions that could be causing you to experience excessive groin sweating:

  • Diabetes
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Hormone imbalance
  • Overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism)
  • Anxiety disorders or stress
  • Obesity
  • Certain medications like antidepressants, pain medications, hypoglycemic agents, and many others.
  • Many others
  • In some cases the causes of excessive groin sweating can differ between men and women. For example, women may experience secondary hyperhidrosis as a result of pregnancy or menopause.[1]


    When someone has hyperhidrosis they often sweat in the absence of normal sweat-inducing stimuli like heat or exercise which is what it is considered to be a dysfunctional reason for sweating. However, sometimes people can experience excessive groin sweat for normal physiological reasons. This is often the case for people who regularly engage in intense physical exercise. If you are exercising and experience groin sweating as a result, this is most likely a normal phenomenon. It is still important to maintain proper hygiene even if excessive groin sweating is caused by exercise. Otherwise, people can experience the same uncomfortable issues as those who struggle with hyperhidrosis.[4] It is also important to note that exercise induced groin sweating can lead to secondary conditions like bacterial infections, fungal infections, chafing, and irritation if left unaddressed.[5]

    Lifestyle Habits

    While lifestyle habits typically won’t cause groin sweating to be extreme by themselves, they can contribute to the problem. Sometimes people experience an increase in groin sweat because they are not wearing breathable underwear. It is normal for the groin to sweat to some degree in response to heat and restrictive undergarments can make sweating significantly worse. It is best to stick with cotton underwear as they are breathable and made of natural fibers so they are less likely to cause an allergic reaction[4] Men may prefer to use boxers instead of briefs or boxer briefs. The use of caffeine or alcohol in large quantities can also cause sweating to worsen, so modifying the consumption of these beverages may help. Finally, it is important to maintain a healthy weight, practice good hygiene, and use antiperspirant if necessary to reduce sweat production and keep your skin healthy.[5]

    1. Is the Sweating Between My Legs Excessive? (n.d.). Retrieved July 1, 2019, from
    2. Hexsel, D. M., Dal'Forno, T. D., & Hexsel, C. L. (2004). Inguinal, or Hexsel’s Hyperhidrosis. Clinics in Dermatology, 22, 53-59. Retrieved June 27, 2019, from
    3. Pariser, D. M. (2014). Hyperhidrosis (4th ed., Vol. 32). Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier.
    4. Eske, J. (2018, November 16). What causes sweating around the vagina? Retrieved July 1, 2019, from
    5. What Causes Excessive Testicular Sweating, and How Can I Treat It? (n.d.). Retrieved July 1, 2019, from
    Body Areas Affected by Hyperhidrosis

    Do I Have Hyperhidrosis? Find Out with This Simple Test

    By Katie Crissman /

    Wonder if you are sweating more than the average person? If sweat is regularly drowning your plans then take this quiz to find out whether you might have a condition called hyperhidrosis. It is a treatable medical condition that causes people to sweat in excess of what is needed by the body.

    1. Do you sweat even when it’s cool out and you are dressed in light-weight clothing?

    1. Yes
    2. No

    2. Have you been self-conscious about sweating for as long as you can remember, or at least since your teenage years?

    1. Yes
    2. No

    3. Do you sweat excessively more often during the day or the night?

    1. Day
    2. Night
    3. Both! It stinks.
    4. Neither, I don't sweat very often.

    4. When you sweat, is it brought on by exercise or being in a hot environment the majority of the time?

    1. Yes
    2. No
    3. Sometimes, but other times I sweat for no apparent reason

    5. Have you started sweating more since beginning a new medication?

    1. Yes, now that I think about it...
    2. No, I sweat no matter what - always have!
    3. No, I don't sweat much.

    6. Do you sweat a ton when you are in an anxiety-producing situation, like public speaking or when performing?

    1. Yep, like a fountain.
    2. A little more, but not enough to notice much.
    3. Nope! Not at all.

    7. Do your sandals slip off and your socks get soaked regularly because your feet are so wet from sweating?

    1. Yes, half the time I don’t even bother wearing sandals anymore.
    2. Sometimes, but not unless I’m very active and it doesn’t bother me.
    3. No, I didn’t even know people’s feet could sweat!

    8. Do you have sweaty palms so often that it feels awkward to shake someone’s hand?

    1. Yes, I completely dread doing that.
    2. No, I never really thought about it.

    9. Do other people notice that you are sweating and make comments on it?

    1. Yes, it’s embarrassing.
    2. No one has ever said anything…

    10. Do you change your clothes multiple times a day because they are wet from sweating?

    1. Yes, I end up doing so much extra laundry!
    2. Only if I work out.

    Use the key below to score your quiz and see if you have hyperhidrosis or not:

    If your answers are:

    1. a.
    2. a.
    3. a. or c.
    4. b. or c.
    5. b.
    6. a.
    7. a.
    8. a.
    9. a.
    10. a.

    It sounds like you may have Primary Focal Hyperhidrosis:

    Based on the answers you selected it sounds like you are sweating more than the average person, and that this has been an ongoing problem for you. Primary focal hyperhidrosis usually begins early in a person’s life and impacts specific areas of the body like the hands, feet, face, and armpits. For those with primary focal hyperhidrosis, sweating is always an issue, but it is usually worse during times of stress and anxiety. Of course, it is necessary to speak with a doctor before any diagnosis can be made. This type of hyperhidrosis is not dangerous and there are many things that can be done to manage your sweat. Try antiperspirant first, it is an over-the-counter topical treatment for hyperhidrosis specifically designed to reduce sweating. Consult a doctor if conservative measures are not working for you as there are many things that can be done to help. Don’t let sweat dampen your life!

    If your answers are:

    1. a.
    2. b.
    3. b.
    4. b. or c.
    5. a.
    6. a. or b.
    7. b. or c.
    8. b.
    9. a.
    10. a.

    It sounds like you may have Secondary Generalized Hyperhidrosis:

    Your answers indicate that you are sweating excessively all over your body, but that it is a relatively new thing. You may also be experiencing frequent night sweats. Secondary hyperhidrosis can be triggered by a multitude of things including medication, disease, or even age-related changes. It is very important that you manage this type of hyperhidrosis with a doctor soon because its causes can be serious. This quiz is not a proper diagnostic tool but based on your results you should seek medical care. In the meantime, you should use an antiperspirant, in addition to deodorant, to control your sweating.

    If your answers are:

    1. b.
    2. b.
    3. d.
    4. a.
    5. c.
    6. b. or c.
    7. b. or c.
    8. b.
    9. b.
    10. b.

    It sounds like you don’t have a major problem with sweating!

    Congratulations! Based on your answers to this quiz it doesn’t seem like you are experiencing any problems related to sweat! Carry on! But if you feel like you need a little extra help you can always try an over-the-counter topical treatment, like antiperspirant, to reduce sweating. Of course, if you feel like you may have a medical problem despite what this quiz says - you should consult a doctor!

    1. Pariser, D. M. (2014). Hyperhidrosis (4th ed., Vol. 32). Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier.
    2. Huddle, J. R. (2014). Hyperhidrosis: Causes, Treatment Options and Outcomes. New York, NY: Nova Science.
    Causes of Hyperhidrosis

    What Causes Skin Pallor and Diaphoresis?

    By Katie Crissman /

    Are you experiencing some new physiological symptoms that you are unsure of? Skin pallor and diaphoresis (aka excessive sweating) that occur suddenly are symptoms that deserve your attention, especially if you have noticed them occurring together.

    It is important for people to pay attention to the signs their body gives them - in some cases they can be an indication of a serious problem that needs attention. This can be the case when someone experiences skin pallor and diaphoresis at the same time.

    Pallor refers to the shade of a person’s skin, they are said to have pallor if they are more pale than normal. This is often an indication that someone is unwell and occurs due to lack of blood flow to the skin. Diaphoresis refers to the sudden development of excessive sweating that has no apparent cause and it is usually caused by a medication or an underlying health condition. Due to the fact that both of these symptoms can indicate an underlying health issue, it is important to take them seriously and seek medical guidance when they occur at the same time.[1]

    Sometimes paleness and sudden excessive sweating can be caused by something as benign as an emotional state like panic. It may feel like a big deal, and it is, but if this is the case then you don’t need to worry about physical illness. People can also experience skin pallor for other physiologically normal reasons like naturally pale skin, lack of sunlight, and exposure to cold. However, these symptoms are not normally accompanied by diaphoresis.

    Medicines are the most common cause of secondary hyperhidrosis, which is the same thing as diaphoresis. Diaphoresis can be a side effect of a medication, or a result of withdrawal. Skin pallor may occur if a medication makes you feel unwell or if it causes other side effects like vomiting. Pallor is usually mild if it is induced by a medication. If you recently started a new medication check with your doctor to see if it could be the cause of your skin pallor and diaphoresis. These symptoms can be caused by several common medications like:

    • Painkillers
    • Some heart and blood pressure medications
    • Some cancer medications
    • GI medications
    • Others

    This is not a comprehensive list so it is important that you seek medical care if you believe a medication is causing these side effects. Pallor and diaphoresis can also be caused by alcohol withdrawal, and in some cases, intoxication.[1]

    If you have not recently started a new medication then your skin pallor and diaphoresis is likely caused by an underlying health condition. Here is a list of possible medical conditions that can cause both pallor and diaphoresis:

    • Acute febrile illness and infections (influenza, mononucleosis, kidney infections, pancreatitis, etc…)
    • Alcoholism
    • Anemia
    • Certain cancers (like lymphoma)
    • Chronic infections (like tuberculosis, malaria, etc…)
    • Diabetes mellitus
    • Heart conditions
    • Hypoglycemia
    • Thyroid issues
    • Shock

    This list is not exhaustive and other health conditions could be causing your symptoms. If you are experiencing any other symptoms like vomiting, trouble breathing, or fainting it is imperative that you find medical attention quickly.[1]

    If you are experiencing skin pallor and sudden excessive sweating, try not to panic. Try to remember that anxiety, in and of itself, can cause these symptoms. It is important to speak to a medical professional and figure out why you have pallor and diaphoresis, Every medical situation is unique and only your personal doctor will be able to fully understand and explain your specific situation.

    1. Pariser, D. M. (2014). Hyperhidrosis (4th ed., Vol. 32). Amsterdam: Elsevier Pub. Co., 2014. Retrieved from
    Causes of Hyperhidrosis

    What Is Primary Focal Hyperhidrosis?

    By Katie Crissman /

    Nearly 3% of the US population struggles with sweating that is so excessive it’s actually characterized as a medical disorder.[1] That’s a lot of people! Do you think you could be one of them? If you sweat frequently, especially from specific parts of your body, keep reading to find out more about this diaphoretic condition and what you can do to fix it.

    The condition responsible for so many people’s excessive sweating is called primary focal hyperhidrosis (PFH). It might sound like a mouthful, but it describes a simple problem. People with the condition sweat too much. Most frequently they struggle with excessive sweating on their hands, feet, armpits, groin, and face.[1]

    What is Primary Focal Hyperhidrosis?

    Simply put, primary focal hyperhidrosis is a condition that causes the body to sweat in excess of what it needs to function properly. However, it is just one subtype of hyperhidrosis. There are several types of hyperhidrosis but the two most common types are primary focal hyperhidrosis and secondary generalized hyperhidrosis. An estimated 2.8% of the US population has primary focal hyperhidrosis, making it quite common. In fact, primary focal hyperhidrosis makes up 93% of all hyperhidrosis cases. Most of the time people are diagnosed with the primary focal type of hyperhidrosis when they meet the following criteria:

  • They experience excessive sweating on specific parts of the body including the hands, feet, armpits, face and groin.
  • Their sweating has no apparent cause.
  • They have been experiencing excessive sweating for longer than 6 months.
  • Their sweating occurs on both sides of their body.
  • Sweating is excessive enough to interfere with their daily life.[1]
  • Primary focal hyperhidrosis has several characteristics that make it different from the other types of the condition. One of the most distinct features of PFH is that it typically begins in adolescents and lasts for a lifetime. The onset of the disease usually occurs between the ages of 14 and 25. There is some indication, however, that primary focal hyperhidrosis may get better with age, as most people over the age of 65 have significantly reduced symptoms. People with PFH experience excessive sweating on specific areas of their body which is why it is called focal hyperhidrosis. Sweating is most often seen on the armpits, hands, feet, and face. Excessive sweating can occur in other areas of the body but it is unusual. The sweating that occurs with PFH is bilateral, meaning it occurs on both sides of the body, and it dissipates at night. People with the condition have at least one episode of excessive sweating per week, often daily, and the sweating is so severe that it impairs daily activities. While hyperhidrosis is not dangerous, it can have a negative impact on a person’s quality of life.[1]

    What Causes It and Who Gets It?

    This may be frustrating to hear, but scientists are not entirely sure how and why people get primary focal hyperhidrosis. It is thought that hyperhidrosis is hereditary as it appears to run in families. Researchers think that PFH is an autosomal dominant disorder, meaning that a child only needs to inherit the gene from one parent in order to get the condition.

    It is suspected that cases of focal hyperhidrosis are often underreported due to embarrassment and social stigma. Unfortunately, many people who have hyperhidrosis also have anxiety due to the stress the condition adds to their lives. People between the ages of 14 and 25 with a family history of hyperhidrosis are at the highest risk of developing the disorder.[1] If you feel like you might have primary focal hyperhidrosis, please don’t let embarrassment keep you from reaching out for help.

    The physical cause of hyperhidrosis, like other aspects of the condition, is not yet well understood. The most popular theory posits that it is a result of an overactive sympathetic nervous system. The autonomic nervous system controls unconscious bodily functions like breathing, digestion, and heart rate. It is divided into two parts, the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems. The sympathetic nervous system is the branch of the autonomic nervous system that is responsible for activating the body, like the “flight or flight” response when appropriate. Sweat glands are innervated by the sympathetic nervous system, so when it is overly excited, sweat glands become overactive and produce more sweat than they should. Most researchers tend to believe that hyperhidrosis occurs due to a problem somewhere in the nervous system, but it will take more time and research to find a definitive answer.[2]

    Hyperhidrosis and Quality of Life

    Regrettably, primary focal hyperhidrosis is known to negatively affect a person’s quality of life, especially when it is untreated. This is because it can be a socially stigmatizing condition that interferes with multiple facets of life. This is a big issue that doctors, companies like Carpe, and other organizations are working hard to fix.

    One survey of the US population demonstrated that about 50% of the people with hyperhidrosis suffered from axillary sweating and a third of these people reported that their symptoms were barely tolerable or intolerable. The same study revealed that only 38% of the people with hyperhidrosis ever spoke to their doctor about treatment options. This demonstrates that even though hyperhidrosis greatly impacts a person’s quality of life many people are too embarrassed to speak about it with a medical professional. This is unfortunate because there are many treatment options that can improve patients quality of life.[1]

    Hyperhidrosis impacts a person’s quality of life in different ways depending on which area of their body is affected. The areas of life that are most affected by hyperhidrosis in general include a person’s emotional well-being, interpersonal relationships, leisure activities, personal hygiene, work, and self-esteem. However, which part of a person’s life that’s affected depends on what parts of their body is affected by excessive sweating. For example, a person with hyperhidrosis that affects their hands may have difficulty with manual activities like writing, playing musical instruments, or opening door knobs because of how much sweat they are constantly producing. Someone with axillary hyperhidrosis may struggle with constantly staining their clothes and having to wash frequently.

    These types of issues often cause people to have lower self-esteem and to feel socially isolated. On top of that, people with hyperhidrosis often develop anxiety as a result of how the condition affects their lifestyle. Many times anxiety worsens the symptoms of hyperhidrosis and it creates a negative cycle in which anxiety and sweating are constantly making the other symptoms worse.[1] If you feel that this describes your situation, there are treatments that can help you sweat less so that you don’t feel as emotionally compromised by your condition.

    Children With Hyperhidrosis

    Although hyperhidrosis usually begins at the end of childhood, it can affect younger children. Estimates show that about 1.6% of adolescents struggle with excessive sweating and that .6% of prepubertal children are affected by hyperhidrosis. Unfortunately, children with hyperhidrosis frequently develop psychological and social distress if they are left untreated. If hyperhidrosis is caught early and treated, then many of the negative effects of the condition can be avoided. This is why early detection and management is so critical for children living with hyperhidrosis. While some treatments options are not available to children, many are. These options include the use of antiperspirants, some oral medications, iontophoresis, botox injections, and certain lifestyle modifications.[1]

    Treatment Options

    Currently, there is no cure for hyperhidrosis. However, there are many effective options that people can use to manage their sweat. The treatment a patient receives depends on where their sweating is the worst. Here are the treatment options available for each body region affected by PFH:

  • Treatments for axillary (armpit) hyperhidrosis:Over-the-counter and prescription antiperspirants, botox injections, local permanent surgical procedures, Qbrexza, oral medications, or a surgery called endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy.
  • Treatments for sweaty hands:Antiperspirants, iontophoresis, oral medications, and botox injections. People with severe palmar (hand) hyperhidrosis can get a surgical procedure called endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy.
  • Treatments for sweaty feet:Antiperspirants, iontophoresis, oral medications, and botox injections. There is a similar procedure for plantar (foot) hyperhidrosis called endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy but can be risky and most doctors don’t recommend it.
  • Treatments for craniofacial hyperhidrosis:Antiperspirants, oral medications, botox injections, or possibly surgery.
  • Each treatment has its own risks and benefits. Antiperspirant use, for example, has very little risk compared to one of the more invasive procedures, like endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy. Surgery to correct excessive sweating can lead to the development of serious complications, like compensatory sweating, that might deter some patients from choosing it. This is why it is critical for patients to discuss their options with a doctor so that they can make the most informed decision about their medical treatment for their own individual circumstances. The solution that will work for you is highly individual and it will depend on your medical situation, personal preferences, and your doctor’s advice. With the right treatment most people see a significant improvement in the quality of life so it is worth it to try and figure out what works for you.[1]

    The treatments discussed above are established therapies that have been around for a significant amount of time, but there are new treatments being developed every year. For example, in late 2018, a new product called Qbrexza came out. It is a wipe that uses topical Glycopyrronium Tosylate to prevent and lessen axillary sweating.[3] There are also different types of laser therapies being developed that may be able to stop sweat glands from producing excessive amounts of sweat.[1] As time goes on treatments will become more accessible for everyone, and hopefully, hyperhidrosis will have a less profound impact on those who have to deal with it.

    1. Pariser, D. M. (2014). Hyperhidrosis (4th ed., Vol. 32). Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier. Retrieved from
    2. Huddle, J. R. (2014). Hyperhidrosis: Causes, Treatment Options and Outcomes. New York, NY: Nova Science. Retrieved from
    3. Qbrexza. (2018). Retrieved September 26, 2018, from>>>>>>
    Causes of Hyperhidrosis

    How Do You Get Hyperhidrosis?

    By Katie Crissman /

    There are two main types of hyperhidrosis: primary focal hyperhidrosis and secondary generalized hyperhidrosis. How you get hyperhidrosis depends on which type you have. Primary focal hyperhidrosis seems to be caused by heredity and a mix of other less understood factors, while secondary generalized hyperhidrosis is caused by either a medication, a physiological condition, or a disease.

    Primary focal hyperhidrosis is thought to be hereditary; someone with hyperhidrosis gets it from their parents due to their genetics. Somewhere between 30% and 65% of people with hyperhidrosis have a positive family history, meaning they have relatives with the disorder. Scientists have found even stronger evidence that genetics cause palmar (hand) hyperhidrosis and plantar (foot) hyperhidrosis.[1] It is thought to be an autosomal dominant condition which means that a person only has to inherit the gene from one parent to get hyperhidrosis. It is not know whether other factors in a person’s life can make them more or less likely to develop the disease.[2] Primary focal hyperhidrosis is often referred to as “idiopathic” which means that a disease occurs suddenly for an unknown reason. So, for the most part, we do not know why some people get primary focal hyperhidrosis. Interestingly, people with hyperhidrosis have sweat glands that are morphologically the same as the average person and they have the same number of sweat glands.[1] Scientists suspect that hyperhidrosis is caused by issues in the sympathetic nervous system, a branch of the autonomic nervous system, that is used by the body to activate the “fight or flight” response. It is thought that the sympathetic nervous system of people with hyperhidrosis is overactive which causes them to have overactive sweat glands.[3] This is a simplified explanation of the disease process as it is more complicated and deals with many aspects of the nervous system.

    It is much easier to explain how people get secondary generalized hyperhidrosis. This type of hyperhidrosis is caused by medication or secondary hyperhidrosis can be caused by a disease or physiological condition. The most common reason people develop secondary hyperhidrosis is as a side effect of a medication. Several common medications like antidepressants, painkillers (OTC and prescription), thyroid medication, allergy medications, heart and blood pressure medications, and more have hyperhidrosis as a potential side effect. Withdrawal from certain medications can also cause some people to experience excessive sweating. Hyperhidrosis can also result from alcohol intoxication or withdrawal. Caffeine can also affect hyperhidrosis, but it is not known to be an independant cuase of the condition. Sometimes, a physiological condition like pregnancy, menopause, or a fever can cause hyperhidrosis. Other times the cause of hyperhidrosis is pathological as diseases like specific cancers, hyperthyroidism, tuberculosis, HIV, endocarditis, autonomic dysreflexia, and others cause excessive sweating.[1]

    Overall, it is quite easy to develop hyperhidrosis. You can get it from genetics, unknown factors, medications, drugs, normal physiological conditions, and even diseases. With upwards of 3% of the population suffering from hyperhidrosis this is not surprising.[1]

    1. Schlereth, T. (2009). Hyperhidrosis-causes and treatment of enhanced sweating. Deutsches Aerzteblatt International, 106(3). Retrieved November 27, 2018.
    2. Pariser, D. M. (2014). Hyperhidrosis (4th ed., Vol. 32). Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier.
    3. Huddle, J. R. (2014). Hyperhidrosis: Causes, Treatment Options and Outcomes. New York, NY: Nova Science.
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