freeshipping
Limited Time Only: GEt Free US Shipping
$20: Get Free Shipping
$30: Get a 15% Discount
$40: Get a 20% Discount
$50: Get a 25% Discount
$75: Get a 30% discount
$100: Free Expedited Shipping
Causes of Hyperhidrosis
Hyperhidrosis Basics
Types of Hyperhidrosis
What Is Primary Focal Hyperhidrosis?
Written by Katie Crissman
October 01 2020

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.

    Sources
    1. Pariser, D. M. (2014). Hyperhidrosis (4th ed., Vol. 32). Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier. Retrieved from https://www.elsevier.com/books/hyperhidrosis-an-issue-of-dermatologic-clinics/pariser/978-0-323-32607-0
    2. Huddle, J. R. (2014). Hyperhidrosis: Causes, Treatment Options and Outcomes. New York, NY: Nova Science. Retrieved from https://www.bookdepository.com/Hyperhidrosis-Janine-R-Huddle/9781633215160
    3. Qbrexza. (2018). Retrieved September 26, 2018, from https://dermira.com/our-medicines/>https://dermira.com/our-medicines/>https://dermira.com/our-medicines/>https://dermira.com/our-medicines/>https://dermira.com/our-medicines/>https://dermira.com/our-medicines/>https://dermira.com/our-medicines/
    YOU MAY ALSO BE INTERESTED IN
    Causes of Hyperhidrosis

    How to Tell if I Have Hyperhidrosis

    By Katie Crissman /

    Are you dealing with excessive sweating? If you’re a super sweater, here's how you can tell whether your symptoms may be related to a condition called hyperhidrosis.

    What is Hyperhidrosis?

    Hyperhidrosis is a medical condition categorized by excessive sweating that isn’t related to temperature regulation. It affects roughly 3% of people and it’s very treatable.[1]

    If you have hyperhidrosis then you may experience symptoms like: 

    • Sweating that specifically affects your hands, feet, underarms, face or groin.
    • You can’t find an environmental trigger for your sweat like heat.
    • Your sweat so much that it impacts your self confidence and interferes in your personal or work life.
    • You have to change clothes often due to sweat problems.[1]

    You get the idea - hyperhidrosis causes sweating that’s disruptive and more or less constant. It’s important to know that there are two types of hyperhidrosis. They are called primary focal hyperhidrosis, and secondary generalized hyperhidrosis. In this article we are going to focus on the symptoms of primary focal hyperhidrosis.[1] 

    However, if you have excessive sweating that doesn’t seem related to primary hyperhidrosis read our article on secondary generalized hyperhidrosis as it’s caused by underlying health conditions and it’s important to get them looked at. 

    Back to primary hyperhidrosis! Here are some quick facts to know about the condition:

    • It’s categorized by profuse sweating in one or more specific areas of the body, the main areas affected are:
      • Hands
      • Feet 
      • Underarms 
      • Face
      • Groin
      • Breast
    • It typically starts in adolescence or during early adulthood. Sometimes kids can experience excessive hyperhidrosis as well.
    • It’s not a result of any other disease or disorder - the excessive sweating itself is the disorder.
    • Men are more likely to have it.
    • It tends to run in some families.
    • The sweating tends to be symmetrical on the body. For example, if your right hand sweats your left hand will too.
    • It’s treatable![1]

    Factors to Consider When Self-Diagnosing Hyperhidrosis

    If you can relate to our description of hyperhidrosis consider these factors when self diagnosing. The first thing to know is that you should consult a doctor! Specifically, a dermatologist who’s trained in dealing with hyperhidrosis. If you’re still interested in more information consider the following: 

    1. Temperature and Weather

     

    First and foremost, you should be cognizant of whether or not you sweat in response to high temperatures in your surrounding environment. Since sweat is produced primarily as a means to cool the body via thermoregulation, all people should sweat when the temperature is high. Typically, the higher the temperature, the more sweat produced to keep the body cool. However, the first sign of both primary and secondary hyperhidrosis is whether or not your body sweats even when the temperature is at a comfortable, or even cool, level. 

    For those with hyperhidrosis, they have sweat glands that are overactive because they are receiving and reacting to too many signals from the spinal cord and brain. Due to the fact that these synaptic signals are sent regardless of temperature, gauging the temperature of the environment when sweating occurs is a strong indicator of potential hyperhidrosis.

    2. Environmental Triggers

    In addition to temperature, you should be aware of whether or not other environmental triggers are causing excessive sweating on a repeated basis. For example, situations that are anxiety producing like meeting new people, anticipating handshakes, preparing for major assignments or tests, and public speaking may prompt an individual’s hyperhidrosis to worsen. This is because hyperhidrosis and anxiety are closely related. 

    When thinking of your own sweatiest moments, are they tied to a specific set of conditions? If so, you may have primary focal hyperhidrosis that is triggered by those specific conditions. 

    However, an important distinction between hyperhidrosis and stress sweating related to anxiety must be made; just because someone sweats in a specific situation doesn’t mean they have hyperhidrosis. Most people will sweat a little before a business meeting, and many people find the idea of a public speech to be intimidating. 

    The important distinction is to determine whether or not your body is producing sweat to aid with thermoregulation (i.e. keeping you cool and calm when you become a little worried before an event) or producing sweat at an excessive and uncontrollable rate. 

    3. Timing of Your Sweat

    The third factor to evaluate in order to tell if a person’s sweating is indicative of hyperhidrosis is the length of time a person has been experiencing excessive sweating. If you’ve been sweating excessively since adolescence or young adulthood it’s a sign you may have primary hyperhidrosis. If it just started suddenly later in life it’s less likely to be secondary hyperhidrosis. 

    If you think you might have hyperhidrosis there are many ways to manage your sweat and there are several treatments you can try. A great starting place is finding a good antiperspirant - we recommend Carpe antiperspirant lotion. They have products tailored to each specific part of your body and their special formula is gentle on skin.

    Are you still curious about whether you have hyperhidrosis? Take this quiz.

    Sources
    1. Pariser, D. M. (2014). Hyperhidrosis (4th ed., Vol. 32). Amsterdam: Elsevier Pub. Co., 2014. Retrieved from https://www.elsevier.com/books/hyperhidrosis-an-issue-of-dermatologic-clinics/pariser/978-0-323-32607-0 
    2. Kamudoni, P., Mueller, B., Halford, J., Schouveller, A., Stacey, B., & Salek, M. (2017, June 8). The impact of hyperhidrosis on patients' daily life and quality of life: A qualitative investigation. Retrieved May 21, 2018, from https://hqlo.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12955-017-0693-x
    3. MiraMar Labs, O'Shaughnessy, K., & Melkerson, M. (2011). 510(k) Summary. Division of Surgical, Orthopedic And Restorative Devices. Retrieved May 23, 2018, from https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/cdrh_docs/pdf10/K103014.pdf.
      Body Areas Affected by Hyperhidrosis

      Can Athlete’s Foot Cause Sweating?

      By JP Carter /

      The answer is “no” - Athlete’s foot does not make you sweat more, but it can make excessive sweating even more uncomfortable than it already was. Here is an in-depth look at what Athlete’s foot really is and how excessive sweating impacts it.

      Athlete’s foot, known scientifically as tinea pedis, is caused by a fungal infection (called dermatophytes) that affects the skin of the feet, especially the skin between the toes. The fungus causes skin to redden and crack and the affected areas are often flaky and itchy. Sometimes affected skin can also become inflamed. The fungus is able to infect a foot when it enters the top layer of the skin through small cracks or wounds. The infection can be passed on from person to person through direct contact or when someone steps on infected flakes of skin from another person. In order to grow and thrive, the fungus that causes Athlete’s foot needs a dark, moist environment and feet provide the perfect breeding ground due to those conditions. Furthermore, the skin of the feet contain large amounts of Keratin which the fungus feed on. There are certain risk factors that make it more likely for someone to develop Athlete’s foot, these include:

    1. Genetic predisposition (seems to affect some families more than others)
    2. History of allergies and eczema
    3. Excessively sweaty feet (history of hyperhidrosis)
    4. A weakened immune system
    5. Poor circulation in the legs
    6. Playing certain sports, particularly running and swimming[1]
    7. Athlete’s foot appears to be a very common problem as anywhere between 3% and 15% of the population are thought to struggle with it at any given time. It is not physically dangerous, but it typically won’t go away on it’s own. Therefore, it is important for people with the condition to seek treatment.[1] While no studies have shown that Athlete’s foot causes people to sweat more, it has been noted that excessive sweating of the feet makes the development of Athlete’s foot much more likely. This is especially true for people who suffer from a condition called primary focal hyperhidrosis.[2] Hyperhidrosis causes people to sweat excessively from specific parts of the body like the hands, feet, armpits, face, and head. It affects about 3% of the US population making hyperhidrosis quite common, like Athlete’s foot.[3] The reason so many people with hyperhidrosis develop Athlete’s foot is because the condition causes the feet to constantly produce sweat which promotes the exact environment fungus need to thrive.[2] Luckily, there are several effective ways to prevent Athlete’s foot and manage the symptoms of hyperhidrosis.

      How To Prevent Athlete’s Foot

      Preventing Athlete’s foot predominantly consists of specific types of self-care to keep feet dry and certain precautions to limit exposure to infectants. Often times, treating hyperhidrosis symptoms, which are how you stop foot sweat and its odor, can greatly reduce the likelihood of developing a fungal infection like Athlete’s foot. Here are some practical solutions you can use to make your feet a less habitable environment for the fungi that cause Athlete’s foot:

    8. Thoroughly drying feet after any activity that gets them wet. This includes activities like showering, bathing, swimming, or after sweating profusely while wearing shoes.
    9. Wearing breathable shoes that don’t constrict your feet.
    10. Not wearing the same pair of shoes two days in a row. It can be useful to have two pairs of shoes that you alternate each day.
    11. Taking shoes off and airing out feet as frequently as possible.[1]
    12. If you are suffering from hyperhidrosis and practical lifestyle changes are not enough to keep your feet dry, then you may want to consider other treatments for sweaty feet. These include treatment options like using over-the-counter topical treatments like antiperspirant to more invasive procedures like botox injections.[3] Due to the fact that hyperhidrosis treatments reduce the amount of moisture your feet are exposed to they can drastically reduce the likelihood that you will develop Athlete’s foot.[2]

      In addition to maintaining a dry pedal environment, it is also important for people to limit their exposure to the fungi that cause Athlete’s foot. Here are some tips to avoid contracting it:

    13. Wear your own flip flops when swimming, using communal showers, and using communal changing rooms.
    14. Do not share towels, shoes, and socks with other people.
    15. Wash all towels, bedding, and socks in hot water that is greater than 60 degrees C.
    16. Add antifungal laundry sanitizer if you wash your laundry at a lower temperature.[1]
    17. How to Treat Athlete’s Foot

      Due to the fact that Athlete’s foot is so common, even when practicing prevention procedures, people often develop the condition at some point in their lives. In most cases, Athlete’s foot can be treated with over-the-counter remedies that are available at local pharmacies. These treatments come in the form of creams, gels, or sprays that contain an active ingredient that stops fungal growth of kills off fungus completely. In rare cases, tablets can be prescribed for people who haven’t had success with over-the-counter treatment options. There are also natural remedies that people use, which include tea tree oil some herbal foot bath solutions, although there is not scientific evidence that they are effective.[1]

      Once you have treated Athlete’s foot it is important that you continue to use preventative care practices so that you don’t develop it again. If you do also happen to suffer from hyperhidrosis, then getting treatment for it should keep your feet more comfortable and prevent you from developing Athlete’s foot as easily. There are many effective treatment options and it is important to make sure that you are taking proper care of the skin on your feet.

      Sources
      1. Athlete's foot: Overview. (2015). Retrieved May 31, 2019, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK279549/
      2. Common Complications of Hyperhidrosis. (n.d.). Retrieved May 31, 2019, from https://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/common-complications-of-hyperhidrosis
      3. Pariser, D. M. (2014). Hyperhidrosis (4th ed., Vol. 32). Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier.
      Causes of Hyperhidrosis

      Everything you need to to know about Hyperhidrosis (or Excessive Sweat)

      By Chris Reid /

      What Is Hyperhidrosis?

      Hyperhidrosis, or excessive sweating, is characterized by sweat that is produced in excess of what is necessary for thermoregulation (the ability to maintain a healthy temperature). Sweating is a perfectly natural and necessary function the body uses to cool itself down. However, if you have hyperhidrosis, you’ll start sweating even when your body isn’t overheating.[1] Sweating that has no apparent cause is known to doctors as diaphoresis.[2]

      If you have hyperhidrosis, you can experience sweating on several parts of the body, including in the hands, underarms, face, scalp, and feet. Some people even experience excessive groin sweat and sweating under the breasts. The type of hyperhidrosis you have will determine whether you experience sweating all over your body or if it is just in specific areas. Some people with hyperhidrosis sweat in several different areas simultaneously, while others only experience excessive sweating at one location - it is a highly individualized condition. Hands, feet, and underarms are the parts of the body that are most likely to be affected by hyperhidrosis.[3]

      People who suffer from hyperhidrosis have the same number and size of sweat glands as people who don’t have the condition. Their sweat glands are just overactive, compared to what they would normally be.[1]

      What Are the Symptoms of Hyperhidrosis?

      If you’re wondering how to tell whether you have hyperhidrosis , here is a checklist of symptoms for you to review.

      • Noticeable sweat:Even when you’re sitting down and taking it easy, you’ll notice your clothes are wet. On your bare skin, you’ll often see beads of sweat.
      • You leave a trail in your wake:You might not just see sweat on your clothes and skin. You might be transferring it to everything you touch, including door knobs, keyboards, and papers that you touch.
      • Your skin is white and peeling:You might notice white and peeling skin from the constant moisture.
      • You have skin infections:Skin infections can happen to people who don’t have hyperhidrosis. However, if you have repeated skin infections due to constant moisture, like athlete’s foot, you might suspect hyperhidrosis.[1]

      Different dermatologists characterize hyperhidrosis in various ways. What’s important is the fact that if you are uncomfortable with the level of sweat that your body produces (wherever it’s being produced), there are solutions that are available. You have access to over-the-counter topical treatments, prescription options, and medical procedures that can help. If you are interested in medical solutions, you can book an appointment with your dermatologist and learn how to manage hyperhidrosis with a dermatologist.[3]

      Now that we’ve answered the question “what is hyperhidrosis?”, It’s important to understand the different types of hyperhidrosis. The approaches used to understand and treat hyperhidrosis are very different depending on the type you have.

      The Two Main Types of Hyperhidrosis

      There are two main types of hyperhidrosis. There are a few other types that are much less common, but the vast majority of people will either have primary focal hyperhidrosis or secondary generalized hyperhidrosis. Let’s look at each type of hyperhidrosis and what they entail.

      Primary Focal Hyperhidrosis

      Primary Focal Hyperhidrosis (PFH) is by far the most common type, affecting up to 90 percent of people who have hyperhidrosis. The cause is not well understood, but it is thought to have a genetic component.[3]

      People with primary focal hyperhidrosis only sweat in particular areas like the hands, feet, armpits, face, and groin. Sweat will occur on both sides of the body in the same place. For example, if someone has one sweaty hand it is likely their other hand will also be sweaty. Additionally, the sweat will usually occur in more than one area — one common problem with PFH is that the sweating occurs on hands and feet simultaneously. It can also affect other body parts individually or simultaneously, it just depends on a person’s specific situation.[3]

      Symptoms usually begin in childhood or adolescence and tend to last for a person’s entire lifetime. There is evidence that primary focal hyperhidrosis is hereditary, meaning it has a genetic component and often runs in families.[3]

      Secondary Generalized Hyperhidrosis

      While primary focal hyperhidrosis appears to be something you’re born with,secondary generalized hyperhidrosis (SGH) is a condition that shows up during adulthood. Think of SGH as an uninvited guest who arrives on your doorstep with no warning. Unfortunately, it may be a little harder to get rid of than an uninvited guest.[3]

      You might suddenly wonder why you’ve been so sweaty lately. And you’d be right to wonder, because this type of hyperhidrosis can point to an underlying problem.

      When someone has secondary hyperhidrosis the biggest problem isn’t the hyperhidrosis – it’s the disease or condition that might be causing it. That’s why it’s known as secondary hyperhidrosis. The true cause may be a medical condition and the symptom of that condition is hyperhidrosis.[3]

      Before you panic that you’re suffering from a mysterious disease, keep in mind the source of this type of hyperhidrosis can also be a medication. Many common medications can cause hyperhidrosis as a side effect.[3]

      Unlike primary focal hyperhidrosis, the sweating from secondary hyperhidrosis tends to occur all over the body. This is a telltale sign of the condition.[3]

      Unlike primary hyperhidrosis, this condition doesn’t have to be permanent. If the instigating condition is found and treated, it can fix the hyperhidrosis. It may take a little work, but you CAN kick this guest off your porch.[3]

      If you are concerned that your hyperhidrosis might have an underlying cause, schedule an appointment to talk to your doctor and find out.[3]

      The Impact of Hyperhidrosis

      While hyperhidrosis isn’t particularly dangerous physically, it can be embarrassing for those who suffer from it. It won’t just give you clammy skin – the sweat can literally drip off. That can cause a great deal of anxiety for those who experience it.[3]

      Shaking hands can become a nightmare because you may be so self-conscious about how sweaty your palms are. Your socks can become wet even if you don’t do any exercise. It can make basic human experiences extremely stressful.

      Unfortunately, hyperhidrosis is more serious than just uncomfortable sweating. Up to a third of people who deal with excessive sweating from hyperhidrosis say that they are constantly bothered by their sweating. One study done in the US found that 75% of respondents reported that hyperhidrosis negatively impacted their social, emotional, and mental health.[4] That’s a lot of people who are suffering! Due to these issues, hyperhidrosis and anxiety often go hand in hand.[3] Many people find it helpful to utilize anxiety reduction methods that are known to lessen excessive sweating.

      Hyperhidrosis is hard for adults to deal with, so it is especially important to find help for kids with hyperhidrosis.

      Some people refer to hyperhidrosis as a silent handicap because of the impact it has upon the lives of those who live with it. It can deeply impact their confidence and hyperhidrosis can even keep people from doing the things they love most.[5]

      Is Hyperhidrosis Common?

      It is thought that about 3% of the US population struggles with hyperhidrosis. In other countries the percentage of the population that has it is even higher.[3] Other sources have stated that up to 5% of the population might even have it![6] This means that hyperhidrosis is a very common issue.

      While most doctor’s offices are familiar with managing hyperhidrosis, they generally don’t see a lot of patients who suffer from it. However, because hyperhidrosis is such an embarrassing and overlooked condition, many individuals avoid reporting the issue to their doctor. This means that the number of people who have hyperhidrosis might even be higher than we currently think.[3]

      Those with family members who have this ailment are more likely to get it – making it an inherited condition. If you have a family member teased for their sweaty hands constantly, there could be a chance they have hyperhidrosis. [3]

      What Causes Hyperhidrosis?

      Doctors don’t truly understand what causes primary focal hyperhidrosis yet. One theory is that particular nerves that control the amount of sweat overreact or malfunction. That malfunction can cause the excessive sweating that can be life-changing for those who suffer from it.[7]

      Since hyperhidrosis affects so many people, researchers are now shifting into full gear to discover the causes of excessive sweating so they can develop better treatments. Future treatments and research for hyperhidrosis are being developed more rapidly than ever before.[3]

      What Conditions Can Cause Secondary Generalized Hyperhidrosis?

      Many diseases and medical conditions can cause hyperhidrosis. However, just because you have one of the conditions listed below this paragraph doesn’t mean you’ll develop hyperhidrosis.

      Here are some of the more common conditions that may be causing the hyperhidrosis you have developed as an adult.

      • A febrile illness
      • Menopause
      • Hyperthyroidism
      • Heart failure
      • Diabetes
      • Frostbite
      • Alcoholism - Alcohol can cause excessive sweating when someone is intoxicated, withdrawing, or in someone with an intolerance.
      • Gout
      • Lymphoma and some other cancers and tumors.
      • Obesity
      • Pregnancy
      • Parkinson’s disease
      • Rheumatoid arthritis
      • Stroke[3]

      There are also several types of common medications that cause hyperhidrosis as a side effect. So, if you are on medication and you begin experiencing new or increased amounts of sweating mention it to your doctor. Some of these medications include antidepressants, painkillers, blood pressure medications and many others.a [3]

      If you think you might have secondary generalized hyperhidrosis it is very important that you speak to a doctor. Many of the things that cause it can be resolved, and it could be a sign of a more serious problem. Don’t panic, but it is wise to look into the reason you are sweating more.

      What Are the Treatments for Primary Focal Hyperhidrosis?

      If you are diagnosed with primary focal hyperhidrosis, there are many things you can do.These are the existing treatments for hyperhidrosis, but new treatments are currently being explored by scientists:

      • Antiperspirants:There are many over-the-counter antiperspirants that can be very useful when trying to curb sweat. If a regular antiperspirant isn’t cutting it for you, ask your doctor to write a prescription for a stronger one. You can apply antiperspirant to places other than just your underarms. Use it on your hands, hairline, or feet as well. There are even antiperspirants for the face and groin that are made specifically for sensitive areas.
      • An Iontophoresis machine:This medical device sends low-voltage currents into a pan of water where your hands or feet are sitting. The electricity can lessen the activity of your sweat glands, at least for a while. However, it can take up to 10 sessions with the iontophoresis machine to deactivate your sweat glands. You may need to use this machine up to three times a week in the beginning and one treatment can take up to 40 minutes. Although iontophoresis as a treatment for palmar and plantar hyperhidrosis may give your hands and feet a much needed break, the iontophoresis machine is anything but convenient. Iontophoresis really does work, but patients have to be willing to keep up with a regular treatment regimen for it to work successfully.
      • Botox:If other treatments aren’t enough in your, you might need Botox injections. Botox can be particularly useful for axillary hyperhidrosis, but botox can also be a treatment for palmar and plantar hyperhidrosis. Botox can provide up to 6 months of reduced sweating. If you’re going to pursue this route, you should look for someone who is experienced at doing Botox injections in the underarms to ensure the right area is targeted.
      • Anticholinergics:A few oral medications can for hyperhidrosis can reduce the amount of sweat you produce by stopping your sweat glands from working. Most commonly patients are prescribed anticholinergics like glycopyrrolate or oxybutynin as a treatment for hyperhidrosis. These medications also have several side effects, including heart palpitations, blurry vision, and dry mouth.
      • ETS Surgery:An endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy (ETS) is a surgical treatment for primary focal hyperhidrosis. It is an operation where an individual actually has the nerve endings that transfer sensory information to the sweat glands destroyed. Since no known successful reversal of an ETS surgery has ever been recorded, this option isn’t usually on the table unless the other treatments have failed. As with any surgery, it can be risky. There is also a type of surgery called an endoscopic lumbar sympathectomy which is used to treat plantar hyperhidrosis, but this surgery can be very dangerous and is almost never recommended.[3]

      Defeating Hyperhidrosis

      Undoubtedly, hyperhidrosis can be a hard condition to cope with. Until recently, the lack of research into hyperhidrosis had made hyperhidrosis difficult to manage. Thankfully, however, new treatments and awareness has made hyperhidrosis much easier to handle. Keep trying treatments until you find what works for you and remember that you are not alone in suffering with this condition. It’s just a matter of figuring out what you can do to control your sweat instead of your sweat controlling you!

      Sources
      1. MedicineNet Medical Journal. (2016, May 13). Definition of Hyperhidrosis. Retrieved May 14, 2018, from https://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=16272
      2. Diaphoresis: What causes excessive sweating? (n.d.). Retrieved May 20, 2020, from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/321663#overview
      3. Pariser, D. M. (2014). Hyperhidrosis (4th ed., Vol. 32). Amsterdam: Elsevier Pub. Co., 2014. Retrieved from https://www.elsevier.com/books/hyperhidrosis-an-issue-of-dermatologic-clinics/pariser/978-0-323-32607-0
      4. Lenefsky, M., & Rice, Z. P. (2018). Hyperhidrosis and Its Impact on Those Living With It. AJMC. Retrieved from https://www.ajmc.com/journals/supplement/2018/hyperhidrosis-managed-markets-update-treatments/hyperhidrosis-and-its-impact--on-those-living-with-it
      5. Nordqvist, C. (2017, December 21). Hyperhidrosis: Symptoms, causes, diagnosis, and treatment. Retrieved May 14, 2018, from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/182130.php

        Doolittle, James, et al. “Hyperhidrosis: an Update on Prevalence and Severity in the United States.” Archives of Dermatological Research, vol. 308, no. 10, 2016, pp. 743–749., doi:10.1007/s00403-016-1697-9. Retrieved from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27744497/

        Huddle, J. R. (2014). Hyperhidrosis: Causes, Treatment Options and Outcomes. New York, NY: Nova Science. Retrieved from https://www.bookdepository.com/Hyperhidrosis-Janine-R-Huddle/9781633215160

      Which Carpe Solutions are Right for my Sweat?
      ×
      Loading