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Hyperhidrosis facts

  • Hyperhidrosis, or excessive sweating, is a common disorder.
  • Axillary hyperhidrosis is excess sweating of the underarms.
  • Palmoplantar hyperhidrosis is excess sweating of the palms and soles.
  • Hyperhidrosis usually occurs in people who are otherwise healthy.
  • The approach to treating hyperhidrosis generally proceeds from over-the-counter (OTC) antiperspirants to prescription antiperspirants, anticholinergic medications, iontophoresis, microwave destruction of sweat glands, Botox, and surgery.

What is hyperhidrosis?

Hyperhidrosis, or excessive sweating, is a common disorder that produces a lot of unhappiness. A small percentage of Americans suffer from excessive sweating of the underarms (axillary hyperhidrosis) or of the palms and soles of the feet (palmoplantar hyperhidrosis). Underarm problems tend to start around puberty, while palm and sole sweating may begin earlier, often during childhood. Untreated, these problems may continue throughout life.

Sweating is embarrassing, stains clothes, and may complicate business and social interactions. Severe cases can have serious practical consequences, like making it difficult to hold a pen, grip a steering wheel, or shake hands.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 11/10/2015

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Hyperhidrosis - Treatments Question: What were the treatments for your hyperhidrosis?
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Learn about the various ways to treat excessive perspiration, or hyperhidrosis.

Hyperhidrosis Surgery

Other Treatments for Excessive Sweating

Surgical sympathectomy is the specialized, permanent nerve cutting, or destruction surgery performed to help decrease some types of sweating. It does not work for all types of excess sweating or for all areas of the body. Consultation with a specialized thoracic surgeon is required and overall, surgery is usually reserved for severe or resistant cases because of potentially serious side effects.