Hyperhidrosis is excessive sweating. Sweating is necessary to keep the body cool; however, it should not interfere with a person’s ability to interact and function. Hyperhidrosis affects quality of life. It may cause embarrassment and frustration. It can impact one’s ability to carry out routine chores and may be an occupational hazard. There are three types of Hyperhidrosis: primary focal, generalized idiopathic, and secondary generalized.
Primary focal Hyperhidrosis is a true medical condition not caused by medication or another medical problem. It occurs on specific areas of the body (focal), usually appearing on both sides equally. The most commonly affected areas are the feet, hands, underarms, head, and face. Primary focal Hyperhidrosis frequently begins in childhood or adolescence, often starting with excessive sweating on the hands and feet that occurs at least once a week while the person is awake. There may be a hereditary component.
Generalized idiopathic Hyperhidrosis is a true medical condition in which large areas of the body sweat. This is usually treated with oral medication.
Secondary generalized Hyperhidrosis may be caused by a medical condition, such as menopause, an overactive thyroid, diabetes (peripheral neuropathy), or stroke. Medications, exercise and heat also cause secondary generalized Hyperhidrosis.