The excessive sweating associated with hyperhidrosis is normally most active in the hands, feet, armpits, and the groin because of their relatively high concentration of sweat glands.
Focal hyperhidrosis: When the excessive sweating is localized. For example, palmoplantar hyperhidrosis is excessive sweating of the palms and soles.
Generalized hyperhidrosis: Excessive sweating affects the entire body.
Hyperhidrosis may be present from birth or might develop later in life. However, most cases of excessive sweating tend to start during a person’s teenage years.
The condition can be due to an underlying health condition, or have no apparent cause:
Primary idiopathic hyperhidrosis: “Idiopathic” means “of unknown cause.” In the majority of cases, the hyperhidrosis is localized.
Secondary hyperhidrosis: The person sweats too much because of an underlying health condition, such as obesity, gout, menopause, a tumor, mercury poisoning, diabetes mellitus, or hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid gland).
According to the International Hyperhidrosis Association, approximately 2.8 percent of Americans are affected by hyperhidrosis; that’s around 7.8 million people.
For some, hyperhidrosis symptoms are so severe that it becomes embarrassing, causing discomfort and anxiety. The patient’s career choices, free time activities, personal relationships, self-image, and emotional well-being may be affected.
Fortunately, there are several options which can treat symptoms effectively. The biggest challenge in treating hyperhidrosis is the significant number of people who do not seek medical advice, either due to embarrassment or because they do not know that effective treatment exists.