What Is Hyperhidrosis?

It’s estimated that 16.5 million people in the U.S. suffer from hyperhidrosis aka “excessive sweating.” The condition is recognizable by excessive sweating of the hands, feet, underarms, or all three. The condition can significantly impair one’s quality life, from physical activites to emotional distress. From handshakes to homework, simple things most people take for granted are often filled with anxiety for people diagnosed with hyperhidrosis.


Hyperhidrosis Stats You Should Know


of people with hyperhidrosis are not currently treating it


of people with hyperhidrosis have a higher risk of developing skin infections caused by bacteria


of adults in the US admit that they tend to sweat excessively from their underarms


of adults admit that they’re embarrassed by visible underarm sweat


of hyperhidrosis patients report increased sweating from stress or anxiety


What Category Are You?

Hyperhidrosis can be segmented into two main categories: primary focal and secondary generalized. These categories help physicians and you, as the patient, better understand the causes while providing the best possible treatments tailored to your needs.


Primary Focal

Primary focal hyperhidrosis is not caused by another medical condition nor is a side effect of medications. The excessive sweating itself is the medical condition. The excessive sweating is specific to only individual areas of the body and is characterized as being symmetrical, meaning that it affects both sides of your body in the same way (both feet, both hands, both underarms, etc.). Some people may experience the excessive sweating on multiple focal areas such as both hands and feet (palmoplantar hyperhidrosis).

Palmar, plantar and palmoplantar hyperhidrosis are the most common forms. The palms of your hands and the soles of your feet have more sweat glands than other body parts which explains why it is so common. Many of those who have this medical condition describe it as having clammy hands and feet.


The symptoms of primary focal hyperhidrosis often begin during childhood or adolescence and is commonly based upon genetics. Interesting enough, most people don’t experience excessive sweating while sleeping.

The intensity of the symptoms varies from person to person.

  • Perspiration can be anywhere from clammy hands and feet to severe dripping and everywhere in between
  • The temperature of the focal area may differ from the other parts of the body
  • Peeling of the skin may also be present
  • Episodes of profuse sweating may be followed by periods of extreme dryness


Several treatment options can alleviate the symptoms of primary focal hyperhidrosis.

  • Iontophoresis
  • Antiperspirants
  • Anticholinergic Drugs
  • Botox
  • Surgery

Secondary Generalized

This type of excessive sweating is caused by another medical condition or is a side effect of an existing medical condition. People with secondary hyperhidrosis experience sweating on larger areas of the body and may affect people while sleeping. Symptoms typically begin during adulthood, after beginning a new medication or after the onset of a different medical condition.


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