What Causes Hyperhidrosis?

Do you find that you sweat more than your friends and colleagues? Maybe you have excessively sweaty palms, sweaty feet, or sweaty armpits? If so, you’re not alone – profuse sweating is a very real medical condition. Thankfully, hyperhidrosis treatment is available from many doctors who work out of an aesthetic clinic or specialist practice.

In this article, we explain some causes of excessive sweating and list the available treatments, including Botox for profuse sweating.

What is Hyperhidrosis?

Hyperhidrosis is a medical term that means excessive sweating.

Most people’s sweat glands activate and produce perspiration (the medical term for sweat) when they are hot, have a fever, feel nervous, are stressed out, or are actively exerting themselves. However, people with hyperhidrosis may experience sweat pooling and dripping from their bodies even when they are at rest and feeling well. They even sweat when sitting in air conditioning or swimming in a cold pool.

It is estimated that 1% to 2% of the population suffers with hyperhidrosis. There are two main types: Primary hyperhidrosis (sweaty palms, underarms, face, and feet) and secondary hyperhidrosis (all over the body).
Causes of Excessive Sweating

Here are some of the most common causes of excessive sweating. It’s important to remember that, while some cases of excessive sweating have an identifiable underlying medical cause, many do not. 

For people with primary hyperhidrosis, their eccrine sweat glands (most of which are in the palms, feet, face, and armpits) are on overdrive, and they overreact to even mild stimuli. There is no known cause of primary hyperhidrosis, but some researchers think it could be inherited.

The causes of secondary hyperhidrosis are easier to pinpoint. People often suffer from this problem temporarily, brought on by other medical conditions or medications. It can be triggered by pregnancy, diabetes, anxiety, obesity, the menopause, gout, certain infections, shingles, and substance abuse. Medications for Alzheimer’s and diabetes, as well as certain antidepressants, are also causes of excessive sweating.

Treatments for Profuse Sweating

If you suffer from primary hidrosis you can treat the condition several different ways:

  • Botulinum toxin (Botox) injections that temporarily block the chemical signals to your sweat glands
  • Prescription-strength anti-perspirants containing aluminium
  • Anticholinergic medications (applied topically or as an oral medication) that dull the nerve signals that get sent to your sweat glands
  • Electrical current treatments called iontophoresis
  • Surgery, which is the last resort. This may include removing sweat glands or destroying nerves

For secondary hidrosis, it’s usually a matter of managing lifestyle factors or speaking to your doctor about changing medications or dosage.

Botox for Sweaty Armpits, Sweaty Palms, and Sweaty Feet

Botox is a great way to manage hyperhidrosis – it’s temporary, affordable, and quick. Most patients only need one visit to an aesthetics doctor to treat their excessive sweating – it involves around 25 injections in each site. Most people describe it as being snapped with a rubber band – it isn’t very painful at all.