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Managing and Treating Hyperhidrosis (Excessive Sweating)
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Managing and Treating Hyperhidrosis

N. Solish, MD, FRCPC and C. Murray, MD, FRCPC

Hyperhidrosis is a common condition that affects up to 2% of the population. A formal definition is difficult, but for practical purposes hyperhidrosis is a condition whereby the body sweats more than necessary in order to maintain a stable temperature to a degree where it inhibits daily activity. The underarms, the soles of the feet, the palms, and the face, are the most commonly affected areas, in that order. While hyperhidrosis does not pose any health concerns, it can have a negative impact on a person’s social life, being a cause of embarrassment. Routine activities like shaking or holding hands, and hugging can become awkward. If the sweating is general, soaked clothes and odours associated with sweat can also become a problem. Depending on occupation, sweating can be a practical problem too. There are many available treatment options for this condition, so if excessive sweating is bothering your day to day life, read this article and learn more at

Diagnosing the condition is relatively easy, and a doctor can confirm this condition. The condition has a genetic component to it, and if someone in your family has hyperhidrosis, there is a higher than normal chance that you could develop it too. Hyperhidrosis is roughly classified as primary or secondary hyperhidrosis. Primary, also called focal hyperhidrosis, affect the hands, feet, armpits, the face, or all of those areas and are not the result of an underlying condition. Secondary hyperhidrosis results from other underlying medical conditions. Treatment for secondary hyperhidrosis involves treating the primary cause of the sweating rather than treating the sweating, which is merely a symptom in this case. Primary hyperhidrosis is believed to be a result of overactive sympathetic nervous systems which stimulate the sweat glands, but its precise mechanisms are still unknown. If excessive sweating is frustrating you, visit a doctor to seek a treatment that works for you.

Various treatments for hyperhidrosis are now available for varying degrees of the condition. Below are some possible treatment options:


The first line of defence that most people try is the use of antiperspirants. Antiperspirants are especially effective for mild hyperhidrosis of the armpits, but are less effective for the palms and soles of the feet. If antiperspirants are ineffective or insufficient, other treatment options can be considered.


Medications like glycopyrrolate can help to stop stimulation of the sweat glands, and are used for general hyperhidrosis that affect the entire body. Due to the risk of side-effects such as blurred vision, constipation, and dry mouth, these medications are not widely used.

Botox Injections:

Botox or Botulinum toxin injections are used to treat moderate to severe cases of hyperhidrosis. In this treatment, the injected Botox blocks the nerves which stimulate sweating. The treatment is especially effective for the armpits, but can also be used to treat the hands, feet, and the face can also be treated. Botox is considered to be a safe treatment method, without negative side-effects. The treatment is not permanent however, and re-treatment is necessary every 4 to 7 months to maintain its effect. For more information, visit


With this treatment, water is delivered into the skin using electric charges, which interfere and block sweat gland activity. This treatment has few side effects, and can be effective in treating certain types of hyperhidroses that affect the palms and the soles of the feet. One drawback of the procedure is that the treatment can be time consuming.

Endoscopic Thoracic Sympathectomy:

This treatment is a surgical procedure which aims to destroy certain points of the sympathetic nerve trunk. It can be an option for treating severe cases of hyperhidrosis, but are often not considered until other options are exhausted as the side-effects are often unpredictable and irreversible.

Visit your doctor, and find out the most recent information on hyperhidrosis, and what treatment option is the best for you.


antiperspirants,   hyperhidrosis,   sweating,