Hyperhidrosis

Hyperhidrosis is a condition that causes an abnormal amount of sweating. People with the condition have hyperactive sweat glands that respond during times of rest and other normal activities. The average person perspires while exercising, when exposed to hot temperatures and when nervous or stressed.

What is Hyperhidrosis?

Hyperhidrosis is a relatively rare disorder that affects about 2 to 3 percent of the U.S. population. Even still, the National Institutes of Health reports that less than 40 percent of affected people seek treatment. According to the Columbia University Medical Center, the excessive sweating usually begins in childhood and early adolescence. From there, it typically gets progressively worse following puberty. Some medical conditions actually cause hyperhidrosis and include anxiety disorders, lung disease, menopause, Parkinson’s disease and more.

Treatment options

A variety of treatment approaches can help alleviate the symptoms of hyperhidrosis. According to the NIH, treatment options include:

  • Antiperspirants, which work by plugging the sweat ducts
  • Medications
  • Lontophoresis (a procedure that uses light electricity to deactivate sweat glands)
  • Botox
  • Surgery called endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy that deactivates the signals that cause excessive sweating
Alternative therapy is a growing trend among people with hyperhidrosis. While there isn't much research on these therapies, a medical professional may be able to shed light on these approaches. According to the National Hyperhidrosis Society, alternative therapies include sage tea or tablets, chamomile, valerian root, St. John's wort, acupuncture and hypnosis.  

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