Types of Hyperhidrosis
July 5, 2012
I have absolutely no hesitation in saying "Stop Sweating and Start Living" will soon put antiperspirant companies out of business.
I was reluctant at first to endorse any product but this book was different. The remedies it suggests are all-natural and target the root causes of problem sweating.
My only complaint is that it is only available as an instant access ebook. It can't be purchased in bookstores or on Amazon.com, but I'm sure the instant download feature is popular with people overseas and those who are ready to get started.
I strongly recommend "Stop Sweating and Start Living" to anyone who sweats excessively in the underarm, hand, foot, face or back areas.
- James Chambers
The word hyperhidrosis originates from the Latin hidrosis (perspiration)
and Greek hidros (sweat). As the prefix ‘hyper’ indicates
hyperhidrosis is a term used to describe excessive sweating in a particular area. This is a medical condition and may require
but many people suffering from this condition are unaware of
its symptoms and therefore think they have a severe sweat problem
than a specific malady.
Broadly hyperhidrosis can be categorized into two types: primary
and secondary. Before we progress further let me give you a brief
idea of each. Later in the article I will discuss the four major
areas of the body that are typically more susceptible to primary
hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating induced by natural causes) than
When your excessive sweating is not caused by any other medical
condition or is not a side effect of any drugs that you may be under
you are suffering from primary hyperhidrosis. You may also find that
the condition is described as focal hyperhidrosis. In such cases
the excessive sweating occurs on specific (or ‘focal’)
parts of the body the most affected areas being the hands feet
underarms and face.
Research has shown that the first signs of primary hyperhidrosis
are often detected in childhood or early adolescence. Plenty of sufferers
tend to sweat less excessively when at rest or asleep though that
is not always the case. There is also a theory that the sweat problem
is hereditary though there has been no conclusive research on this.
This type of excessive sweating (also called generalized hyperhidrosis)
is caused by a usually unrelated medical condition (e.g. menopause)
or is a side effect of a particular drug. In other words it is everything
that primary hyperhidrosis is not. There are two other significant
differences: people suffering from secondary hyperhidrosis typically
experience sweating on ‘generalized’ or larger parts
of the body and they usually experience the excessive sweating even
while at rest.
Areas of the body most vulnerable to primary hyperhidrosis
Most commonly primary hyperhidrosis affects your face underarm
hands and feet. There is a name for each kind of hyperhidrosis affecting
these particular areas so I will take them one by one:
Most commonly facial hyperhidrosis causes a person to sweat profusely
on the face to the extent that it is literally dripping with sweat
even after mild exertion. The condition affects both men and women
and can occur on the scalp as well as the face.
Common myths about facial hyperhidrosis include a belief that it
happens only to overweight people and that many sufferers experience
facial hyperhidrosis as a result of nervousness or social embarrassment.
However facial hyperhidrosis is commonly held to be a genetic affliction
unrelated to external causes.
It causes acute discomfiture to those that suffer from it and they
typically avoid outdoor situations to reduce the excessive sweating.
Women tend to wear their hair short and avoid using make-up because
it runs. Additionally sufferers also experience stress owing to
the fear that their clothing (especially collars) will become soaked
with sweat and often experience burning and reddening of the eyes
as the salty sweat seeps into them.
While most of those affected have to carry a face towel with them
at all times some try to combat the problem by taking repeated showers.
Quite apart from the inconvenience victims of facial hyperhidrosis
tend to suffer high anxiety levels and have low self-esteem.
Imagine a situation where your beautiful silk blouse or well-cut
silk suit displays very visible underarm sweat rings minutes after
you put it on. Not only would it ruin your garment it would also
cause considerable social awkwardness probably forcing you to keep
a jacket on at all times to hide the underarm sweat rings on your
blouse or shirt. What’s more you would perhaps constantly
worry about the problem of body odor which no amount of deodorant
The phenomenon of excessive underarm sweating is known as axillary
hyperhidrosis when the sympathetic nervous system over-activates
the sweat glands in your underarm thus causing excessive underarm
sweat. Victims typically avoid wearing particular fabrics and colors
because the sweat rings are more visible on them. Many patients also
try to get around the hardship by changing their clothes numerous
times during the day
As with other forms of primary hyperhidrosis axillary hyperhidrosis
is often noticed in sufferers at a young age usually before an individual
reaches his or her teens. At that age such a syndrome evokes considerable
disdain and amusement among peers which causes a high level of emotional
stress in a sufferer. In later life such stress can make a person
socially inept and unable to interact closely with others. As self-esteem
plunges even a person’s professional life may be affected.
Palmar hyperhidrosis or excessive sweating on the palms is once
again caused by hyperactive sweat glands. A person affected by this
syndrome will find it awkward to shake hands hold a glass grip
a stairwell rail or a steering wheel type on a keyboard – or
perform any of the thousands of different tasks that we use our hands
for every day. Naturally such little failures will bring with them
all the associated psychological stress and embarrassment that other
forms of hyperhidrosis cause.
A lot of us habitually experience sweaty palms in tense or intimidating
situations but victims of palmar hyperhidrosis can literally have
sweat soaking their palms at all times and the onset of the syndrome
can be detected even in early childhood. Once again palmar hyperhidrosis
is commonly viewed as hereditary and its symptoms are visible when
a person is at rest.
People with palmer hyperhidrosis are constantly worried by their
condition and a lot of them avoid ordinary social customs like shaking
hands and penning handwritten letters for fear of making others aware
of their conditions and exposing themselves to professional and social
ridicule. Not unnaturally they suffer a massive loss of confidence.
The term plantar hyperhidrosis is used to describe excessive sweating
of the feet and it usually though not always affects those suffering
from palmar hyperhidrosis. One of the most disturbing aspects of
plantar hyperhidrosis for those affected is smelly feet. Other side
effects of plantar hyperhidrosis include athlete’s foot warts
and fungal infection of the toenails causing susceptibility to other
Sufferers also complain that they must buy shoes frequently owing
to the excessive sweating. They also feel that they need to wear
closed shoes at all times. Plantar hyperhidrosis victims find themselves
unable to undertake such activities that require them to be bare-feet
or wear thin shoes like dancing or aerobics because damp marks from
their feet create potentially embarrassing and hazardous situations
for themselves as well as their fellow participants.
In search of a solution
I would like to end this article by saying that all forms of hyperhidrosis
can be treated though such treatment is often painstaking
and results will not be apparent overnight. While standard antiperspirants
a temporary solution surgery offers longer-term benefits
though there are side effects to surgical procedures so these should
be chosen as last resorts. There are alternatives to both the
above which I will discuss in another article.