Excessive sweating, or hyperhidrosis, is a condition that causes the body to sweat uncontrollably for no apparent reason. Although hyperhidrosis is not uncommon, it’s easy to confuse excessive sweating with normal sweating, so many cases go misdiagnosed or unreported.
Excessive sweating can be divided into focal hyperhidrosis and general hyperhidrosis. Focal hyperhidrosis happens when excessive sweating forms in certain areas of the body, such as the armpits, hands or face. In contrast, generalized hyperhidrosis is excessive sweating that affects the entire body.
Because sweating is a natural function of our body, people often confuse normal sweating with excessive sweating. Normal sweating is usually brought about by factors such as:
- Intense exercises
- Hot weather
- Eating spicy food
Excessive sweating is diagnosed when sweat occurs without any of these triggers or situations. Symptoms of excessive sweating can include:
- Sweating for at least six months for no reason
- Sweating in roughly the same amount on both sides of your body
- Sweating that impedes your daily life
- History of excessive sweating in your family
- Excessive sweating that started before 25 years of age
While most cases of excessive sweating are harmless, it can also be a sign of thyroid problems, heart conditions, diabetes and other underlying medical conditions. Excessive sweating is also more prevalent in people who are overweight.
Excessive sweating can be emotionally troublesome in our daily lives. People with this condition often find themselves depressed and embarrassed, leading to negative effects on their self-esteem and social life. As a result, many people choose to seek treatment for it.