Sweating is a normal bodily response to heat or exercise. When people sweat, it makes them feel that they have really exerted some energy which is beneficial to the body. Sometimes, excessive sweating is an abnormal problem that many people suffer from, and it occurs without reason. This excess sweating is called hyperhydrosis, and it has nothing to do with the heat or exercise. This type of sweating can cause water to soak through the clothes, or drip from the hands. It can disrupt a normal day’s activity, and be an embarrassment or cause social anxiety.

Hyperhydrosis is not a skin disease, nor is it due to any medication that may be taken. Many people may sweat when they are under stress, anxious about something, or over exert themselves. Hyperhydrosis far exceeds this type of sweating. It usually affects the underarms, face, hand, and feet equally on both sides of the body, and will cause at least one sweating episode per week that normally happen during waking hours. Normal sweating is a mechanism that the body has for cooling itself. Sweat glands are triggered by the nervous system when the body temperature rises. Sweaty palms will also occur when a person is nervous. Essential hyperhidrosis is a type where the nerves that are responsible for signaling the sweat glands to be overactive even though they have not been triggered by a rise in temperature or physical activity.

The essential form of the disorder can become even worse with nervousness or stress, and will affect the palms of the hands, soles of the feet, and the face. This form does not have a medical cause, but it can be hereditary as sometimes several family members can have the disorder. There is a secondary form that could result from medical conditions, but is less common than the essential form. It could cause sweating all over the body, and could result in people with health conditions like diabetes, thyroid problems, cancer, menopause in women, heart attack, infections, or nervous system disorders.

A treatment for this sweating disorder is a medication of a prescribed antiperspirant. This is usually stronger than the over the counter antiperspirants, and may cause a form of skin disease in people who have overly sensitive skin. Excessive sweating could also be a sign of a more serious health condition, so it is important to see a doctor for an accurate diagnosis especially if the heavy sweating is accompanied by nausea, chest pain, or dizziness. Also discuss with the health care provider if the sweating causes social withdrawal or emotional distress. if you began to have night sweats for no apparent reason, or if you start to sweat more than usual.

Sometimes, some medication can lead to heavy sweating, and so can withdrawal from the use of opioids. Sweating can also be responsible for the appearance of a skin disease because excess water can leave dry patches in the skin, or cause it to become itchy which can result in excessive scratching.