The Ultimate Sweat Resource

Possible Causes of Excessive Sweating

What is meant by excessive sweating?

Sweating like other functions of the body varies between individuals. Sweating beyond the normal need may be termed as excessive sweating. In medical terms this condition is called hyperhidrosis, where one sweats profusely without any actual reasons. For example if you have hyperhidrosis, even under cool climatic conditions, when your casually tossing some popcorn into your mouth indoors you may be getting soaked in your clothes and leave some wet patches on your seater. Now this is no normal sweating and calls for medical attention.

Excessive sweating causes may be classified into three broad categories:

Primary focal hyperhidrosis:

This refers to excessive sweating in the focal areas of the body like the palms, soles, armpits and the scalp and you may continue to sweat normally in the rest of the body too. Any focal sweating that is symmetrical (i.e. both the palms, both the soles) is termed as primary focal hyperhidrosis. The exact cause of excessive sweating still remains a mystery; some believe that the sweat glands in the focal areas are more sensitive than what is considered to be normal while some suggest that it could be because of a small malfunction in the nervous system and yet others think it is hereditary.

PFH affects both men and women and the extent of sweating varies. Anxiousness, hot foods, rise in temperature, excess physical activity can worsen the sweating condition.

If you find yourself irritated with excessive sweating consult a doctor who may put you on antiperspirants. Note there is a distinct difference between antiperspirants and the commercial deodorants while the former helps you to reduce sweating the latter only masks the foul odor caused by the infusion of bacteria with the sweat.

Secondary focal hyperhidrosis:

It refers to excessive sweating in a specific part of the body and to a large extent the reason for such profuse sweating is known. For example an injured leg due to accident can cause excessive sweating on that one leg. Therefore a focal sweating which is asymmetrical may be termed as secondary focal hyperhidrosis.

Generalized hyperhidrosis:

If you find yourself sweating beyond what is termed as normal all over your body then you are likely suffering from generalized hyperhidrosis. Though such a condition is comparatively rare, a medical condition may be the reason for such profuse sweating. Some of the conditions include disorders related to mental health like emotional imbalances, anxiety, etc, cardio vascular disease, damage caused to the nerves connecting to the spine, certain type of cancers like leukemia and lymphoma, hormonal imbalances, side effects of medicines used to treat disorders like blood pressure, dry mouth, infections, etc. Besides, the following conditions are also said to contribute to generalized hyperhidrosis: Menopause and pregnancy in women, diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, tuberculosis etc.

In case of the above condition upon consultation the doctor may recommend some tests to determine the exact cause for the test and treat you accordingly.

To conclude any type of excessive sweating calls for medical consultation as the smell that is accompanied by the sweat can disturb the quality of your life if left untreated.


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