Causes for Excessive Sweating

Excessive sweating or hyperhidrosis is defined as sweating beyond the physiological need of the body. Sweating is a way the body regulates its temperature. Sweat is produced by sweat glands located in the skin in various parts of the body.

These sweat glands have their highest concentrations in the palms of the hands. The activity of sweat glands is under the control of the sympathetic nervous system and is involuntary. Over activity of the sympathetic nervous system can cause excessive sweating.

Excessive sweating or hyperhidrosis is divided into two main categories:

Primary hyperhidrosis

Excessive sweating in primary hyperhidrosis has unknown etiology and tends to be localized. This can affect:

Hands: palmar hyperhidrosis
Face: facial hyperhidrosis
Underarm: axillary hyperhidrosis
Feet: pedal hyperhidrosis

Treatment for primary hyperhidrosis is a multidisciplinary challenge that involves medications, antiperspirants, iontophoresis, and sympathectomy.

Secondary hyperhidrosis

Excessive sweating in secondary hyperhidrosis has an underlying reason and generally affects the entire body. Conditions causing secondary hyperhidrosis are:

Autoimmune disorders
Psychiatric disorders

Treatment for secondary hyperhidrosis involves eliminating the underlying condition.