Hyperhidrosis: What are the causes and treatment options for excessive sweating

Hyperhydrosis a common condition. We will discuss what exactly hyperhidrosis is, its different forms, possible causes and various treatment options. Let’s start exploring this condition that causes excessive sweating.

What is hyperhidrosis?

Hyperhidrosis is a condition where a person sweats excessively even without physical exertion or hot/cold environment. It can lead to significant discomfort, limitations in daily life and psychological impact.

Forms of hyperhidrosis:

  1. Forms of Hyperhidrosis: It may be a disorder of the eccrine sweat glands and associated with sympathetic overactivity. It occurs in specific areas such as the palms, soles, armpits and face.
  2. Secondary Hyperhidrosis: This type is caused by an underlying medical condition, such as hormonal imbalance, menopause, thyroid abnormalities, or medication side effects.

Causes of hyperhidrosis:

The exact cause of hyperhidrosis is not yet fully known. In primary hyperhidrosis, overactive sweat glands are believed to be responsible, while secondary hyperhidrosis can be caused by a variety of medical conditions.

Hyperhidrosis can occur on different parts of the body, but the most common areas are the armpits (axillary hyperhidrosis), palms (palmar-plantar hyperhidrosis), and soles of the feet (plantar hyperhidrosis). These areas have a higher concentration of sweat glands, resulting in excessive sweating.

Differences between men and women: Hyperhidrosis affects both men and women, but there may be some differences. In women, it may be related to hormonal fluctuations during the menstrual cycle, pregnancy, or menopause. Men may have a higher incidence of hyperhidrosis compared to women, especially in the form of excessive sweating on the palms.

As for racial differences, there are some studies that have suggested that hyperhidrosis may have different prevalences in different ethnic groups. While there are no definitive conclusions, some studies have shown that the Japanese have a higher prevalence of palmoplantar hyperhidrosis.

Palmoplantar Hyperhidrosis Is 20 Times More Common In The Japanese Than In Any Other Ethnic Group.

Another study found that Caucasian subjects are at least 2.5 times more likely to develop axillary hyperhidrosis compared to Chinese subjects. More research is needed to draw firm conclusions about racial differences in hyperhidrosis.

Treatment options for hyperhidrosis:

It is important to remember that the best treatment option for hyperhidrosis can vary depending on the severity of the condition, the specific symptoms and individual response to treatment.

  1. Antiperspirants: Strong aluminum chloride antiperspirants can help temporarily block sweat glands.
  2. Medication: Certain medications, such as anticholinergics, can reduce sweat production, but they can have side effects.
  3. Botulinum toxin injections: Botulinum toxin injections can temporarily reduce sweat production and are mainly used for armpits, soles of the feet and palms.
  4. Iontophoresis: This treatment involves immersing the affected areas in water, using a mild electric current to reduce sweat production.
  5. Surgical procedures: In severe cases, surgery to remove or damage the sweat glands may be considered
  6. MiraDry treatment is a non-invasive treatment specifically designed to reduce excessive underarm sweating. It uses electromagnetic energy to selectively heat and permanently destroy the sweat glands in the treated area. This treatment may be effective for people who suffer from severe underarm sweating and who do not benefit from other treatments or antiperspirants. Sweat reduction is between 61-70%.

Antiperspirants: Benefits: Antiperspirants are readily available over the counter and can be effective in reducing excessive sweating. They are easy to apply and can be used daily. In addition, they generally have few side effects.


Cons: Antiperspirants usually provide only temporary relief and must be applied regularly to maintain effectiveness. Some people may experience skin irritation in response to the ingredients in antiperspirants.

Medication:Benefits: Medication can reduce sweat production and provide long-lasting relief. It may be useful for people with severe hyperhidrosis who do not respond adequately to other treatments.

Cons: Some medications have side effects such as dry mouth, blurred vision, constipation, and heart palpitations. They can also interact with other medications the person may be taking. It is important to talk to a doctor about the right medication and possible side effects.

Botulinum Toxin Injections: Benefits: Botulinum toxin injections can effectively reduce sweat production and results can last for several months. It’s a relatively quick procedure and most people experience minimal side effects.

Cons: Botulinum toxin injections must be repeated regularly to maintain effectiveness. Although rare, side effects such as muscle weakness and pain at the injection site can occur. It can also be pricey, as the treatment is not always covered by insurance.

Iontophoresis: Benefits: Iontophoresis can be effective in reducing sweating, especially on the hands and feet. It is a non-invasive treatment with no side effects.

Cons: Iontophoresis requires regular sessions and may take some time to see results. It can cause discomfort during treatment and some people may experience skin irritation.

Surgical procedures: Benefits: Surgical procedures can provide long-term or even permanent relief for people with severe hyperhidrosis who do not respond well to other treatments.

Cons: Surgical procedures carry risks, such as infection, scarring, and nerve damage. They are usually considered a last resort when other treatments have failed.

MiraDry: Benefits of miraDry: Long-lasting results: MiraDry can provide significant reductions in underarm sweating, with long-lasting results. In most cases, multiple treatments are required, but the results are often permanent. Improve odor and stains: In addition to reducing sweating, miraDry can also help reduce body odor and prevent sweat stains on clothes. Fast procedure: Treatment usually takes about one to two hours and generally requires no down time. Patients can resume their normal activities the same day.

Disadvantages of miraDry: Cost: MiraDry is generally more expensive than other hyperhidrosis treatments such as antiperspirants or medication. It may also be necessary to undergo multiple sessions, which can further increase costs. Transient Side Effects: While most patients experience mild to moderate side effects such as swelling, tenderness, and bruising, these are generally transient and resolve within days to weeks. Limited application in other areas: MiraDry is specifically designed for the treatment of underarm sweating and is not suitable for other areas of the body where hyperhidrosis may occur.

Self-care measures

In addition to the treatment options mentioned, there are also some self-care measures that can help manage hyperhidrosis:

  1. Wear breathable clothes and shoes: Choose clothes made from natural fibers, such as cotton, to promote airflow to the skin and reduce perspiration. Geox shoes if you suffer from sweaty feet.
  2. Use absorbent materials: Put insoles in shoes and use sweat-absorbing materials, such as talcum powder or special sweat-absorbing pads, to absorb excess moisture.
  3. Care routine: Keep skin clean and dry by showering regularly and patting dry. Use mild, non-irritating soaps or skin cleansers and avoid excessive scrubbing.
  4. Avoid triggers: Identify factors that make sweating worse, such as spicy foods, caffeine, alcohol, and stress, and try to avoid them as much as possible.
  5. Stress management: Learn relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, or yoga to reduce stress, as stress can make sweating worse.

It is important to emphasize that hyperhidrosis is a treatable condition and options are available to reduce symptoms and improve quality of life.

In other words:

Hyperhidrosis can be a significant nuisance, but several treatment options are available. Whether using antiperspirants, medication, botox injections, iontophoresis, surgical procedures or Miradry, it is important to work with a dermatologist to determine the best approach for individual needs. Adhering to self-care measures can also help manage symptoms. Remember you are not alone – seek professional help to effectively deal with the excessive sweating and restore your confidence.

While you are here

Hidradenitis suppurativa is an inflammatory skin condition that resembles acne and occurs in the body folds, such as the armpits and groin. It can also occur under or between the breasts, near the genitals, the area around the anus and buttocks. This condition usually starts during or after puberty and is more common in women than in men.

Hidradenitis is characterized by painful inflammation. At first, the inflammations resemble small boils, but later they become larger and deeper and can burst open, often accompanied by pus and sebum secretion. Over time, passages in the skin (fistulas) may form as a result of repeated inflammation. These corridors can ignite again at any time. In addition, large comedones (blackheads) and cysts (cavities in the skin) can develop. When the skin heals, scars may be left behind. More about hydradenitis, acne in the folds

Picture of Dr. Francis Wu

Dr. Francis Wu

Dr. Francis Wu, een vooraanstaande dermatoloog, is de drijvende kracht achter Iconic Elements. Hij heeft sinds 2004 zijn expertise ingezet om een veilige en effectieve huidverzorgingslijn te creëren, geschikt voor zowel gezonde huid als huidproblemen. Iconic Elements, opgericht in 2016, is de eerste brede skincare lijn in Nederland ontwikkeld door een dermatoloog. Als medisch specialist streeft Dr. Wu naar het bevorderen van het welzijn van mensen door hoogwaardige en effectieve huidverzorgingsproducten te bieden. De proefdiervrije en vegan producten vermijden schadelijke chemicaliën en bevatten natuurlijke ingrediënten.
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