All of us sweat – it’s our body’s natural mechanism for cooling down and regulating temperature, and it can even help us ward off bacteria but excessive sweating can be embarassing. However, when the body sweats excessively – a condition known as hyperhidrosis – it can make a person self-conscious. When they find it impacting on daily activities, then the condition can prove both inhibitive and traumatic.
Excessive sweating can occur anywhere over the body, such as the feet, hands, and armpits, but it can also afflict the whole body. Sometimes, the condition develops during childhood without a specific cause and is known as “primary” or “focal” hyperhidrosis. Alternatively, it can be triggered by an external force such as anxiety, pregnancy or medication, and in those instances, it is known as “secondary” or “generalised” hyperhidrosis.
If excessive sweating has no underlying medical cause, it’s called primary hyperhidrosis. It happens when excess sweating is not triggered by a rise in temperature or physical activity. Primary hyperhidrosis may be at least partly hereditary.
If the excess sweating is due to an underlying medical condition, it’s called secondary hyperhidrosis.
Between one and five per cent of the population suffer from excessive sweating. It can affect men and women of any age. There is no obvious pattern. However, the good news is that the condition can be treated, most commonly with Botulinum Toxin injections, enabling you to get on with your life with minimal worry.