Hyperhidrosis, or as it’s more commonly known – ‘excessive sweating’, is a problem that affects around 2-3% of the population. Due to its common nature as a condition, there are a huge number of people who seek treatment for excessive sweating. This debilitating condition can cause embarrassment as well as discomfort for patients affected, leaving a dent in their confidence and adding great inconvenience to their daily lives.
Hyperhidrosis affects different areas of the body, although it is more commonly found in the underarms, forehead, hands or feet. Patients that we see with hyperhidrosis say that it can affect relationships, work and social lives. There are obvious issues that come hand in hand with this condition; such as what clothes you wear, always ensuring you carry antiperspirant, and struggling in high pressured situations. Patients that suffer with severe hyperhidrosis may also struggle to perform basic daily tasks due to their profuse perspiring, such as holding a pen, shaking hands or gripping a steering wheel.
Hyperhidrosis sufferers will often notice the condition during their teenage years, although it has been known to appear at all stages of life. There are typically two different types of hyperhidrosis:
- Focal hyperhidrosis is excessive sweating in one focal area of the body, such as the hands, feet or under arms.
- Generalised hyperhidrosis occurs in people who sweat profusely all over the body rather than a localised area.
Sometimes, there are no clear underlying reasons behind a patient’s excessive sweating, and this is called “Primary Idiopathic Hyperhidrosis”. In contrast, “Secondary Hyperhidrosis” is the term used when a patient’s profuse sweating can be attributed to health issues, such as gout, obesity, a tumour or diabetes.