What is hyperhidrosis?

Michael G. Scheidler, MD
Pediatric Surgery
Hyperhidrosis is excessive sweating. It can affect the entire body, but is more common in the armpits and hands. Learn more from Michael Scheidler, MD, with Sunrise Children's Hospital in this video.

Hyperhidrosis is a pathological condition when a person sweats excessively, beyond the body’s normal need to regulate temperature. This excessive sweating can affect the entire body, but usually occurs in the palms, soles, armpits and/or groin area. While the excessive production of sweat is not usually indicative of a medical problem, there are many social ramifications such as social isolation, depression, and a low quality of life if left untreated.

Lyall A. Gorenstein, MD
Thoracic Surgery (Cardiothoracic Vascular)
Hyperhidrosis is a relatively common problem that affects many people. Although sweating is a normal bodily function, in some people it is unnecessarily excessive. Typically, people with hyperhidrosis have excessive sweating of their hands and sometimes in other parts of their body as well. In its most severe form, hyperhidrosis can cause crippling loss of self esteem.
Dr. Doris Day, MD
Dermatology
If you have hyperhydrosis, you know it! It is a condition where either your palms or your underarms or your feet, or all three, drip with embarrassing amounts of sweat, especially when you’re nervous or excited. I’ve had patients with hyperhdrosis who tell me they are afraid to shake hands with people and that this has adversely affected their career advancement, since they often won’t even go for job interviews, or take positions where they have to do any public speaking for fear of sweating through their jackets during their speech. It also has profound effects on their social life. They are too embarrassed to hold hands or wear certain outfits due to the unsightly sweating. Many patients tell me that in a high pressure situation such as a top level corporate meeting, their clothes are soaked with perspiration from the axillae, the medical terms for armpits.
Susan Evans
Dermatology
There are some people who have a tendency to sweat excessively; this is a condition called hyperhidrosis.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.