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Symptoms and Signs of Hyperhidrosis (Excessive Sweating)

Doctor's Notes on Hyperhidrosis (Excessive Sweating)

Hyperhidrosis is excess sweating. Hyperhidrosis can be considered primary, without any underlying associated medical conditions, or it can be secondary (acquired) to other medical conditions. Primary hyperhidrosis can run in families and usually becomes considerable at or before puberty. Secondary hyperhidrosis can occur at any age. Hyperhidrosis may be generalized over the entire body or localized to certain areas.

Symptoms of primary hyperhidrosis include excessive sweating of the palms, soles, and armpits that starts with the first social exposure of the day. It is often reduced at night and dry when a person is relaxed and ready for bed. Symptoms of secondary hyperhidrosis may occur throughout the day, in unpredictable paroxysms such as in adrenal gland tumors (pheochromocytoma), timed with the peak blood levels of certain medications, or as "night sweats" in patients with tuberculosis. Anxiety and depression may be associated with hyperhidrosis due to its impact on quality of life.

Medical Author: John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP
Medically Reviewed on 3/11/2019

Sweating (Perspiration) : Test Your IQ Quiz

Sweating Quiz

Sweat is odorless.

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Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.