Sweating is normal and a way for the body to regulate its temperature. However, some people suffer from more excessive sweating and sweat beyond the physiological need of the body. This type of excessive sweating is called hyperhidrosis.
Sweat glands overreacting to stimuli
Sometimes hyperhidrosis can be a symptom of an underlying disease, a pharmaceutical treatment etc. and then it is called secondary hyperhidrosis. The cause of primary hyperhidrosis on the other hand is less clear, but it seems to be hereditary, with sweat glands overreacting to stimuli and generally being overactive, producing more sweat than is necessary. This condition could cause heavy sweating even without warm temperatures or physical activity prompting such a respons. The primary form of hyperhidrosis is the most common one, affecting approximately 3-5 % of the population.
Primary hyperhidrosis often starts during childhood or adolescence, but can also have an onset later in life. It is equally common among males and females and can improve over the years. It is common for the amount of sweating to vary over time and the most common areas to be affected are underarms, palms, soles, head, face and back of the neck.
Big impact on everyday life
Excessive sweating usually has a big impact on everyday life and those effected often suffer from impaired quality of life. They frequently think about their condition and a lot of time is spent trying to hide the sweating or avoiding uncompfortable situations where the problem is excellerated or especially embarrassing. It is common to only dress in certain colors or wear several layers of clothes to make the sweat stains less visible as well as carrying a spare set of clothes.
To touch someone with noticably sweaty palms can be very embarrassing and lead to social withdrawal, but very sweaty palms can also be disabling by making it difficult to handle tools, holding papers, using touch screens etc. If you are unwilling to take your shoes off in front of others, due to the risk of bad smell or wet stains on the floor, you might avoid visiting friends. Excessive sweating from the face and forehead can be very frustrating in meetings, when holding a presentation or in social situations.
There are effective treatments available
Many people with hyperhidrosis suffer in silence, but there is help available and there are several treatment options for excessive sweating. The first line treatment is normally extra effective antiperspirants like Absolute Dry. If that would turn out to be insufficient treatment there are other options as well, like injections or surgery. In that case you need to see a specialist like a dermatologist or visit a dedicated hyperhidrosis clinic.