Hyperhidrosis

Norman R. Wasel, MD, FRCPC


What is Hyperhidrosis?

Hyperhidrosis is the medical name given to the bothersome condition of excessive sweating. It is a very common problem, affecting one out of every 200 people. The most common areas affected are the armpits, palms, soles, or a combination of these areas. Although harmless and without any health danger, the condition often causes significant embarrassment and/or discomfort.

 

What Causes Hyperhidrosis?

The precise cause of Hyperhidrosis is not known, although genetics play a large role. It appears that for unknown reasons, the brain sends too many signals to the sweat gland to produce sweat.

 

Genetics of Hyperhidrosis

Hyperhidrosis often runs in families. Often the condition is inherited from one parent, and it is not uncommon for brothers and/or sisters to have the condition as well. The condition can be passed to children as well.

 

Hyperhidrosis Triggers

People with the medical condition of Hyperhidrosis will sweat an excessive amount even if they are not embarrassed, overheated, or exercising. The sweat is just always present at an excessive amount. Of course, being overheated or embarrassed can make it worse.

 

What Happens if I Don't Do Anything?

Hyperhidrosis most commonly appears for the first time in the teenage years. Usually it lasts continuously during the rest of the teen years, the 20s, the 30s, and sometimes the 40s. Usually then the problem stops occurring - it just goes away all by itself.

 

What Are My Options?

There are five main treatment options for Hyperhidrosis:

  1. Topically applied lotions that locally reduce the amount of sweat production.
  2. Local injections into the involved areas performed about once every 6 - 7 months.
  3. Oral medication taken twice daily.
  4. Surgery. This usually involves clipping the nerve that runs inside the chest next to the spinal cord that causes excessive sweating.
  5. Iontophoresis. This treatment involves application of electricity to the involved area for 30 to 60 minutes per day to reduce the amount of sweating.

Dr. Norman Wasel has been practicing dermatology in Edmonton, Alberta since 2000. To learn more about Dr. Wasel and the team at Stratica Medical visit StraticaMedical.com.
For more information about Dr. Wasel's research and ongoing studies visit
ResearchTrials.org - Stratica Medical.

 

For more information on hyperhidrosis please visit:

American Academy of Dermatology: Hyperhidrosis

ResearchTrials.org: Hyperhidrosis

Active Studies

Copyright 2014 Probity Medical Research Inc. All Rights Reserved.