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about excessive sweating

Some people sweat more than others

It is natural (and healthy) for your body to produce sweat.

We all do it—everyone sweats. Sweat helps to keep the body from overheating. In fact, being able to cool the body down is necessary for survival. However, excessive sweating that goes beyond what is needed to cool the body is called hyperhidrosis (hi-purr-hi-DROE-sis), literally meaning too much (hyper) sweat (hidrosis).

Excessive sweating can be a problem... and is more common than you think.

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There are over 15 million people in the U.S. who suffer from excessive sweating, a medical condition known as hyperhidrosis. That’s nearly 1 in 20 people. (And half don’t know it.)

Women Men

Hyperhidrosis affects both men and women equally.

Young Adults

Hyperhidrosis often begins in childhood or adolescence, and most commonly affects younger sufferers, ages 18-39 years.

How Sweat Works

Find out how excessive sweating is believed to happen in the body.

There are 2 main types of hyperhidrosis:

Primary Hyperhidrosis

This is when you sweat excessively without any other physical reason:

  • Is not caused by another medical condition or medicine
  • Often begins in childhood or adolescence
  • Usually affects body parts such as the axillae (underarms), palms, soles, and face. Often more than one body part is involved
  • Does not usually happen while sleeping
  • Sometimes runs in families. If you have a parent with it, you have about a 25% chance of developing it, too

Secondary Hyperhidrosis

And this is when you sweat excessively and it is a symptom of another medical condition, or a side effect of a medication:

  • Can be focal (limited to certain body parts) but is more commonly generalized (sweating that occurs over the whole body) generalized (sweating that occurs over the whole body)
  • Can happen during both waking and sleeping hours

hyperhidrosis can appear in different parts of the body:

65% of people with excessive sweating suffer from underarm (axillary) sweating, which occurs either on its own or in combination with other body areas.

Only a healthcare professional, such as a dermatologist, can diagnose hyperhidrosis. If you think you might have hyperhidrosis, be sure to talk to a dermatologist.


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