sweaty underarm

What Is Hyperhidrosis And What Steps You Can Do To Help

Do you sweat excessively even when you’re not doing anything strenuous?

Have you ever experienced social anxiety due to excessive sweating in public places? If you answered yes to these questions, you might have hyperhidrosis.

This condition affects over 170 million people worldwide and causes physical distress, discomfort, and social embarrassment. If you want answers, read on to discover more about hyperhidrosis.

What Is Hyperhidrosis?

Hyperhidrosis is a medical condition characterised by excessive sweating that goes beyond normal sweating to the point that it disrupts your daily activities and quality of life.
This condition can affect anyone at any age, but it usually starts in adolescence or young adulthood.

Although hyperhidrosis is not life-threatening, it can cause emotional distress and social embarrassment and affect your work or school performance.

Causes of Hyperhidrosis

Hyperhidrosis causes excessive sweating and can occur on any part of the body, but it commonly affects the palms, soles, and underarms.

Hyperhidrosis can be uncomfortable and embarrassing, affecting the day-to-day lives of those with it. Several factors could cause hyperhidrosis:

  • Genetics: One of the leading causes of hyperhidrosis is genetics. A person is more likely to have hyperhidrosis if someone in their family also has it. Genetic hyperhidrosis usually presents itself during childhood or adolescence, affecting the face, feet, hands, and underarms.
  • Hormones: Hormonal changes can play a role in developing hyperhidrosis. For example, women going through menopause may experience hot flashes and excessive sweating. Thyroid problems, such as hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism, can also cause sweating.
  • Medications: Certain medications can cause hyperhidrosis as a side effect. Medications that treat depression, high blood pressure, and anxiety are common culprits. Additionally, drugs used in chemotherapy can cause sweating.
  • Medications: Certain medications can cause hyperhidrosis as a side effect. Medications that treat depression, high blood pressure, and anxiety are common culprits. Additionally, drugs used in chemotherapy can cause sweating.
  • Lifestyle: Lifestyle factors such as diet, alcohol, and caffeine can worsen sweating. Consumption of spicy foods and hot beverages can also trigger sweating. Moreover, stress and anxiety can exacerbate hyperhidrosis.

Symptoms of Hyperhidrosis

Excessive sweating is the most prominent symptom of hyperhidrosis.

People with this condition sweat profusely, even under normal circumstances, when they’re not physically active or in a hot environment.

It can affect various body parts, including the face, hands, feet, and underarms.

Along with excessive sweating, hyperhidrosis can also lead to strong body odour that often exacerbates social anxiety and low self-esteem.

Additionally, people with hyperhidrosis may experience skin infections or clothing stains due to the constant moisture on their skin.

Types of Hyperhidrosis

Palmar Hyperhidrosis

Primary Focal Hyperhidrosis

The first type of hyperhidrosis is primary focal hyperhidrosis, which affects specific areas of the body, such as the palms, soles of the feet, underarms, face, or scalp.

This condition typically starts in childhood or adolescence and persists into adulthood. The sweating may be triggered by emotional stress, physical activity, or temperature changes.

Individuals with primary focal hyperhidrosis may also experience blushing, cold or clammy hands, and social anxiety.

Secondary Generalised Hyperhidrosis

The second type of hyperhidrosis is secondary generalised hyperhidrosis, caused by an underlying medical condition such as diabetes, thyroid problems, menopause, infections, or certain medications.

This hyperhidrosis usually affects the entire body and is characterised by excessive sweating, fever, weight loss, and fatigue.

Gustatory Hyperhidrosis

Another type of hyperhidrosis is gustatory, triggered by eating or drinking.

This type of hyperhidrosis affects the face, neck, and scalp and is caused by an autonomic nervous system malfunction.

Individuals may experience sweating, flushing, or an itchy sensation around the mouth, chin, or neck.

Craniofacial Hyperhidrosis

The fourth type of hyperhidrosis is craniofacial, which affects the scalp, face, and neck.

The overactivity of the eccrine sweat glands in these areas primarily causes this type of hyperhidrosis.

Individuals with craniofacial hyperhidrosis may experience excessive sweating, oily or greasy hair, and acne-like skin lesions.

Situational Hyperhidrosis

The fifth type of hyperhidrosis is situational, triggered by specific situations, such as public speaking, job interviews, or social events.

This type of hyperhidrosis is usually triggered by emotional stress and is often associated with anxiety or an underlying mental health condition.

Individuals with situational hyperhidrosis may experience sweating, cold or clammy hands, palpitations, and nausea.

Diagnosing Hyperhidrosis

If you’re experiencing excessive sweating, consult a doctor who can diagnose hyperhidrosis through a topical starch-iodine test. This quick and painless test involves applying iodine to an area on your skin and then sprinkling it with starch powder. If the powder turns dark navy blue, it shows that you have sweat glands in that area that are overly active.

Treatment for Hyperhidrosis

Treatment Of Hyperhidrosis


Antiperspirants are the first line of treatment for people with mild to moderate hyperhidrosis. They work by blocking sweat ducts, thus reducing sweating. Over-the-counter antiperspirants with aluminium chloride are readily available and can significantly improve symptoms.

However, if you have severe hyperhidrosis, prescription-strength antiperspirants prescribed by your doctor may be more effective.


Iontophoresis is a non-invasive treatment that passes a low-voltage electric current through the skin’s surface. The electric current blocks sweat glands from producing sweat in the targeted area.

This treatment is effective for both hands and feet hyperhidrosis. Several devices for iontophoresis are available in the market, but it’s best to seek guidance from a medical professional on the most suitable device for you.

Oral Medications

If antiperspirants and iontophoresis don’t work, oral medications such as anticholinergics, beta-blockers, or clonidine might be prescribed.

These drugs block the neurotransmitters that stimulate the sweat glands, thus reducing sweating.

However, they may cause side effects such as the dry mouth and drowsiness. That’s why following your doctor’s prescription and seeking medical advice before taking these medications is important.

Botulinum Toxin Injections

Botulinum toxin, or Botox, is a popular, effective treatment option for hyperhidrosis. It blocks the neurotransmitters that activate sweat glands, thus reducing sweat production in the targeted area.

This minimally invasive procedure usually takes less than an hour to complete. The effects of Botox injections last several months, and you’ll need to repeat the procedure periodically to maintain the results.


If other treatments fail, surgery is an option for extreme cases of hyperhidrosis. Endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy (ETS) is the most common surgical procedure for hyperhidrosis.

ETS involves cutting, burning, or clamping the nerves that signal the sweat glands to produce sweat. This procedure is effective but can cause side effects such as compensatory sweating.

It’s essential to weigh the risks and benefits of surgery before agreeing to undergo the procedure.

Take the First Step Towards Relieving Your Hyperhidrosis: Contact Zecca Today!

Hyperhidrosis can be difficult to deal with, but treatments such as the one offered by Zecca have seen immense progress in recent years. The purified toxin injection is only getting more and more successful each time it is used, and those that suffer from excessive sweating can often find relief from its effects.

Experiencing better comfort can help bring about an improved lifestyle and outlook on life, so why not take advantage of what Zecca has to offer? By using the knowledge available when speaking to Zecca’s experts, you can get off on the right foot towards relieving your hyperhidrosis troubles. So don’t wait any longer!

Get in touch with Zecca today and take the first steps towards freeing yourself from the discomfort of excessive sweating.

About Zecca

Step into the world of Zecca and experience the most advanced non-surgical cosmetic treatments in Australia.

What sets Zecca apart is their team of all-female experts who truly understand your aesthetic needs. You’ll be treated in a medical clinic that feels like a luxurious spa, with state-of-the-art technology that restores, rejuvenates and maintains your aesthetic health.

Approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration, university-educated, medically trained and fully accredited specialists administer each treatment with the utmost care and precision.

Located within The Fountain, an elegant heritage building in Alexandria, Sydney, Zecca combines artistry, science and care to deliver the ultimate aesthetic and sensory experience.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Are the Different Types of Hyperhidrosis?

There are two main types of hyperhidrosis: primary and secondary hyperhidrosis. An overactive nervous system causes primary hyperhidrosis, while an underlying medical condition, such as some infections or other health issues, causes secondary hyperhidrosis.

What Are the Common Areas Affected by Hyperhidrosis?

The most common areas affected by hyperhidrosis are the palms of the hands, the soles of the feet, and the underarms, although any part of the body can be affected.

Can Hyperhidrosis Be Treated?

Yes, hyperhidrosis can be treated. Several hyperhidrosis treatment options are available, including antiperspirants, medications, iontophoresis (a treatment using a weak electric current), botox injections, and surgery.

How Can I Control Sweating?

There are several ways to absorb and control sweat, including wearing sweat-absorbing clothing, using antiperspirants or powders, avoiding triggers that cause sweating, and practising stress management techniques.

Is Hyperhidrosis a Serious Condition?

While hyperhidrosis is not usually a serious medical condition, it can significantly impact a person’s quality of life and cause emotional distress. Severe hyperhidrosis can also lead to skin issues and an increased risk of infection.

What Is Focal Hyperhidrosis?

Focal hyperhidrosis is a type of primary hyperhidrosis affecting specific body areas, such as the palms, feet, or underarms. It can occur without any underlying medical condition and may be genetic.

Can Hyperhidrosis Cause Dry Mouth?

While hyperhidrosis does not directly cause dry mouth, some medications used to treat excessive sweating can cause dry mouth as a side effect.

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