What Causes Excessive Sweating?

Excessive sweating, also known as hyperhidrosis, can have various causes. It is important to note that some individuals naturally sweat more than others due to differences in their sweat gland activity and body’s thermoregulation. However, if excessive sweating significantly impacts daily life or occurs without an apparent reason, it may be attributed to the following factors:

  1. Primary hyperhidrosis: Primary hyperhidrosis is a condition in which excessive sweating occurs without an underlying medical cause. It typically affects specific areas, such as the palms, soles of the feet, underarms, or face. The exact cause of primary hyperhidrosis is not well understood, but it is believed to involve overactivity of the sweat glands due to an overactive sympathetic nervous system.
  2. Secondary hyperhidrosis: Secondary hyperhidrosis is excessive sweating caused by an underlying medical condition or external factors. It can be triggered by various factors, including:
    • Medical conditions: Certain medical conditions can cause secondary hyperhidrosis, such as thyroid problems (hyperthyroidism), menopause, diabetes, heart disease, certain infections, and some types of cancer.
    • Medications: Some medications may have hyperhidrosis as a side effect. Examples include certain antidepressants, antipsychotics, antipyretics, and hormone therapies.
    • Hormonal changes: Hormonal fluctuations, such as those occurring during menopause or puberty, can cause temporary excessive sweating.
    • Anxiety and stress: Emotional stress, anxiety, and nervousness can trigger excessive sweating in some individuals.
    • Obesity: Excess weight can contribute to increased sweating, as the body may need to work harder to regulate temperature.
    • Heat and humidity: Hot weather or high humidity levels can cause increased sweating as the body attempts to cool down.
  3. Genetic factors: There may be a genetic predisposition to excessive sweating, as it can sometimes run in families.

If excessive sweating is bothersome or affects daily activities, it is recommended to consult a healthcare professional. They can evaluate the underlying causes, conduct necessary tests, and suggest appropriate treatment options. Treatments for excessive sweating may include antiperspirants, medications, Botox injections, iontophoresis, and in severe cases, surgical interventions.