Hyperhidrosis or excessive sweating is a common disorder affecting many people. Hyperhidrosis can also cause excessive foot, underarm, hand and facial sweating. It is thought that hyperhidrosis is a result of over activity of the sympathetic nervous system. The sympathetic nervous system is the part of our nervous system that controls involuntary responses to different stimuli. It also controls the increase or decrease of heart rate due to anxiety.

Sweating is often uncontrollable, embarrassing and not anticipated . Normal sweating is needed for thermal regulation however in people suffering from hyperhidrosis, sweating exceeds the bodies need for physiological temperature regulation.

Hyperhidrosis is an inherited problem that has been seen in almost every ethnic group. People don’t get used to living with hyperhidrosis but they continue to suffer throughout their lives from it.

Hyperhidrosis can have severe physiological consequences such as cold and clammy feet and hands, dehydration, and skin infections secondary to maceration (or breakdown) of the skin. Hyperhidrosis can also have devastating emotional effects on one’s individual life. Affected people are constantly aware of their condition and try to modify their lifestyle to accommodate this problem. This can be disabling in professional, academic and social life, causing daily embarrassments. Many routine tasks become impossible chores, which can psychologically drain these individuals on a constant basis.

Fortunately with the recent advances in medicine, many forms of treatment are available to treat hyperhidrosis. Medications, topical antiperspirants, iontophoresis. In severe cases patients may be referred to neurologists for evaluation of possible procedures.