What is Hyperhidrosis Disorder?

Hyperhidrosis disorder is a condition that involves excessive sweating. We all experience sweat, as it is a natural occurrence that helps cool down our bodies. However, excessive sweating usually occurs at random times or happens for no reason. It does not occur just because you are exercising or if it is warm. There are some conditions that can cause excessive sweating, such as menopause or hyperthyroidism. Only about 5% of Americans have hyperhidrosis. However, this statistic can be incorrect due to the possibility that people disregard or do not realize they have this condition.

Here we will be looking at the two different types of hyperhidrosis. Then, we will discuss what are possible symptoms and treatment options.

Please note: I am not a doctor. Although this article has undergone extensive research, this information should not take the place of advice from a healthcare professional you trust. Contact your doctor if you have any questions or concerns.

Two Types of Hyperhidrosis

Let’s look at the two types of hyperhidrosis disorder:

Primary Focal Hyperhidrosis

The first type of hyperhidrosis is called: primary focal hyperhidrosis. This usually occurs when an individual sweats from the feet, hands, face, and/or underarms. It also tends to start as a child and appears to be more likely among those who have a family history of hyperhidrosis.

Secondary Generalized Hyperhidrosis

The second type of hyperhidrosis is called: secondary generalized hyperhidrosis. This type is usually caused by or related to a medical condition. Certain conditions that can cause secondary generalized hyperhidrosis include: adrenal gland disorders, cnacer, heart disease, hyperthyroidism, lung disease, menopause, Parkinson’s disease, spinal cord injuries, stroke, or infectious diseases like HIV.

Certain medications can also cause excessive sweating, including antidepressants like desipramined, nortriptyline, and protriptyline. Other medications can include pilocarpine for dry mouth or zinc for mineral dietary supplement.

Unlike the first type, the second usually starts in adulthood not childhood. As indicated by the title of this type, this condition is more generalized and involves more generalized sweating. Sweating can occur all over the body or in just one area. Also, excessive sweating can occur while sleeping.


Although the symptoms of hyperhidrosis disorder is fairly obvious, there are particular signs other than excessive sweating that are indicators of this disorder. Contact your doctor if you believe you have hyperhidrosis or show signs of this disorder. In some cases, hyperhidrosis can be an indicator of something more serious or an underlying medical condition. So, it is important to reach out to a doctor you trust. Certain symptoms include:

  • sweating that lasts for a long period of time (at least six months) that occurs at least once a week
  • sweating that happens on both sides of the body
  • sweat that is excessive and can make certain daily activities difficult
  • a family history of hyperhidrosis

Different symptoms can arise depending on the type of hyperhidrosis you have. Review the differences between each type and contact your doctor who can give you more detailed information.


There are several ways to help treat hyperhidrosis.

At-Home Options

  • Antibacterial Soap: Wash yourself everyday with an antibacterial soap to get rid of the bacteria that can cause odors. Apply antiperspirant after drying your skin.
  • Antiperspirants: This can be purchased over-the-counter at your local store. However, if this does not seem to be working for you, your doctor can always prescribe you something stronger. It can be applied under the armpits as well as at the hands, feet, and hairline.
  • Clothing: Certain kinds of clothing can help, such as light and breathable types of fabrics. Cotton and silk are great examples. Shoe inserts can help absorb sweat and help control odors.
  • Food: Avoid consuming anything spicy. Do not consume any hot drinks or alcohol.

Medical Options

  • Anticholinergic Drugs: This oral drug can help stop the activation of the sweat glands. However, there are several side effects associated with anticholinergic drugs, including blurred vision, trouble urinating, and heart problems.
  • Botox: Botox, or botulinum toxin A, is another treatment option. It helps stop the release of the chemical responsible for telling the sweat glands to activate. Although you may need more than one injection, the effects can last up to a year.
  • Iontophoresis: This process involves the use of water and electrical waves. You place your hands or feet (or both) in the water where a low electrical current goes through the water. It is supposed to block sweat from getting to the surface of your skin. However, this treatment option is not for everyone and should not be considered by women who are pregnant or plan on becoming pregnant or those individuals who have pacemakers, metal implants, heart problems, or epilepsy.
  • Surgery: As a last resort, your doctor may recommend surgery if you have a severe case of hyperhidrosis. This option is usually successful, but can lead to compensatory sweating in which one part of the body stops sweating, but another part starts sweating to compensate.