Hyperhidrosis is a disorder characterized by excessive sweating.
Sweating is a normal reaction by the body to cool itself down when it is overheated. However, individuals who suffer from hyperhidrosis can produce up to four or five times the amount of sweat required to cool the body. Although nobody understands the exact cause of this excessive sweating in specific individuals, it is known that the sweating is controlled by the sympathetic nervous system.
This condition most noticeably affects the underarms, palms, soles, upper forehead, scalp, back and pelvic area. People with this condition can be plagued with not only sweaty clothes and a moist handshake, but also with skin infections and social embarrassment. It can have a significant impact on self-confidence and diminish an individual’s quality of life.
What Are the Different Types of Hyperhidrosis?
Treatment options for hyperhidrosis depend on which of the following 2 types of hyperhidrosis is affecting you:
- Primary hyperhidrosis, also called focal hyperhidrosis, affects specific areas such as the underarms,palms, feet, and face. It is caused by a malfunction within the sympathetic nervous system that over stimulates the nerves that cause the sweat glands to produce more sweat.
- Secondary hyperhidrosis, also called generalized hyperhidrosis, usually affects the entire body. It is caused by medication or another medical condition such as menopause, metabolic disorders, neurological disorders, or infections.
How do I know if I sweat too much?
You may be suffering from hyperhidrosis if:
- You change clothes more than once a day due to sweat stains
- You are reluctant to make physical contact and shake hands
- You are self-conscious or embarrassed due to sweating
- You are frequently worried someone will notice your sweat stains and body odour
- Sweating interferes with your daily social and work activities
- You select clothes that will not show sweat easily
How do I know which treatment will be effective for me?
One of the physicians at the Toronto Sweat Clinic will take your medical history, perform an examination and assess you. He will determine the best treatment for your excessive sweating based on several factors relating to your condition. Read this PDF file that compares treatment options. This document was created by our Medical Experts for referring physicians:
Pros and Cons of Treatment Options for Focal Hyperhidrosis
Download our treatment fact sheet
The Toronto Sweat Clinic is a world leader in the management of focal hyperhidrosis. We have developed 2 algorithms to treat excessive sweating of the hands (palmar hyperhidrosis) or underarms (axillary hyperhidrosis). Please feel free to print these out!
Resources on Hyperhidrosis
Diagnosing Hyperhidrosis: standardizing symptom severity
We at TSC subjectively assess the patient’s history. If patients are complaining of a sudden triggering of sweat in their hands,..… Read More
Understanding The Cause Of Hyperhidrosis
We have seen a strong family clustering for hyperhidrosis, suggesting a genetic component. In fact, at TSC, we have operated on many..… Read More
Selecting the appropriate patient for ETS
Typical Symptoms in Patients with Palmar Hyperhidrosis: When evaluating a patient with palmar hyperhidrosis, the physician relies..… Read More
Contraindications for ETS
There are very few contraindications for ETS. It is critical that the patient fully understand all their options, including Botox,..… Read More
Bilateral VATS Endoscopic Thoracic Sympathectomy
Pearl #1: Select Your Patient Correctly We feel this is the most critical part of the pathway. A poorly screened patient may suffer..… Read More
Discussion on Hyperhidrosis
Clinical Controversy In a study by Lin et al., there appeared to be no difference in success rates when comparing patients who..… Read More
About Focal Hyperhidrosis
Focal hyperhidrosis is a major clinical problem, affecting more than 4% of the population. Below are some key points to guide you when..… Read More
The miraDry Procedure: what to expect
Common questions about miraDry Pre-procedure: The miraDry procedure will be performed at the Toronto Sweat Clinic by a..… Read More