What is Hyperhidrosis?

Under certain circumstances, sweating is a completely natural response designed to cool the body. Most often, sweating occurs in response to conditions such as physical activity, warm weather, feelings of stress, and even out of anger. However, for approximately 1% of adults, sweating occurs for no apparent reason and at a higher volume. Such individuals suffer from hyperhidrosis: A disorder that leads to excessive sweating in regular activities that do not typically activate your sweat glands.

Cause of Hyperhidrosis

Hyperhidrosis is caused when the automatic stimulation of your sweat glands is hyperactive. The response to stress, increased temperatures, and other instances may excessively stimulate sweat glands specifically in highly concentrated areas such as the hands, feet, armpits, and genital regions.

Types of Hyperhidrosis

Primary Focal Hyperhidrosis: With this form of hyperhidrosis, excessive sweating primarily takes place on the head, underarms, hands, feet, and face. Individuals with primary focal hyperhidrosis are typically diagnosed during childhood as the excessive sweating presents during these early years. It is estimated that anywhere between 30 to 50 percent of those living with primary focal hyperhidrosis have a family history of excessive sweating.

Secondary Generalized Hyperhidrosis: Unlike primary focal hyperhidrosis, secondary generalized hyperhidrosis results as a side effect to certain medications or is caused by a medical condition. In most cases, secondary generalized hyperhidrosis presents during adulthood. With this form of hyperhidrosis, excessive sweating can take place all over the body or in a single area. It is also possible for sweating to occur during sleep.


In a majority of people, the automatic response to stress and increased temperature does not excessively stimulate the sweat glands; however, people who have hyperhidrosis have hyperactive sweat glands that leads to excessive sweating.

Symptoms of Hyperhidrosis

  • Excessively sweating for at least six months without apparent reason
  • Excessively sweating in hands, feet, and armpits
  • Sweating from everyday tasks like taking notes in class or shaking someone’s hand
  • Sweating that takes place on both sides of the body in roughly the same amount
  • Excessively blushing on the face, neck, and upper chest
  • Visible sweating that soaks through clothes
  • Family history of excessive sweating
  • Sweating that interferes with work or relationships

How is it diagnosed?

Your doctor may recommend a series of tests including a blood, urine, and sweat test to determine if excessive sweating is caused by hyperactive sweat glands or another condition such as an overactive thyroid or low blood sugar.

To identify the areas of hyperactive sweating and the severity of the disorder, your doctor may recommend an iodine-starch test, skin conductance, or thermoregulatory sweat test.

Hyperhidrosis Treatment Options

Treatment for Hyperhidrosis is often minimally invasive and topical, and we typically only recommend hyperhidrosis surgery to patients with severe Hyperhidrosis.

  • MiraDry® – A non-invasive treatment specifically for excessive underarm sweating.  
  • Botox® – Binds receptors to prevent activation of sweat glands.
  • Antiperspirants – Over-the-counter treatment to prevent sweat from reaching the surface.
  • Medical Therapy – Oral prescription treatment to prevent the stimulation of sweat glands.
  • Iontopheresis – Treatment specifically for sweaty hands and feet that utilizes a mild electric current through water to reduce hyperactive sweat glands.
  • ETS – Minimally invasive surgery for patients with severe palmar hyperhidrosis (sweaty hands).

Hyperhidrosis Treatment in NYC

 Because hyperhidrosis is a very personal and rarely discussed disorder, many sufferers are unsure of when to seek professional help for their condition. If you are experiencing excessive sweating that is impacting your daily life and happiness, you do not have to suffer alone. The Center for Hyperhidrosis offers state of the art hyperhidrosis treatment in NYC for those that wish to take back their lives once and for all from this highly disruptive disorder.

Through a multidisciplinary approach to treatment for hyperhidrosis involving highly effective non-surgical and surgical treatments administered by Board Certified Dermatologists and Thoracic Surgeons, we believe that all patients can obtain relief from their symptoms.



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