Hyperhidrosis

Also known as: excessive sweating.

What is hyperhidrosis?

Hyperhidrosis is the medical term for excessive sweating. While sweating is a necessarily bodily function to help cool your body, those with hyperhidrosis sweat much more than is needed to regulate the body’s temperature.

What causes hyperhidrosis?

Hyperhidrosis can be “Primary” where no reason is found and excessive sweating occurs in certain parts of the body like the hands, underarms, face and feet. It may be hereditary and run in families.

“Secondary” hyperhidrosis (or generalized sweating) is caused by an underlying medical conditions such as high blood pressure (hypertension) or increased thyroid function (hyperthyroidism). Certain medicines or food can also cause hyperhidrosis.

What are the symptoms of hyperhidrosis?

With primary hyperhidrosis have constant excessive sweating of the hands and/or feet (most commonly) or forehead, regardless of the environmental temperature, only stopping at night. The sweating can also interfere with daily activities (writing, use of touch-screens etc.) and can lead to soft, white or peeling skin. Embarrassment may lead children to becoming socially isolated, interfere with their daily lives and develop psychological problems.  

What are hyperhidrosis care options?

Treatments depend on severity, and the age of the child. Several treatment options are available. These include; antiperspirants, oral medications, low voltage electrical therapy (iontophoresis), botox injections, other therapies and surgery in children who don't respond.

Reviewed by: Jack Wolfsdorf, MD, FAAP

This page was last updated on: July 16, 2021 12:16 PM

Children's Dermatology

The Division of Dermatology at Nicklaus Children's Hospital focuses on the latest medications and technology available for the specialized treatment of all skin diseases and disorders affecting children of all ages.

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Learn more about

High Blood Pressure

Hypertension (high blood pressure) is defined as a child's blood pressure greater than that of  95% of their normal peers. Learn more

Hypothyroidism

The thyroid gland is a butterfly-shaped gland located in the neck that produces two important hormones, thyroxine and triiodothyronine (T4 and T3). When the production of these hormones is lower than usual, the patient has hypothyroidism. Learn more