Hyperhidrosis: Who gets and causes
Who gets hyperhidrosis?
It is difficult to say how many people have excessive sweating. Many people never see a doctor. Some are too embarrassed to talk with a doctor. Others do not realize that this is a treatable medical condition. Dermatologists estimate that 3% of people in the United States have excessive sweating.
We know that some people are more likely to get hyperhidrosis. Researchers have learned that most people have one of the following:
- Family member who sweats excessively.
- Medical condition that causes the sweating.
- Medicine or food supplement that they take, which can cause excessive sweating.
When the excessive sweating occurs in one or two areas of the body, it is likely that a family member also has this condition.
Many medical conditions can cause excessive sweating. These include diabetes and gout. A tumor or injury also can cause excessive sweating.
Women often sweat excessively when they get hot flashes during menopause. The cause is obvious. Some women, however, develop excessive sweating after they have gone through menopause. This sweating does not have an obvious cause.
People of all races get hyperhidrosis. The excessive sweating can begin at any age. For many people, it begins when they are a child or teen. Dermatologists believe that more children and adolescents have this condition than are diagnosed.
Whether you live in a cold climate or a warm one, you can have hyperhidrosis.
What causes hyperhidrosis?
Certain nerves tell the body when to sweat. It is possible that these nerves overreact, causing excessive sweating.
We know that you cannot catch it from someone.
Dermatologists continue to study what causes this condition. They also continue improve treatments. If excessive sweating interferes with your life, you may want to see a dermatologist. Many effective treatments are available.
Bellet J. “Hyperhidrosis and hypertrichosis in children and adolescents.” Focus session presented at the 2013 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Dermatology: Miami. Mar 2013.
Walling H. “Clinical differentiation of primary from secondary hyperhidrosis.” J Am Acad Dermatol. 2011;64:690-5.