Excessive sweating (hyperhidrosis) is a very common and extremely embarrassing problem affecting between 1-2% of the population with a slightly higher frequency in men than women. It most commonly affects the armpits, but the palms of the hands, soles of the feet and forehead can also be affected.
What is excessive sweating?
Sweating is a normal physiological process which the body uses to keep itself cool and at times of stress. Hyperhidrosis occurs when the body produces excessive sweat during these times or continues to produce sweat when it is not required. People with excessive sweating often find themselves limited to what clothes they wear, often wearing a jacket or a t-shirt under their clothes to try and disguise their problem, it often leads to low self-esteem and a fear of being in the public eye.
It is commonly an inherited condition but can be related to certain medical conditions or medication. The good news though is that there are treatments for this condition, including medical anti- perspirant deodorants (often containing high concentrations of aluminium which can be irritating to the skin), iontophoresis (passing an electric current through tap water with the palms or soles submerged, this leads to a thickening of the skin and reduced sweat production and needs to be done on a regular basis), injectable treatment, medication (often not very effective and limited due to the high frequency of side-effects) and surgery.