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Underarm Sweating (axillary Hyperhidrosis)

Information And Treatment

A person with hyperhidrosis - which may affect as much as 3% of the world's population - sweats far more than is necessary to regulate their body's temperature. Some, in fact, never stop sweating. It's not a dangerous condition, but it can be embarrassing and uncomfortable if not treated.

There are dozens of causes of hyperhidrosis. It often it results from a malfunction within the nervous system, such as spinal cord injury, but it can also be caused by some drugs, tumors, menopause, mercury poisoning, and innumerable other factors. Heat, anxiety, and excitement can induce sweating in sufferers, as can caffeine, spicy foods, and nicotine.

It should be noted that sweat doesn't cause the underarms' customary body odor; that odor is thanks to bacteria living on the surface of the skin. Those with hyperhidrosis aren't likely to smell much worse than those without. The excessive sweating, however, can be quite embarrassing. Treatment options run the gamut from simple antiperspirants to full-blown surgery.

Age range: Primary (congenital) hyperhidrosis usually manifests at puberty. Some research suggests that it can be passed from parent to child.