Increased sweating (hyperhidrosis)

Abnormal increased sweating is known as hyperhidrosis. Idiopathic hyperhidrosis is the most common form of excessive sweating. It is called idiopathic because no cause can be found for it. It can develop during childhood or later in life and can affect any part of the body, but the palms and soles or the armpits are the most commonly affected areas. The excessive sweating may occur even during cool weather, but it is worse during warm weather and when a person is under emotional stress.

Some known causes include:

  • Obesity
  • Hormonal changes associated with menopause (hot flushes)
  • Illnesses associated with fever, such as infection or malaria
  • An overactive thyroid gland (hyperthyroidism)
  • Diabetes
  • Certain medications.

In the majority of cases, no investigations are required to diagnose hyperhidrosis. Occasionally, a blood test for thyroid disease is recommended.

Treatment:  Botulinum toxin injections – to paralyse sweat glands. The effect from a single injection lasts six to nine months. Acland St Medical Centre provides such treatment – please, call to make an appointment.