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Sweating: Types, Causes and Treatment


Sweating is a body’s response to exercise, heat, and stress. It is body’s mechanism to maintain its body temperature. Perspiration is commonly known as sweating. Sweat is a salt-based fluid from your sweat glands. Sweating is common, but no sweat or too much sweat can both cause problems.

When the outside temperature changes, your body temperature also changes, or by your emotional state.

The common areas of sweating areas of the body:

  • Armpits
  • Face
  • Palms of the hands
  • Soles of the feet

Excessive Sweating

Excessive sweating is an abnormal condition that is not necessarily related to heat or exercise. Excessive sweating is commonly known as Hyperhidrosis.

  • It can be localized to a particular body area or maybe diffused, involving much of the skin.
  • Axillary hyperhidrosis is excess sweating of the underarms.
  • Palmoplantar hyperhidrosis is excess sweating of the palms and soles of the feet.
  • Excessive sweating is a treatable condition, and those affected can expect significant improvement.
Hyperhidrosis is characterized into two types:
  • Primary hyperhidrosis
  • Secondary hyperhidrosis

Primary hyperhidrosis:

Primary hyperhidrosis causes excessive sweating of the feet, hands, face, head, and underarms without any noticeable reason. Primary hyperhidrosis is also known as Primary focal hyperhidrosis.

Secondary hyperhidrosis:

Secondary hyperhidrosis is caused by sweat all over the body and can be caused by excessive heat or, by medical condition or medication (heart disease, cancer, diabetes, menopause, stroke, spinal cord injuries, and use of some antidepressants).

Excessive Sweating in women

Excessive sweating is not common in healthy women, but there are some reasons why a woman might have excessive sweating:

  • Menopause, due to change in hormone levels
  • Low blood sugar
  • Diabetes, which may include nocturnal hyperhidrosis, caused by low blood sugar during the night.
  • Pregnancy, due to shifting hormones.
  • Hormone imbalance
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Sweat-causing medications, including chemotherapy, hormone treatment, some blood pressure medications, and certain antidepressants.
  • Anxiety disorders
  • A family history of excessive sweating
  • Obesity

Excessive Sweating causes

  • Acromegaly
  • Diabetic hypoglycemia
  • Fever
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Infection
  • Leukemia
  • Lymphoma
  • Malaria
  • Warm temperature
  • Exercises
  • Painkillers
  • Menopause
  • Spicy food
  • Anger
  • Fear
  • Embarrassment
  • Anxiety
  • Emotional stress

What causes excessive sweating of the face and head?

Sweating on the face and the head is a common problem and can be even more stressful and embarrassing than other excessive sweating types. Excessive sweating of the face and head is known as craniofacial hyperhidrosis.

Causes of excessive sweating on the face and head:

  • Extreme stress and anxiety disorders.
  • Taking certain Medications.
  • Hyperthyroidism ( Hormones ).
  • Hyperhidrosis affects your entire body or just certain areas, particularly your palms, soles, underarms or face.

Excessive Sweating treatment

There are medication, Surgical, and other procedures for treating excessive sweating:

  • Prescription antiperspirant – The doctor may prescribe an antiperspirant Drysol, Xerac Ac. It’s usually applied to the affected skin before you go to bed and washed off after getting up. This product can cause skin and eye irritation.
  • Prescription creams – A prescription cream that contains glycopyrrolate may help in craniofacial hyperhidrosis.
  • Antidepressants– Some medications used for depression can help in decreasing sweating.
  • Botulinum toxin injections– Botox injections are used to treat severe hyperhidrosis. Botox injections block the nerves that stimulate the sweat glands.
  • Sweat gland removal– If excessive sweating occurs just in the armpits, the surgeon removes the sweat glands. A minimally invasive technique called suction curettage may be performed for removal of sweat glands.
  • Endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy (EST)– Endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy (EST) is the surgical intervention performed in which the excessive sweating has not responded to other treatments. In this procedure, the nerves that carry messages to the sweat glands are cut. Endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy used to treat hyperhidrosis of the face and hands or armpits.
  • Microwave therapy– A device that delivers microwave energy which is used to destroy sweat glands. Treatments involve upto 20-30 minutes sessions for three months. Side effects may change skin sensation and cause some discomfort.


Q. How to reduce sweating?

A. Some home remedies can help you to reduce sweating by:

  • Using antiperspirants on the affected area
  • Bathing daily to get rid of bacteria
  • Wearing shoes and socks made from natural materials
  • Letting your feet breathe
  • Changing your socks frequently

Q. What are the benefits of sweating?

A. There are several health benefits of sweating which include:

  • Physical exertion benefits from exercise
  • Elimination of chemicals and toxic amounts of metal from the body.
  • Bacterial-cleansing

Q. How to control sweating?

A. There are some tips to control or reduce sweating:

  • Apply antiperspirant before bed
  • Wear breathable fabrics
  • Avoid spicy food
  • Reduce caffeine intake
  • Stay hydrated
  • Some medical treatments

Q. How to stop excessive sweating?

A. To stop excessive sweating:

  • Use an antiperspirant
  • Limit spicy, fatty, or salty foods
  • Stay hydrated
  • Wear breathable clothing

Q. What is hyperhidrosis?

A. Hyperhidrosis is an abnormal condition that is not necessarily related to heat or exercise. Hyperhidrosis is commonly known as Excessive sweating. It can be localized to a particular body area or maybe diffuse, involving much of the skin.

Q. Is there any treatment for Hyperhidrosis?

A. Yes, there are many treatments for Hyperhidrosis. Some of the treatments for Hyperhidrosis are:

  • Specialized antiperspirant 
  • Iontophoresis
  • Anticholinergic drugs
  • Botox (botulinum toxin)
  • Surgery
  • By changing lifestyle