Excessive sweating

What causes excessive sweating?

The medical term for excessive sweating is hyperhidrosis. It may only affect the armpits, feet or hands or it may affect all areas supplied by sweat glands. The definitive cause is not known, although hot weather, exercise and anxiety are usually common causes. In some cases an infection or hypoglycaemia (an abnormally low level of glucose in the blood) may play a part.

What can I do?

  • Buy clothes made from natural, more absorbent materials, such as cotton or leather.
  • Use antiperspirants regularly.
  • If the problem is severe, ask your doctor for advice, as some cases respond to treatment with anticholinergic drugs.
  • Be patient — most cases of hyperhidrosis start in puberty but clear up by the mid-20s or 30s.