Condition Overview

Hyperhidrosis is a disease characterized by perspiration in excess of the physiologic amount necessary to maintain thermal homeostasis.[9] Primary or idiopathic hyperhidrosis and secondary hyperhidrosis are the two main categories.[19] Patients can have excessive sweating either in a localized area (focal) or over the entire body (generalized).[19] Primary disease is usually focal, affecting the soles, palms, and axillae in various combinations and with varying degrees of severity.[2] Secondary hyperhidrosis can be generalized or focal.[2] In secondary hyperhidrosis the symptoms are due to one of a large number of medical conditions, including endocrine disorders, neurological problems, use of certain drugs, cancer, chronic infections, dermatologic syndromes, and conditions associated with excess catecholamine discharge.[19] Occasionally hyperhidrosis can be seen on the head and face as a primary disorder [92] or become apparent as gustatory sweating secondary to parotid surgery or diabetes.[83,111]