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What Are the Causes of Excessive Underarm Perspiration?

by Vanessa Willoughby
  • Overview

    Excessive underarm sweating, according to New York Presbyterian Hospital, is known as hyperhidrosis. This medical condition, also known as primary hyperhidrosis, affects 2-3% of the population, reports the U.S. National Library of Medicine.
  • Causes

    The U.S. National Library of Medicine states that people who have excessive underarm perspiration appear to have overactive glands. This kind of condition is labeled as "chronic" and may also be a sign of thyroid problems, low blood sugar levels, or a nervous system disorder, according to New York Presbyterian Hospital.
 
  • Focal Hyperhidrosis

    Excessive sweating that affects the armpits, hands and feet is called primary or focal hyperhidrosis, reports the U.S. National Library of Medicine.
  • Secondary Hyperhidrosis

    The U.S. National Library of Medicine reports that if excessive sweating occurs due to another medical condition, it's called secondary hyperhidrosis. Sweating happens in one concentrated area, such as the armpits. According to the NLM, some causes of secondary hyperhidrosis can be anxiety conditions, cancer, heart disease, glucose control disorders, menopause, or stroke.
  • Symptoms

    There are a few tell-tale symptoms of hyperhidrosis. According to the Mayo Clinic, these symptoms include: frequent, noticeable, excessive sweating that can soak through clothing, abnormal perspiration that is both excessive and bothersome, and/or clamminess or dripping of sweat droplets on the palms of the hands or soles of the feet.
  • Treatment

    According to the Mayo Clinic, treatment for excessive underarm perspiration may include prescription deodorant, anticholinergic drugs, botox, iontophoresis, or in rare cases, surgery.

    References & Resources