Hyperhidrosis in Adult
Primary hyperhidrosis is idiopathic focal sweating; triggers may include emotions (eg, anxiety), heat, and spicy food. Pathophysiology is not fully understood but is thought to result from neurogenic overactivity of sweat glands involving both the sympathetic and parasympathetic pathways. Secondary hyperhidrosis is usually generalized and is associated with an underlying medical condition (eg, metabolic disorder, neurologic condition, infection, or malignancy) or medication use.
Primary hyperhidrosis occurs in both children and adults. It often begins in teenage years. It is less common in elderly individuals. It is estimated to affect between 1% and 3% of the population. A positive family history is common.
The 3 main areas of the body that are affected in primary hyperhidrosis are the palms, feet, and axillae. Prepubescent children with this condition tend to present with palmoplantar hyperhidrosis, since axillary glands are not fully developed until after puberty. After puberty, axillary hyperhidrosis is the most common presentation. In addition to palms, feet, and axillae, affected body regions include the scalp and groin.
Hyperhidrosis can cause significant anxiety and embarrassment and disrupt social and professional activities.
For more information, see OMIM.
R61 – Generalized hyperhidrosis
312230002 – Hyperhidrosis
- Frey syndrome (auriculotemporal syndrome, gustatory sweating after parotidectomy)
- Peripheral neuropathy
- Spinal cord injury
- Anxiety disorder
- Diabetes (type 1, type 2)
- Hyperthyroidism or hyperpituitarism (eg, from pituitary adenoma)
- Pregnancy or menopause
- Carcinoid syndrome
- Alcohol use disorder
- Cocaine use
- Heroin use (including withdrawal)
- Sertraline or other antidepressants
- Poisoning (acetaminophen, cyanide, mercury)