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"What causes excessive sweating?"

ZocdocAnswersWhat causes excessive sweating?


Both my dad and I sweat all the time. We could sweat in a blizzard. I always just assumed it was normal, but recently I've had some embarrassing incidents where I was sweating through my dress clothes. Is this some kind of problem that I can take a medication for?


The evaluation of excessive sweating involves the care of specialists such as internists, dermatologists, and others. The cause of excessive sweating (hyperhidrosis) can be from a number of different causes. This is a very common complaint and it rarely can be from an underlying serious medical disorder but it can be physically and emotionally distressing. The most common is cause is chronic primary idiopathic hyperhidrosis without an underlying systemic medical condition. It usually involves specific parts of the body, and not the whole body. Eccrine and apocrine glands are involved in sweating. Particularly, eccrine glands are thought to be the culprit for hyperhidrosis. Systemic causes should first be ruled out. This includes infections such as tuberculosis, HIV, and endocarditis. Also, cancers should be evaluated including lymphoma and carcinoid. And also certain endocrine problems such as thyroid disorders and pheochromocytoma should be evaluated. Certain medications can cause this. If over-the-counter antiperspirants don't work, there are prescription antiperspirants. These should be worn nightly and after one week, it can be spaced out. Sometimes these topical medications can be irritating. Certain medications, such as anticholinergics, beta-blockers, and benzodiazepines. Certain procedures exist such as iontophoresis, botox injections, and surgery. It is not possible to develop a diagnosis and care plan without seeing the patient. It is therefore the strong recommendation to be evaluated by a dermatologist in person.

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