Hyperhidrosis is a genetic condition that causes abnormal and excessive heat loss, through excessive sweating, from the hands, feet or underarms. The heat loss may be so efficient that most persons with hyperhidrosis have body temperatures below 98.6 degrees F. Hyperhidrosis usually affects the palms, feet and underarms, but can also affect the face and trunk or be general in nature.
Hyperhidrosis is not due to emotional distress, but is caused by a physiologic trigger that results in the hands and feet becoming cold and clammy and literally dripping with sweat. From the underarms, sweat may drip down the chest wall and ruin clothes, thus significantly limiting the sufferer's choices of fabrics and colors.
Hyperhidrosis affects men and women, all races and every age group. For example, 1 of every 25 Caucasians has hyperhidrosis. Asians have an even higher rate of incidence---1 of every 5 suffers from this condition. A recent study estimated that 12 million Americans have hyperhidrosis.
For persons with hyperhidrosis, this excessive sweating can occur at any time: while you are in a cold room, while you are calm, restful and without feeling any stress or anxiety, and even when you are alone reading a book or watching TV. Someone with hyperhidrosis faces daily embarrassments. Your quality of life is greatly affected. Hyperhidrosis touches every important aspect of your life, from relationships to career choices.
Coping with hyperhidrosis is not easy. Excessive sweating / excessive perspiration can take a toll on one's self confidence and relationship with others. Hyperhidrosis has a definite genetic history even though the parents may not actually have the symptoms. Many persons with hyperhidrosis find themselves "hiding their sweating" from even their closest friends or partners.
Hyperhidrosis is caused by a hyperactive sympathetic nervous system. The areas of the body that may be affected can occur in any combination, including the face, underarms, hands and feet. The severe sweating from hyperhidrosis may start with the beginning of each day and continue throughout the day and night or it may only be intermittent. In any case, the sweating is severe and is not just sweat. It is profuse, noticeable and very uncomfortable. However, with the right treatment, hyperhidrosis can be successfully treated and cured.
For palmar hyperhydrosis, the most effective treatments are a thoracic nerve snipping surgery (permanent), botox injections (lasting up to 12 months) and an iontophoresis technique which involves applying low electrical currents to affected areas.
Causes of secondary hyperhidrosis include exercise, gout, stress, anxiety, tuberculosis, rheumatoid arthritis, lymphoma, hypoglycemia, obesity, vitiligo, insulin, hyperthyroidism, menopause, and heredity.
Home remedy: Boil five tea bags in a quart of water for five minutes. When the solution cools, soak your hands or feet for twenty to thirty minutes nightly. Tea contains tannic acid, which is also found in commercial products such as Ivy Dry, Zilactol, and Zilactin. The astringent properties of tannic acid are thought to be partly responsible for its antiperspirant action.
Sweaty palms in a tense or high-anxiety moment is perfectly normal and will ease up once the moment has passed.