Whether you've personally experienced the discomfort of drenched clothes and persistent wetness, or you're seeking information for a loved one, we’re here to help. Let’s delve into the different types of hyperhidrosis, and explore its causes, symptoms, and available treatment options. 

What Is Hyperhidrosis?

Sweating is a natural reaction to heat, physical activity and illness – the body trying to regulate its temperature. But if your body sweats excessively no matter the cause, you may have hyperhidrosis. 

Hyperhidrosis is a medical condition characterised by sweating more than what is necessary for internal temperature regulation. Those with hyperhidrosis often find themselves sweating excessively in situations unrelated to heat or exercise, which can be a significant cause of social anxiety, discomfort and embarrassment. 

Hyperhidrosis can manifest at any point in one’s life, and the symptoms and affected areas of the body vary from person to person. If you’re unsure whether or not you have hyperhidrosis, here are a few common indicators: 

  • You sweat in cold environments. 
  • You frequently change your clothes because of noticeable sweat marks. 
  • You feel uncomfortable during daily activities as a result of excessive sweating. 
  • You have experienced a decrease in self-esteem because of sweat marks. 
  • You avoid handshakes or physical contact with others due to sweat-related embarrassment. 
  • You purchase clothes that will hide sweat stains. 

If you believe you may have hyperhidrosis, you’re not alone. Up to 5% of the population experiences excessive sweating, and thousands more live undiagnosed. 

Types of Hyperhidrosis

There are three primary types of hyperhidrosis – primary hyperhidrosis, secondary hyperhidrosis and generalized hyperhidrosis. Here’s what to know: 

Primary Hyperhidrosis

Primary hyperhidrosis is characterized by excessive sweating in specific focal areas of the body, such as the palms, soles of the feet, underarms, or face. It typically occurs bilaterally and symmetrically. Evidence shows that primary hyperhidrosis is hereditary, although the exact cause is not well understood. It usually begins in adolescence or early adulthood and tends to be a lifelong condition.

Types of primary hyperhidrosis:

Secondary Hyperhidrosis

Secondary hyperhidrosis refers to excessive sweating that is a symptom or side effect of an underlying medical condition or external factors like medication or substance abuse. Unlike primary hyperhidrosis, people suffering from secondary hyperhidrosis sweat all over their bodies and are more likely to sweat while sleeping.

Treating the underlying cause often helps in managing secondary hyperhidrosis.

Common conditions that cause it include:

  • Menopause. Hormonal changes during menopause can cause hot flashes and excessive sweating.
  • Hyperthyroidism. An overactive thyroid gland can lead to increased sweating.
  • Diabetes. Sweating may occur as a symptom of low blood sugar levels or autonomic neuropathy.
  • Obesity. Excessive weight can contribute to sweating due to increased body heat.
  • Infections. Certain infections, such as tuberculosis or HIV, can cause sweating.
  • Anxiety and stress. Emotional factors can trigger excessive sweating in some individuals.
  • Neurological disorders. Conditions like Parkinson's disease or spinal cord injuries can disrupt the normal functioning of sweat glands.
  • Medications. Some medications, such as certain antidepressants or opioids, may cause excessive sweating as a side effect.

If you suspect that you are experiencing secondary hyperhidrosis, it is highly advisable to seek medical advice and consult with your doctor. A thorough evaluation will help identify the underlying condition responsible for your excessive sweating.

Generalized Hyperhidrosis

Generalized hyperhidrosis is characterized by excessive sweating that affects the entire body, affecting multiple areas rather than being localized to specific regions, like the underarms, hands, feet, forehead and groin.

It can result from an underlying medical condition or be idiopathic (without a known cause). Sweating can occur both during sleep and while awake. Generalized hyperhidrosis is relatively rare compared to primary hyperhidrosis.

Signs and Symptoms of Hyperhidrosis

Here are the most common signs and symptoms of hyperhidrosis: 

  1. Excessive sweating. The primary symptom of hyperhidrosis is sweating beyond what is necessary for temperature regulation. This excessive sweating can occur in specific areas or affect the entire body.
  2. Visible sweat marks and stains. Excessive sweating often leads to visible sweat marks or stains on clothing, causing embarrassment and self-consciousness.
  3. Body odor. The combination of excessive sweating and bacteria on the skin can result in unpleasant body odor, adding to the social and psychological impact of hyperhidrosis.
  4. Social anxiety and embarrassment. Hyperhidrosis can lead to social anxiety and embarrassment due to the visible signs of sweating. People with hyperhidrosis may avoid social situations, physical contact or activities that could expose their excessive sweating.
  5. Psychological impact. Living with hyperhidrosis can have a significant psychological impact on those affected. It may lead to decreased self-esteem, social isolation and even depression or anxiety, which can significantly impact well-being and quality of life.
  6. Impact on personal relationships. Hyperhidrosis can affect personal relationships due to the avoidance of physical contact or concerns about sweating during intimate moments. Furthermore, it can cause difficulties in forming new relationships or maintaining existing ones.
  7. Occupational challenges. Excessive sweating can interfere with work performance and professional interactions. Individuals with hyperhidrosis may struggle with tasks that require manual dexterity or worry about sweating during meetings, presentations, or job interviews.
  8. Skin infections. Prolonged exposure to excessive moisture can increase the risk of skin infections, such as fungal infections (e.g., athlete's foot) or bacterial infections (e.g., intertrigo), particularly in areas prone to sweating and friction.
  9. Impact on daily activities. People with hyperhidrosis may have difficulties gripping objects, handling paperwork, or using electronic devices due to sweaty hands. It can also limit clothing choices and interfere with physical activities or hobbies.

It's important to note that while these signs and symptoms are commonly associated with hyperhidrosis, each individual's experience may vary. 

Hyperhidrosis Treatment Options

Although there is no medical cure for hyperhidrosis, there are plenty of effective solutions that can minimize its effects:

Lifestyle Modifications

Implementing small lifestyle changes can make a big difference. Here are some simple additions to your daily routine that you can make to ease hyperhidrosis symptoms:

  1. Choose fabrics wisely. The clothes you wear have a significant impact on your comfort and your ability to conceal sweat marks. Opt for sweat-wicking fabrics like cotton, bamboo or micro-modal and steer clear of heavy, non-breathable fabrics like wool, nylon or leather. 
  2. Wear a sweat-proof undershirt. If you find yourself constantly dealing with uncomfortable or noticeable sweat marks, pair your everyday wear with a sweat-proof undershirt like the Thompson Tee. Thompson Tee’s patented sweat proof undershirts are guaranteed to block underarm sweat from seeping onto your outer layers, and the built-in Hydro-Shield technology wicks sweat away from the skin to keep you comfortable and confident 24/7. 
  3. Implement daily hygiene practices. A shower a day keeps (most of) the sweat away! Make sure you have a solid in-shower routine that includes using gentle soap on the areas that are most affected by excessive sweating to destroy any dirt or bacteria that could worsen moisture and body odor. Don’t forget to apply an effective deodorant or antiperspirant after you rinse off and reapply when you need extra support.
  4. Try stress management techniques. Hyperhidrosis is often linked to high levels of stress and anxiety. That being said, implementing stress management techniques like meditation, journaling or mindfulness can make a significant difference in your sweating over time. 
  5. Drink plenty of water. The more you sweat, the more water your body is losing. Staying hydrated is key to supporting your health and your body’s natural processes. 
  6. Balance your diet. Ahealthy and balanced diet can contribute to overall well-being. Some research suggests that a diet rich in fruits and vegetables with high water content, such as watermelon and cucumber, may help regulate body temperature and potentially impact sweating.

Topical Treatments

Anyone with hyperhidrosis knows that deodorant isn’t enough to ease the symptoms. Try these topical treatments in combination with your daily deodorant:

  1. Antiperspirant. A good antiperspirant is a crucial addition to any sweaty person’s daily routine. They work by using aluminum to penetrate sweat glands and block them from releasing sweat. 
  2. Prescription treatments. There are several clinical topical treatments available to treat hyperhidrosis, from creams and lotions to clinical-strength antiperspirants. Popular options include boric acid, 2-5% tannic acid solutions, resorcinol and potassium permanganate. Meet with your doctor to discuss what treatment options are available to you and find a solution that meets your specific needs. 

Oral Medications

There are a number of oral medications that can treat excessive sweating. Here are the primary options: 

  1. Anticholinergics. This type of medication causes drying over the entire body and often has side effects such as dry mouth, constipation, urinary retention and heart palpitations. Common anticholinergics include propantheline, glycopyrrolate, benztropine and oxybutynin. It is not recommended to take anticholinergics if you play sports or engage in activities that cause bodily overheating, such as outdoor work. 
  2. Beta-blockers. Beta-blockers are often prescribed as an anxiety treatment, and they work by impeding stress hormones in the body that trigger our “fight or flight” response. Temporarily blocking these responses eases excessive nervous sweating. That being said, taking beta-blockers is not a long-term solution. Common beta-blockers include propranolol, atenolol, bisoprolol and metoprolol. 
  3. Benzodiazepines. Known as “benzos” for short, this medication enhances a tranquilizing brain neurotransmitter called GABA to reduce anxiety. Although benzodiazepines may ease hyperhidrosis symptoms, they are highly addictive and can be fatal when mixed with alcohol. Common benzodiazepines include valium, xanax and klonopin. 

Note: These medications should not be taken unless recommended by your doctor. It is advised to try alternative treatments before taking oral medications. 

Botulinum Toxin Injections

Botulinum toxin injections, commonly referred to as botox, are often used to reduce wrinkles and treat certain conditions like muscle spasms and migraines – but did you know that they can also be used to treat hyperhidrosis? It works by blocking the nerve signals that instruct sweat glands to become active, which reduces excessive sweating. Treatments are typically needed every four to six months, and it costs approximately $500 per armpit. 


Iontophoresis is a medical treatment that involves sending a weak electrical current through the skin via two water-soaked ‘sponge pockets’ in each armpit. The current is passed through the skin for a fixed time before it is reversed and repeated. Although electrical currents may sound painful and intimidating, discomfort during iontophoresis is minimal. Treatments take 15 to 20 minutes and results last up to six weeks. This treatment can be completed in a doctor’s office or at home with the Dermadry at-home iontophoresis machine. 

Surgical Interventions

Once you have exhausted all hyperhidrosis treatments, there are surgical options available for extreme cases:

  1. Sympathectomy. A sympathectomy is a surgical procedure that involved the partial or complete interruption of the sympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for regulating sweat. By selectively disrupting or removing certain nerve pathways, hyperhidrosis can be reduced or eliminated in specific areas of the body. 
  2. Sweat gland removal. Sweat gland removal surgery, also known as sweat gland excision or sweat gland ablation, is a surgical procedure that reduces sweating by removing the sweat glands in targeted areas. Methods of removal include curettage, laser ablation and liposuction-assisted curettage. The approach used may vary depending on the surgeon’s preference and the patient’s circumstances. 

Note: Both of the above surgical options are irreversible, invasive and expensive. They require local anesthesia and can leave irreversible effects. Talk to your doctor for more information on these treatments.

Diagnosis and Medical Evaluation

There are several methods that doctors use to diagnose hyperhidrosis. Here are some of the common ways:

  1. Medical history and physical examination. The healthcare provider will begin by taking a detailed medical history, asking about symptoms, their duration, and any factors that trigger or exacerbate sweating. They will also conduct a physical examination, paying specific attention to areas affected by excessive sweating.
  2. Sweating diary. Keeping a sweating diary can help diagnose hyperhidrosis. The individual records the frequency, duration, and triggers of excessive sweating episodes. This information can provide valuable insights to aid in the diagnosis.
  3. Starch-iodine test. This test involves applying an iodine solution to the skin, which reacts with sweat to produce a dark color. Starch powder is then applied to make the sweat patterns more visible. The areas that turn dark indicate excessive sweating.
  4. Thermoregulatory sweat test (TST). The TST measures the amount and pattern of sweating on the skin's surface. A powder that changes color in response to sweat is applied to the skin, and the individual is exposed to increasing temperatures. The areas where excessive sweating occurs will show characteristic color changes.
  5. Blood tests. In some cases, blood tests may be ordered to rule out underlying medical conditions or hormonal imbalances that could be contributing to excessive sweating.
  6. Additional tests. In rare cases where an underlying medical cause is suspected, further tests such as imaging studies (e.g., MRI) or nerve function tests may be conducted to investigate the possibility of secondary hyperhidrosis.

A medical diagnosis is necessary to access any form of clinical treatment, such as prescription antiperspirants, botox, in-office iontophoresis and surgical hyperhidrosis operations. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Still have questions regarding hyperhidrosis? Here are the answers to some frequently asked questions about excessive sweating: 

Can hyperhidrosis be cured?

There is currently no known cure for hyperhidrosis. However, there are several treatment options available to manage the symptoms and reduce its impact on daily life. 

Is hyperhidrosis a serious condition?

Hyperhidrosis is not considered a serious or life-threatening condition. However, it can significantly impact a person’s quality of life, emotional well-being and daily functioning. Furthermore, the excessive sweating associated with hyperhidrosis can cause physical discomfort, embarrassment and social anxiety as well as affect personal and professional relationships. So, while hyperhidrosis is not a serious medical condition, its impact can be significant. 

How common is hyperhidrosis?

It is estimated that between two to five percent of people in the United States have hyperhidrosis, making it relatively common. 

Are there any natural remedies for hyperhidrosis?

There are dozens of ways to stop sweating naturally, though most will not provide instant relief or stop sweating entirely. Here are a few natural remedies to help you keep sweat at bay:

  1. Apple cider vinegar. Applying apple cider vinegar to the affected areas can help control excessive sweating. Dilute it with water in a 1:1 ratio and apply it to your skin using a cotton ball. Let it dry and then rinse it off. Repeat this process daily or as needed.
  2. Sage. Sage has natural astringent properties that can help reduce sweating. You can brew sage tea by steeping a teaspoon of dried sage leaves in a cup of hot water for 5-10 minutes. Allow it to cool, strain it, and drink the tea once or twice a day.
  3. Witch hazel. Witch hazel is a natural astringent that can help tighten the pores and reduce sweating. Apply witch hazel extract to the affected areas using a cotton ball a few times a day.
  4. Baking soda. Baking soda can help absorb moisture and neutralize odors. Mix equal parts baking soda and cornstarch, then apply it to the areas prone to sweating. Leave it on for 20-30 minutes and then rinse it off.
  5. Tea tree oil. Tea tree oil has natural antiperspirant and antimicrobial properties. Dilute a few drops of tea tree oil in water and apply it to the affected areas using a cotton ball. Leave it on for some time and rinse it off. Remember to patch test first to check for any skin sensitivity.

Keep Sweat at Bay With a Thompson Tee

Hyperhidrosis can significantly impact one’s daily life, causing discomfort, embarrassment and issues with self-esteem. Though there are several remedies available, it is always recommended to seek professional help to find a solution that works for you. 

If you’re looking for a non-invasive solution that will work immediately, try the Thompson Tee sweat proof undershirt. Our patented Hydro-Shield® technology features clinical-grade fabric that is guaranteed to stop sweat from seeping onto your outer layers. Furthermore, it keeps moisture away from the skin, allowing you to feel dry, comfortable and confident all day long. 

Try the Thompson Tee risk-free today!