Overview of Hyperhidrosis

Hyperhidrosis (sweaty palms) is a condition that causes excessive sweating, usually in the hands, feet, and armpits. The sweating occurs at unpredictable times, even when you are not hot or exercising. Emotions, especially anxiety, can worsen the sweating.


The underlying cause of hyperhidrosis is over activity of the sympathetic nervous system. The sympathetic nervous system activates our fight or flight response, which includes increased heart rate, increased blood pressure, and sweating.

Treatments for Hyperhidrosis

There are several treatment options for hyperhidrosis. Your doctor will discuss these treatments options with you.

  • Prescription antiperspirants: These antiperspirants have stronger ingredients than those you can find over the counter.
  • Iontophoresis: This technique passes a weak electrical current through the skin to reduce sweating. This treatment requires several sessions.
  • Oral medications: Anticholinergics are prescription medicines that can reduce excessive sweating.
  • Botox (botulinum toxin): Botox injections can temporarily reduce excessive sweating.
  • Surgery: A cardiothoracic surgeon can perform a surgery called sympathectomy to treat excessive sweating. The operation is minimally invasive and uses small incisions through the armpit to divide the sympathetic nerves.

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