Hyperhidrosis is a condition in which a person sweats excessively, even when the temperature is cool or when they are at rest. Excessive sweating affecting the hands, feet and armpits is called primary or focal hyperhidrosis. If the sweating occurs as a result of another medical condition, it is called secondary hyperhidrosis. The sweating may be all over the body, or just in one area. A wide variety of conditions may cause secondary hyperhidrosis, including: anxiety conditions; cancer; certain medications; heart disease; hyperthyroidism; lung disease; menopause; Parkinson’s disease; stroke, among others. Treatments may include: strong antiperspirants, which plug the sweat ducts, and anticholinergics drugs, to prevent stimulation of sweat glands. Iontophoresis is a procedure that uses electricity to temporarily turn off the sweat glands. It is most effective for sweating of the hands and feet. The hands or feet are placed into water which has a gentle current of electricity passed through it. Botox injections are used to treat severe underarm sweating. In severe cases of hyperhidrosis, a minimally invasive surgical procedure called sympathectomy may be used to help turn off the signal that tells the body to sweat excessively.
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