The Insight Behind Hyperhidrosis

Symptoms and diagnosis

By Neurosurgery Singapore

What is Hyperhidrosis?

Hyperhidrosis is abnormal excessive sweating on the body. We may sweat so much that it soaks through our clothes. It could also be cases where it drips off our hands. Besides disrupting normal daily activities, this type of heavy sweating can cause social anxiety and embarrassment.


Hyperhidrosis treatment usually helps to resolve this issue. One may begin with  antiperspirants. If antiperspirants don’t help, we may need to try different medications and therapies. In severe cases, our doctor may suggest surgery to remove either the sweat glands or to disconnect the nerves responsible for the overproduction of sweat.

What are some symptoms of Hyperhidrosis?

Most people sweat when they exercise or when they exert themselves. We also sweat in a hot environment, or feeling anxious or under stress. The excessive sweating experienced with hyperhidrosis far exceeds such normal sweating.

This type of hyperhidrosis usually affects the hands, feet, underarms or face. It will occur at least one episode a week. It is often during waking hours. Such sweating usually occurs on both sides of the body.

See our doctor if:

  • Sweating disrupts your daily routine
  • Sweating causes emotional distress or social withdrawal
  • You suddenly begin to sweat more than usual
  • You experience night sweats for no apparent reason

“On average, a person with hyperhidrosis seeks medical help after living with the condition for 9 years. It is important to spread the word that the symptoms of excessive sweating can be effectively treated.”

What types of diagnosis?

  • Initially, our doctor may try to rule out any underlying conditions. It may be such as an overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism) or low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). This can be done by ordering blood and urine tests.

    Patients will be asked about the patterns of their sweating – which parts of the body are affected, how often sweating episodes occur, and whether sweating occurs during sleep.

    The patient may be asked a series of questions, or have to fill in a questionnaire about the impact of excessive sweating.

What to take note of medication for Hyperhidrosis?

You can take medications which block the chemical signal between the nerves and the sweat glands. Propantheline, oxybutynin and glycopyrrolate are anticholinergic drugs widely used. Unfortunately, anticholinergics sometimes cause side effects. These  includes a dry mouth, blurred vision, tummy cramps, constipation, and difficulty in passing urine. They may be harmful for people with glaucoma and some other conditions. A small dose is used at first and gradually increased. Some people get relief from sweating before significant side effects occur. For others, the side effects begin before they reach a dose high enough to control sweating. It is important to consult our doctor before consuming such medications.

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