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Hyperhidrosis is reported to occur in 2.8% of the US population. The severe sweating interferes with the quality of life causing social, psychological, educational and occupational problems.
The embarrassment of shaking hands with friends and acquaintances, or holding hands with a loved one.
The problems with leaving everything you touch wet and stained.
- The inability to wear make up due to excessive facial sweating and the need to wear black and white colors to hide the stains from excessive armpit sweating.
The human body perspires to maintain constant internal body temperature. Perspiration is regulated by the Sympathetic Nervous System, which controls about five million sweat glands in the body; about half of these are located in the hands. Sweating in the hands is controlled by branches of the sympathetic chain that is located alongside the upper thoracic spine, within the chest cavity. Hyperhidrosis is a medical condition that causes perspiration far greater than the physiological needs of the body. Hyperhidrosis primarily starts in adolescence but can be present at a much younger age and become worse at adolescence. There is no known cause for its onset in these patients. The condition may affect other family members and it does not seem to diminish with age, though patients may learn to cope with the problem with age.
Persons with palmar hyperhidrosis often seek treatment early because the condition almost always causes great distress, interfering with their quality of life by causing psychological, educational, and occupational problems. Palmar hyperhidrosis may not seem like a serious enough problem to observers, but individuals who suffer with hyperhidrosis deal with everything from minor issues such as smudged writing paper to major issues such as difficulty holding pens, tools, buttons and social isolation. Perhaps the most distressing result of palmar hyperhidrosis is the discomfort and embarrassment caused by the simple act of shaking hands. In fact, many patients with palmar hyperhidrosis will avoid social situations or pick a profession that requires little interaction with others.
Patients with axillary hyperhidrosis (armpit sweating) soak through several layers of clothing and have to change clothing several times a day to stay dry. They can only wear certain types of clothes and only certain colors, they may in addition develop odor from the armpits which can also be offensive.