What is hyperhidrosis? 

Hyperhidrosis means excessive sweating and is a common problem faced by many individuals. This can be localised to certain areas like palms, soles and armpits or generalised. Hyperhidrosis can cause social concerns or functional disruption e.g. problems with writing and gripping. While this condition is generally genetic and physiological, it can sometimes be associated with medical conditions, such as thyroid disorders. For the majority of people who are otherwise healthy, the hyperhidrosis can be reduced to achieve a better quality of life.

How to treat hyperhidrosis? 

In milder instances, the condition can be improved by topical medication or iontophoresis (immersing palms and soles in a solution through which a mild electric current is passed). For more severe generalised cases, oral medication e.g. glycopyrolate may be helpful. However, oral medication suppresses sweating on the whole body and may be associated with various side effects, such as palpitations, sedation, blurred vision and dry mouth and heat intolerance. This should be used only after careful consideration. Botulinum toxin injections have been used to achieve good control of sweating on the palms and axillae lasting for several months after each treatment. Permanent options like surgical sympathectomy for hands or armpits can be considered with a potential risk of compensatory hyperhidrosis on the body post surgery.