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Learn about your excessive sweating, including causes, treatment options and remedies. Or get a personalized analysis of your excessive sweating from our A.I. health assistant. At Buoy, we build tools that help you know what’s wrong right now and how to get the right care.

Excessive Sweating Checker

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Your Excessive Sweating May Also be Known as:
Clamminess
Clammy
Perspiration
Profuse sweating
Sweating
Sweating a lot
Sweaty

Excessive Sweating Symptoms

Don't sweat the small stuff? Sometimes, sweat is not at all "small stuff." In fact, it can be excessive. Excessive sweating symptoms may occur under the arms, on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet, and on the face and scalp. These areas of the body have the highest concentration of sweat glands.

The body has over two million sweat glands. Sweating helps us regulate our body temperature. It also hydrates our skin and helps to balance our bodies' fluids and electrolytes. Excessive sweating, or, "hyperhidrosis," refers to sweating beyond what is necessary to accomplish these functions.

Primary hyperhidrosis refers to excessive sweating that has no identifiable cause. Secondary hyperhidrosis, on the other hand, is excessive sweating due to an underlying condition.

Excessive Sweating Causes Overview

  • Primary hyperhidrosis: Primary hyperhidrosis causes excessive (and obvious) sweating, especially underarm sweating, and sweating of the palms of the hands and soles of the feet. Sweating on the face and scalp is less common in primary hyperhidrosis. Primary hyperhidrosis has both social and professional implications. Because of excessive underarm sweating, clothes are easily stained. Persistent skin moisture can lead to a variety of dermatological conditions. It can be embarrassing to shake hands if your palms are always sweaty.

  • Secondary hyperhidrosis: The most common cause of secondary hyperhidrosis is excessive heat.Grave's disease (hyperthyroidism), panic disorder, heart attack, fever and menopausal hot flashes are some of the conditions that might cause excessive sweating. Some medications can cause excessive sweating.

Top 9 Excessive Sweating Causes

  1. 1.Generalized Anxiety Disorder (Gad)

    Anxiety is a common emotion from time to time; however, persistent, excessive, and unrealistic worrying are signs of generalized anxiety disorder. Generalized anxiety disorder is diagnosed when a person worries more days than not for at least six months and has symptoms like fatigue, muscle tension, difficulty concentrating, and irritability.

    You should visit your primary care physician to further discuss your symptoms. It is likely you will be referred to a mental health professional. Your doctor will likely recommend talk therapy and/or antidepressant medication.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    fatigue, trouble sleeping, irritability, nausea, general anxiety (stress)
    Symptoms that always occur with generalized anxiety disorder (gad):
    general anxiety (stress)
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  2. 2.Panic Disorder

    Panic disorder is a type of anxiety disorder. It causes panic attacks, which are sudden feelings of terror without true danger. One may feel as if they are losing control or have physical symptoms like sweating or a racing heart.

    You should go see your primary care doctor, who can diagnose you by interview. Most people get better with treatment. Therapy can show you how to recognize and change your thinking patterns before they lead to panic. Medication may be beneficial.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    nausea, anxiety, abdominal pain (stomach ache), stomach bloating, depressed mood
    Symptoms that always occur with panic disorder:
    anxiety, impaired social or occupational functioning
    Symptoms that never occur with panic disorder:
    agoraphobia
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  3. 3.Hangover

    Hangovers occur after consuming alcohol. People often wake up the morning after a night of drinking feeling a general feeling of sickness and fatigue. The unpleasant symptoms include headache, nausea, dizziness, and dehydration.

    You will begin to feel better in a few hours. Rehydrating with fluids, most importantly water, and taking an over-the-counter pain medication like acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil) will help with your symptoms.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    abdominal pain (stomach ache), fatigue, nausea or vomiting, headache, diarrhea
    Symptoms that never occur with hangover:
    being severely ill, fever
    Urgency:
    Self-treatment
  4. 4.Opiate Use Disorder

    Opioid Use Disorder is a medical condition that results from excessive use of opiates, either prescribed or illicitly. Such activity has severely negative health consequences.

    You should visit your primary care physician , who will discuss your current health condition and create a plan to reduce your dependency on opiates.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    abdominal pain (stomach ache), nausea or vomiting, trouble sleeping, impaired social or occupational functioning, excessive sweating
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor

    Excessive Sweating Checker

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  5. 5.Heart Attack in a Woman

    Most heart attacks happen when a clot in the coronary artery blocks the supply of blood and oxygen to the heart. Often this leads to an irregular heartbeat - called an arrhythmia - that causes a severe decrease in the pumping function of the heart.

    You should call 911.

    Rarity:
    Uncommon
    Top Symptoms:
    nausea, abdominal pain (stomach ache), pain in one arm, being severely ill, shortness of breath
    Urgency:
    Emergency medical service
  6. 6.Heart Attack

    Most heart attacks happen when a clot in the coronary artery blocks the supply of blood and oxygen to the heart. Often this leads to an irregular heartbeat - called an arrhythmia - that causes a severe decrease in the pumping function of the heart.

    You should go to the ER immediately since the longer the heart goes without blood, the worse the irreversible damage will be. Hurry!

    Rarity:
    Uncommon
    Top Symptoms:
    chest pain, being severely ill, shortness of breath, nausea, tight, heavy, squeezing chest pain
    Symptoms that always occur with heart attack:
    being severely ill
    Urgency:
    Emergency medical service
  7. 7.Severe Asthma Attack

    A severe asthma attack makes it incredibly hard to breathe and is a medical emergency. If possible, use a rescue inhaler ASAP.

    This is a serious issue so proceed to the closest emergency room for treatment.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    being severely ill, wheezing, shortness of breath at rest, cough with dry or watery sputum, irritability
    Symptoms that always occur with severe asthma attack:
    shortness of breath at rest, being severely ill
    Urgency:
    Hospital emergency room
  8. 8.Overactive Thyroid

    The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland in the neck, just above your collarbone. It is one of your endocrine glands, which make hormones. Thyroid glands control how fast one burns calories and how fast the heart beats. If the thyroid is too active, it makes more thyroid hormones than the body needs. This is called hyperthyroidism.

    You should visit your primary care physician, who might take a blood test to measure your levels of thyroid hormone. The test will tell the doctor whether a referral to an endocrinologist is useful. Treatment plans would likely be set by the specialist and include drugs to reduce your thyroid activation.

    Rarity:
    Uncommon
    Top Symptoms:
    fatigue, anxiety, depressed mood, irritability, trouble sleeping
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  9. 9.Diabetic Hypoglycemia

    Hypoglycemia (severely low blood sugar) can occur in Type 1 (more common) and Type 2 Diabetes. It is usually caused by poorly timed use of blood-sugar-controlling medication.

    Severely low blood sugar is extremely dangerous. You need to go to the ER immediately, where blood tests to assess your blood sugar will be done quickly and stabilized immediately if found to be low.

    Rarity:
    Uncommon
    Top Symptoms:
    fatigue, irritability, anxiety, racing heart beat, dizziness
    Symptoms that always occur with diabetic hypoglycemia:
    being severely ill
    Urgency:
    Hospital emergency room

Excessive Sweating Treatments and Relief

It is important to seek emergency medical care if you have excessive sweating and:

For excessive sweating symptoms related to primary hyperhidrosis, treatment might involve:

  • Use of prescription strength antiperspirants.
  • Botox treatment. Botox, injected into the areas of sweat production, suppresses sweating.
  • Microwave thermolysis - microwave energy to destroy underarm sweat glands.
  • Medications such as glycopyrrolate or oxybutynin, which are anticholinergic drugs. Some of the side effects of anticholinergic drugs include urinary retention, dry mouth, headache and blurry vision.
  • Iontophoresis - applying direct current through an ionic substance, usually tap water.
  • Endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy - involves cutting or cauterizing (burning) the upper thoracic sympathetic nerve chain.

For sweating related to secondary hyperhidrosis, excessive sweating treatment should involve:

  • Treating the underlying condition to help relieve the symptom(s) of the condition, including excessive sweating.
  • Treatment will depend on the condition itself. Grave's disease and panic disorder, for example, can both be treated with medication prescribed by your health care provider.

Tips to cope with excessive sweating symptoms, whatever the cause:

  • Avoid caffeine, alcohol and spicy foods.
  • If you smoke – stop.
  • Apply antiperspirant in the morning and at night.
  • Think about the color of your clothing. Navy, black and white are least likely to show sweat stains, whereas sweat is much more obvious on brightly colored clothing. Patterned clothing – like plaids – is good at masking sweat stains.
  • Wear clothes made of breathable fabrics; wear them in layers.
  • Wear clothes made out of fabrics engineered to be sweat-proof or sweat blocking.
  • Wear sweat pads to absorb the sweat before it reaches your clothes.
  • Oxiclean products, hydrogen peroxide and yellow stain removers can help get the sweat stains out of your clothes.
  • Keep cooling gel packs in your pockets to quickly (and inconspicuously) cool and dry your hands.
  • Apply antiperspirants to the palms of your hands at night, and the soles of your feet in the morning. Make sure to wash your hands in the morning (doing so will not stop the effectiveness of the antiperspirant).

FAQs About Excessive Sweating

Here are some frequently asked questions about excessive sweating.

What causes severe sweating?

Excessive sweating with no identifiable medical cause (Primary Hyperhidrosis) may be caused by a variety of things, including an overactive nervous system in which the sympathetic nervous system triggers sweating in abnormal situations, or a sensitive stress response in which an individual experiences stress with a lower stimuli than most individuals. It is normal to sweat in situations of emotional and physical stress as well as to cool the body when it is overly warm. There is evidence to suggest that hyperhidrosis is hereditary to some degree.

Why do I sweat when I eat?

Gustatory sweating — sweating on the face, neck, and scalp especially when eating spicy foods — is normal. Though in excessive amounts it can occur after damage to the nerve supplying the spit gland. The nerve can heal in such a way that it also activates the sweat glands of the heads whenever saliva is to be produced.

What causes sweaty hands?

Sweaty hands can be caused by a warm environment or exercise. Hands have multiple blood vessels, and cooling hands can contribute significantly to cooling core body temperature and allowing exercise for longer. However, sweaty palms are also associated with sympathetic nervous system activation due to emotional cues.

Can you sweat too much?

Sweating excessively is not physically dangerous as long as the fluid is replaced by an equivalent amount of water and electrolytes. Usually a non-sweetened lemonade, watered down sports drink, or just water are sufficient replacements for fluid lost. Sweating may, however, post significant social problems. It can be embarrassing. Most individuals with excessive sweating manage through behavior (e.g. changes of clothes, a handkerchief). In extreme conditions, a surgery in which the nerve that causes sweating is clipped (vagotomy) is possible.

Questions Your Doctor May Ask About Excessive Sweating

  • Q.Any fever today or during the last week?
  • Q.Have you been feeling more tired than usual, lethargic or fatigued despite sleeping a normal amount?
  • Q.Do you currently smoke?
  • Q.Have you experienced any nausea?

If you've answered yes to one or more of these questions, check our excessive sweating symptom checker.

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Excessive Sweating Symptom Checker Statistics

  • People who have experienced excessive sweating have also experienced:

    • 6% Fatigue
    • 6% Nausea
    • 3% Dizziness
  • People who have experienced excessive sweating were most often matched with:

    • 8% Panic Disorder
    • 2% Generalized Anxiety Disorder (Gad)

Excessive Sweating Checker

Take a quiz to find out why you’re having excessive sweating.

Take a quiz