What are the causes and remedies for increased sweating?

Symptom Database

Excessive sweating, also known as hyperhidrosis, can be a distressing condition that affects many individuals. It can lead to embarrassment, discomfort, and even social anxiety. Understanding the causes and remedies for increased sweating is crucial in managing this condition effectively. In this article, we will explore the various factors that contribute to excessive sweating and provide valuable insights into its treatment and management.

What Causes Excessive Sweating?

Excessive sweating can be triggered by a variety of factors, both physiological and environmental. Here are some common causes:

  • Genetics: Hyperhidrosis can be hereditary, meaning it runs in families. If your parents or close relatives have a history of excessive sweating, you are more likely to develop the condition.
  • Hormonal changes: Hormonal imbalances, such as those occurring during puberty, menopause, or pregnancy, can lead to increased sweating.
  • Medical conditions: Certain medical conditions, such as diabetes, thyroid problems, and heart disease, can cause excessive sweating as a symptom.
  • Medications: Some medications, including antidepressants, antipsychotics, and certain blood pressure drugs, may have sweating as a side effect.
  • Anxiety and stress: Emotional factors can trigger excessive sweating in some individuals. Anxiety and stress activate the body’s fight-or-flight response, leading to increased perspiration.
  • Heat and humidity: Environmental factors, such as hot weather or high humidity levels, can cause the body to sweat more in an attempt to cool down.

Treatment Options for Excessive Sweating

Fortunately, there are several treatment options available to manage excessive sweating effectively. The choice of treatment depends on the severity of the condition and its impact on the individual’s quality of life. Here are some common remedies:


Antiperspirants are the first line of defense against excessive sweating. They work by blocking the sweat glands, reducing the amount of sweat produced. Look for antiperspirants that contain aluminum chloride, as they are more effective in managing sweat production. Apply antiperspirant to clean, dry skin before bed and reapply as needed throughout the day.


In some cases, medications may be prescribed to control excessive sweating. Anticholinergic drugs, such as glycopyrrolate, can help reduce sweating by blocking the chemical signals that stimulate sweat production. However, these medications may have side effects, such as dry mouth and blurred vision, so it’s essential to discuss the risks and benefits with a healthcare professional.

Botox Injections

Botox injections can be an effective treatment for localized excessive sweating, such as in the underarms or palms. Botox works by blocking the nerve signals that stimulate sweat glands, reducing sweat production in the treated area. The effects typically last for several months before additional injections are needed.


Iontophoresis is a non-invasive treatment that involves passing a mild electrical current through the skin’s surface. This process temporarily blocks the sweat glands, reducing sweat production. Iontophoresis is commonly used to treat excessive sweating in the hands and feet and can be performed at home with a specialized device.


In severe cases of hyperhidrosis that do not respond to other treatments, surgery may be considered. The most common surgical procedure for excessive sweating is called sympathectomy, where the nerves responsible for sweat production are surgically interrupted. However, surgery is typically reserved for extreme cases due to the potential risks and complications involved.

Managing Excessive Sweating

In addition to medical treatments, there are several lifestyle changes and self-care strategies that can help manage excessive sweating:

  • Wear breathable fabrics: Opt for natural fibers like cotton and linen, which allow better air circulation and help absorb moisture.
  • Practice good hygiene: Shower regularly and use antibacterial soap to reduce the bacteria on your skin that can contribute to body odor.
  • Avoid triggers: Identify and avoid triggers that make you sweat excessively, such as spicy foods, caffeine, and alcohol.
  • Stress management: Practice relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing exercises or meditation, to help reduce stress and anxiety levels.
  • Stay hydrated: Drink plenty of water to maintain proper hydration and regulate body temperature.
  • Use absorbent products: Consider using absorbent pads or clothing liners to help manage excessive sweating and prevent sweat stains.

It’s important to remember that while excessive sweating can be challenging to deal with, there are effective treatments and management strategies available. If you are experiencing bothersome symptoms, consult with a healthcare professional who can provide a proper diagnosis and guide you towards the most suitable treatment options. With the right approach, you can regain control over your sweating and improve your overall well-being.

Haroon Rashid, MD
Rate author
Urgent Care Center of Arlington, VA
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