More than 9 million Americans have overactive sweat glands that crank out up to five times more fluid than normal—an embarrassing, uncomfortable and often stress-inducing disorder called hyperhidrosis. Symptoms include frequent, noticeable sweating that can soak or stain clothing; abnormally heavy, bothersome perspiration on your feet, armpits, head or face; and clamminess or dripping on the palms, making it awkward to shake hands, grasp a pen or hold a car's steering wheel. Profuse sweating can also trigger complications, by making people more prone to fungal and bacterial infections, warts and skin rashes.
Although doctors don’t fully understand the cause, genetic factors may be involved since the condition often runs in families. Stress also plays a role in some cases, by causing the brain area that controls temperature regulation to overreact to normal stimuli. Excessive sweating can also be triggered by other conditions, including anxiety disorders, hyperthyroidism, use of certain medications, menopause, infections, and low blood sugar. Despite several therapies that can help, more than half of sufferers go undiagnosed and untreated. Here’s a look at solutions:
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