Excessive sweating is an excess of sweat produced spontaneously without the need to be directly related to high temperatures or emotional or physical tension or stress.
Excessive sweating does not usually cause complications, but it can increase your risk of skin infections. The main problem experienced by people with excessive sweating is its negative impact on their social and emotional life, as well as their interpersonal relationships.
Excessive sweating can present in two ways:
- Primary excessive sweating: it tends to be localised to specific areas of the body, mainly the armpits, hands and feet. Its causes are unknown, but it sometimes has a strong hereditary component.
- Secondary excessive sweating: it tends to present in a localised or generalised manner, affecting most of the body. It has a secondary cause such as an underlying disease or the use of certain medicines.
Primary excessive sweating occurs during the day and improves during sleep, whereas the secondary form tends to occur at night while you are asleep.