Hyperhidrosis: A Review of a Medical Condition

Shavitri Mahendiran1, Craig N. Burkhart2, Craig G. Burkhart*, 1
1 University of Toledo College of Medicine, Toledo, OH, USA
2 Department of Dermatology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, NC, USA

© 2009 Mahendiran et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the University of Toledo School of Medicine, 5600 Monroe Street, Suite 106B, Sylvania, OH 43560, USA; Tel: 419-885-3403; Fax: 419-885-3401; E-mail:


Sweating is a normal and important mechanism of thermoregulation which is essential for survival. When sweating becomes excessive, the resulting condition is called hyperhidrosis. While hyperhidrosis is not a fatal condition, it can greatly affect one’s quality of life due to its psychological and social impact. To understand this condition, it is necessary to explore the biology of sweat glands including the eccrine, apocrine, and apoeccrine sweat glands. It is also vital to understand the physiological significance of sweat to maintain the human body temperature in order for it to function properly. Hyperhidrosis can be divided into a primary and secondary condition and it is also associated with a wide variety of other conditions. Many treatments exist to alleviate this disorder including aluminum compounds, aldehydes, anticholinergic agents like glycopyrrolate, benztropine and oxybutynin, botulinum toxin A, antiperspirants, sympathectomy, iontophoresis, and sweat gland suction. Ultimately, knowledge of this disorder and its methods of treatment and management are imperative to optimize treatment for patients suffering from hyperhidrosis.