Secondary focal hyperhidrosis

This form of excessive sweating is similar to primary focal hyperhidrosis in that it affects certain areas of the body such as the armpits, hands and feet.

The only difference between the two is that primary sweating occurs for no apparent reason whereas secondary sweating develops from an existing medical condition.

In some cases the affected person is unaware that they have a medical condition. This underlying disease or illness lies dormant for a period of time and is only discovered due to the symptoms of excessive sweating.

Causes of secondary focal hyperhidrosis

This is caused by any of the medical conditions mentioned below:

  • Raynaud’s phenomenon
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Diabetic neuropathy
  • Shingles
  • Spinal cord tumours/lesions
  • Mesothelioma
  • Cerebrovascular disease
  • Respiratory failure
  • Obesity
  • Overactive thyroid gland

Definitions of these diseases can be found in our glossary section.

Alcohol and drug abuse can cause secondary hyperhidrosis. This also includes stress and anxiety and even pregnancy.

These lifestyle factors plus the medical conditions listed above are also responsible for causing general hyperhidrosis. This is a form of excessive sweating which is similar to primary and secondary hyperhidrosis, except that it affects the entire body.

Treatment for secondary focal hyperhidrosis

It is important to determine if there is an underlying cause such as heart disease or respiratory failure before prescribing a course of treatment.

This is particularly important if the sufferer is taking any prescription or over the counter medication. If you have been prescribed a certain medication for an illness or disease and have noticed excessive sweating then this could be a side effect of that medication.

Speak to your GP or pharmacist if you suspect this might be the case. If you have prescription medication then your GP will be able to recommend an alternative. Treatment can involve a combination of methods which include a few lifestyle changes (avoid wearing man-made fabrics), botulinum toxin, prescription antiperspirants and iontophoresis.

These are discussed in more detail in our treatment for excessive sweating section.

© Medic8® | All Rights Reserved