Essential or Primary Hyperhidrosis

Essential or primary hyperhidrosis is excessive sweating particularly in hands and axillae (armpits and feet).  It typically begins in the teens and may ease off in the fourth or fifth decade.  As much as 30 mL per hour of sweat may be produced.  Although symptoms are most noticeable in the aforementioned areas, increased sweating actually occurs throughout the entire body.  Patients with this condition may have excessive sympathetic drive and hypertrophic sweat glands.  There is a positive family history in 25% to 50% of patients and it has been suggested that it may be inherited in an autosomal dominant fashion with incomplete penetrance.