Which are the causes of generalized, localized, essential and secondary hyperhidrosis?

Expert Answers
jkirkwoo eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Hyperhidrosis is a condition where a person has excessive sweating.  The difference of generalized and localized hyperhidrosis is location.  Generalized is all over and localized is in a specific part such as palms of the hand. Generalized can be caused by medical conditions or even heat, humidity and exercise.  Primary or essential hyperhidrosis is usually localized  and may not have a specific medical and medicinal cause.

Secondary hyperhidrosis is caused by a variety of underlying conditions and can also be caused by certain medications.  Some of the conditions that can cause secondary hyperhidrosis are Diabetes, pregnancy, alcoholism, and hyperthyroidism.  For a complete list of conditions and medications that can cause secondary hyperhidrosis go to the link below.


giorgiana1976 | Student

Hyperhidrosis is the medical term that describes sweating in excess of that normally required to regulate body temperature. It is a common symptom that produces very much discomfort to the patient .

It appears that 2-3% of the U.S. population suffers from hyperhidrosis of axillary area, of palms and soles, grouped under the name of palmar-plantar hyperhidrosis. The disorder begins in childhood or adolescence (the axillary appears later, while the palmar-plantar occurs around age 14-15 years) and can affect any part of the body.


Most cases occur in healthy people, but are described in the context of neurological,metabolic or systemic diseases.

There are three types of hyperhidrosis: emotionally induced (mainly affects the axillary region, palms and soles),  localized hyperhidrosis and generalized hyperhidrosis.

Generalized hyperhidrosis may actually be the consequence of the autonomic nervous system disorders or may occur in the context of cancer, fever or metabolic imbalances, or may be due to consumption of drugs:  Pilocarpine, tricyclic antidepressants.

Nocturnal generalized hyperhidrosis is typical of tuberculosis or chronic alcoholism.

Localized hyperhidrosis is more common result of abnormalities in the functioning of local nerves,distribution of sweat glands or the area of vascularization. This type of hyperhidrosis may be associated with  Frey's syndrome,pain, abscess of the parotid glands,diabetic neuropathy.

Essential hyperhidrosis appears especially because of exocrine gland damage based on a sympathetic hyperactivity.

Secondary hyperhidrosis may involve nocturnal episodes. Because sweating mechanism and the fact that this  was under  the occurrence of sympathetic (sympathetic is far more decreased during sleep), patients do not sweat excessively at night, unless there is another pathological basis that determines caloric sweating.

It seems that hyperhidrosis is exacerbated by anxiety and the consumption of different foods (especially spicy or very spicy products) drinks, nicotine, caffeine.However, most patients were seen as excessive sweating all the time, even in the absence of triggers or environmental conditions.

versatilekamini | Student

Hyperhydrosis is a medical condition that causes perspiration far greater than the physiological needs of the body. It can occure in the four major areas:hands(palmer hyperhidrosis),armpits(axillary hyperhidrosis),feet(plantar hyperhidrosis) and face(facial hyperhidrosis).

In severe  cases, sweat is seen to drip literally down from the hands,arempits,feet and face.

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