Sweating helps control body temperature.1 However, excessive sweating (hyperhidrosis) can cause physical and social problems. People with excessively sweaty palms may not be able to handle paper without soaking it. They may also experience social stigmatism and discrimination, especially when shaking hands, since their hands may be wet and clammy. People who suffer from excessive underarm sweating have to change clothes frequently. Their clothes may show stains and may not last long (Figure 52.1). Since sweating is commonly associated with insecurity, people with excessive localised sweating may be stereotyped as lacking in confidence.

Figure 52.1 A 24-year-old man with excessive axillary hyperhidrosis. Note the significant sweat stains around the axillae.
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