What Are the Causes of Excessive Sweating in Men?

Excessive sweating can be an extremely embarrassing condition. Whether it occurs at your workplace or a social function, it's something you would probably like to prevent. However, sometimes a shower and an antiperspirant stick aren't enough to combat the causes of excessive sweating. Understanding the possible causes is the first step toward successfully preventing excessive sweating.

Hyperhidrosis, especially in the hands, can be socially embarrassing. Credit: Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images


Hyperhidrosis is the medical term given to excessive sweating. It is a medical condition in which the sweat glands are overstimulated during rigorous activity or other sweat-inducing situations. According to The Center for Hyperhidrosis, the condition may exist in the following forms: palmar, which is excessive hand sweating; plantar, or excessive sweating of the feet; axillary, or excessive armpit sweating; and facial blushing. Symptoms may range from mild to severe. Treatment includes prescribed topical medications and, in extreme conditions, surgery.

Secondary Hyperhidrosis

If excessive sweating is triggered by something other than hyperhidrosis, it is referred to as secondary hyperhidrosis, according to MedlinePlus. Complications such as disease or severely stressful situations may cause excessive sweating. Triggers of secondary hyperhidrosis include cancer, spinal injury, anxiety conditions, heart disease and stroke. You may usually treat occasional excessive sweating caused by these conditions with over-the-counter antiperspirants. However, continuous conditions such as heart disease or cancer may require medications to alleviate the sweating.

Substance Abuse and Diet

In addition to hyperhidrosis and secondary hyperhidrosis, excessive sweating may be caused by substance abuse and what you eat. Stimulants and drugs, such as caffeine and alcohol, may cause the body to sweat excessively. Spicy foods such as hot peppers and curry may also cause sweating, known as gustatory sweating, according to The New York Times Health Guide. Medically speaking, excessive sweating from these causes are the easiest to treat, as they usually require only changes to your lifestyle.

Is This an Emergency?

If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.
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