How much sweat is too much sweat?

Sweating during your workout feels great. Sweating on a dinner date or at the office does not. Sweating is the body’s natural way of keeping us cool, but if your sweat is difficult to control and impacting your life, you may have excessive sweating. Excessive sweating, also known as hyperhidrosis, occurs when overactive sweat glands release a volume of sweat that is significantly more than the body’s normal requirements for cooling. The cause of some excessive sweating is not known, and there may be triggers such as stress at work or in social situations.

Excessive sweating can affect the whole body (known as generalised) or it can affect certain parts of the body (known as focal). It can be classified as being either primary (no known cause) or secondary (e.g. caused by either a medical condition or side-effects of some medications).1 Excessive sweating can occur in many areas, including under the arms, which is known as axillary hyperhidrosis.

So how do I know if my underarm sweating is normal? Diagnosis relates to the impact it has on your daily life. This can be easily determined by circling the statement below that best describes your condition. My underarm sweating is:

  1. Never noticeable and never interferes with daily activities
  2. Tolerable but sometimes interferes with my daily activities
  3. Barely tolerable and frequently interferes with my daily activities
  4. Intolerable and always interferes with my daily activities

If you circled statement 3 or 4, you may have primary axillary hyperhidrosis and it is recommended you speak with your GP who will determine if you need a referral to a dermatologist.