Information for the public

The condition

The condition

Severe sweating from the palms and the underarms usually starts in childhood and is usually for life. It can severely interfere with everyday life, and causes anxiety and embarrassment.

People with severe sweating can try to avoid anything that might make them sweat, and they can use strong antiperspirants such as aluminium chloride. Other treatments include iontophoresis, botulinum toxin (Botox), or medication. If these don't work, surgery on the nerves that cause the sweating is an option. The surgery may be done as open surgery or using an endoscope. Endoscopic surgery is now usually preferred because there is less scarring and recovery is quicker than with open surgery.

NICE has looked at using endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy as a treatment option.

NHS Choices ( may be a good place to find out more.

  • Information Standard