Excessive sweating, also called hyperhidrosis, can affect the entire body, but usually occurs in the palms, soles, armpits, and/or groin area. Excessive sweating is normal when a person is anxious or has a fever. However, when the condition is chronic, it may signal thyroid problems, low blood sugar levels, or a nervous system disorder.
Areas that produce excessive sweat usually appear pink or white, but, in severe cases, may appear cracked, scaly, and soft (especially on the feet). Other symptoms may include a bad odor caused by bacteria and yeast in the wet skin. Many of our patients tell us they have cold, wet hands that cause them to make life-changes such as carrying paper towels in their pockets to dry their hands before meeting people, or not writing hand-written notes because the paper curls and the ink smears.
There is hope
At Gundersen Health System, a board-certified cardiothoracic surgeon performs an outpatient procedure that can stop or reduce sweating.
During an endoscopic transthoracic sympathectomy (ETS), a portion of the sympathetic chain is cut in the chest that sends signals to the sweat glands. The procedure stops sweating in the hands nearly every time, however, it is not uncommon for hyperhidrosis to continue in the armpits about 80 percent of the time and in the feet about 50 percent of the time.
Call for an appointment to learn more
(608) 775-2335 or (800) 362-9567, ext. 52335