Excessive armpit sweating is the most common type of hyperhidrosis, affecting almost 3% of the population. Compared to palmoplantar HH, starting mostly in early childhood, the onset of axillary HH occurs in adolescence or even later.
Big wet marks on the cloths are cause of embarrassment in many situations in professional and private life. Clothing has to be changed and washed frequently, resulting in shorter lifetime. The salty haloes stain and damage delicate tissues.
A minority of people affected by severe axillary HH may suffer major psychological distress, depression and end up in avoiding social contacts.
In most cases, the causes are unknown. There is without doubt a genetic component in many cases, but environmental factors are often determining the onset, e.g. stressful experiences or particularly demanding periods in life. Elevated temperatures with or without high degrees of humidity, heavy physical work and exercise, or a combination of these factors trigger or worsen sweating.