Excessive Sweating on the Whole Body – Reason to Visit a Doctor?

Excessive sweating on the whole body

While people usually complain about sweating in armpits, hands, feet, or head, there are also many others who experience abnormal sweating everywhere. This type of abnormal perspiration is bothering not only due to a few wet stains on the clothing, but it makes people complete drenched and feeling extremely uncomfortable. Excessive sweating on the whole body affects the chest, back, armpits, head, groin and hands, and feet as well. There are several possible causes of this condition, and we are going to talk about them in this article as well as we outline some treatment possibilities. 


Excessive Sweating Everywhere vs. Local Sweating

The areas where you do sweat the most are for dermatologists probably the first hint for diagnosis. Regular increased sweating that affects only hands, feet, underarms, or head point out to primary hyperhidrosis. Primary, because there is no other health condition that triggers sweating. This topical sweating is an inherent predisposition, and all types of treatment don’t actually heal it but mitigate the symptoms by blocking the activity of sweat glands. People suffering from primary hyperhidrosis sweat more in certain areas even while doing a common daily activities. 

When we are talking about sweating across the entire body, we need to recognize how sweating occurs. Sweaty chest or back can still be considered as primary hyperhidrosis when the other parts of the body are relatively dry. But when increased sweat level is apparent in most parts of the body, and it usually occurs at night, it is a typical sign of secondary generalized hyperhidrosis.

Related: How to Stop Back Sweat? Try These 5 Tips!


About Secondary Generalized Hyperhidrosis

Unlike the primary hyperhidrosis, secondary generalized hyperhidrosis (medically, also known as diaphoresis) is an excessive sweating that is caused by some other health condition, disease or by certain medicaments. This type of sweating is a response of an organism to some disorder. Those with this diagnosis usually experience night sweats when they wake up in the morning sweaty on the whole body. For better understanding these two types of excessive sweating, we designed this infographic:

Types of Hyperhidrosis


Causes of Excessive Sweating All Around The Body

As you can see in the infographics, there are many possible reasons behind excessive sweating on the whole body. There are also some causes of excessive sweating specific for men and women. Many women experience heavy sweating at night related to hormonal changes in the first week and last few days of the menstrual cycle and in the period of menopause and perimenopause. We dedicated one article to this topic: How to Stop Night Sweats in Women? Increased perspiration due to low level of testosterone can usually occur in men after the age of 40. Read more about night sweats in men here.

You can also find more other information about the most common causes of sweating on the whole body in the article 14 Illnesses that cause sweating.


How Can I Recognize if I Have Secondary Hyperhidrosis?

Excessive Sweating of the whole bodyLevel of sweating varies from person to person. Several factors (gender, age, physical and psychical condition, origin, physique) affects how much and how fast we do sweat. It means two different healthy people can sweat differently. Due to this fact, it is tricky to recognize what level of sweating we can consider being excessive. But there are some symptoms that point out secondary generalized hyperhidrosis. 

  • You sweat on the whole body on large areas of the body 
  • You sweat profusely at night (night sweats) or while eating (gustatory sweating)
  • No one else in your family has a problem with heavy sweating
  • Your excessive sweating didn’t start before the age of 25
  • You suffer from some disease or condition causing increased perspiration (check the infographics)


When to Visit a Doctor?

Well, if the criteria mentioned above fits on you, the best you can do is visit a doctor. He/she can look into your medical history and make some tests (Starch-iodine test, Filter paper test, Laboratory blood tests). These tests should be made to reveal the main reason behind your sweating. After finding the cause of excessive sweating, he/she can suggest proper treatment. 


How to Treat Sweating on The Whole Body?

There are many available and effective treatments for profuse sweating, but most of them are designed for topical use. It means if you use, for example, an antiperspirant for your armpits, or iontophoresis device for your feet, you will still sweat everywhere else. Anyway, it can bring some relief to you. But if you want to stop sweating all around the body, you should:

  1. Define the cause behind your sweating that should be a disease or a condition
  2. If some illness causes your abnormal sweating, try to treat the disease
  3. If your sweating is caused by taking some medicaments, ask a doctor for an alternative drug
  4. Women experiencing night sweats in menopause or pregnancy can feel better by using proper bedding and applying some topical treatment. If you take some medicine, ask a pharmacist if the medicine has sweating between possible side effects.

We need to say that probably no available treatment won’t heal the sweating itself! What all treatments do is that they affect sweat glands and force them to produce less or no sweat. As we said before, perspiration hangs on many factors. Your lifestyle and food can also dramatically affect how you sweat (in the long run). If you are interested in how to stop sweating naturally, a holistic method from a nutrition specialist Miles Dawson can be helpful. In his E-book called Sweat Miracle, you will find many practical tips on what to do and eat to sweat less. Check Sweat Miracle now.

8 Comments on “Excessive Sweating on the Whole Body – Reason to Visit a Doctor?”

  1. Thanks for putting together this article to help understand causes of excessive sweating. It’s good to have more information to figure out when it’s time to see a doctor to figure out the underlying cause. It’s nice to know that there may be some relief of the excessive sweating with a doctor’s help or by changing medications that cause the issue. Very informative article!!

    1. Thank you, Aly, for your interest!

      We hope, that our readers consider Sweatlimit as a helpful source of information about excessive sweating. 

  2. I knew something is wrong with me since when I have discovered I sweat rather too much than others. Having engaged in a very little task,I would find myself covered in sweat and also, I do sweat at night. I would have said it is menopause but I’m just in my early 30’s. Really, I need to see a doctor. Though you have outlined the symptoms of hyperhidrosis and when best to visit a doctor. But I would not want to waste any time at all. I will visit my doctor first thing tomorrow. Thanks

    1. Hello Tracy, 

      visiting a doctor is always the best option when you are not sure about your condition. Profuse sweating at night in women can have several causes, we discuss them in the article How to stop night sweats in women? 

      Besides menopause and pregnancy, estrogen level fluctuation in the menstruation cycle can also lead to increased perspiration at night. Also don’t forget to tell the doctor if you take some medicaments, because excessive sweating can be a side effect.

  3. What an interesting article. I had not thought too much about excessive sweating for quite a while. I know when I was teaching aerobics, I naturally sweated a lot. 

    A very dear friend of mine had a problem with very wet hands, and it is interesting to read that it is usually hereditary.

    I recall that she went for treatment when it got too bad. She had a brain tumor removed and I often wondered if that was the cause.

    There are so many people with diabetes and as you say, they probably have to suffer through excessive sweating too.

    Thank you for this information.



    1. Thank you, Jill, for your comment! 

      Many people who sweat excessively are not trying to do anything about it, maybe just because they have already used to it, or they think it is natural for their bodies. You mentioned that your friend with tumor sweats a lot on hands. Cancer is one of several diseases that affect sweating mechanism. In the article 14 Illnesses And Conditions That Cause Sweating you can find the most common ones.

  4. This is an interesting post and has made me think about the topic. I was an endurance athlete for over 25 years and one thing that always puzzled me is how little I sweated even if I did a three or four-hour run. Also, I never seemed to be thirsty even during extreme training. I even went on five-hour runs and never had to carry water with me.

    All I can attribute it to is that I was very, very fit. My resting heart rate was around 38 BPM. I could go long easy runs and often it took over an hour for my heart rate to climb over 100 BPM. Most people hit 150 BPM just walking from their chair in front of the T.V. to the fridge.

    I haven’t raced for years and am nowhere near the condition I was back then. Now I’ve noticed that I sweat quite a lot under my arms even if I’m not doing anything especially difficult physically.

    So my take on this is that when I was in excellent condition there was very little stress on my cardiovascular system and exercising in all its form was easy for me. Of course, there is a direct correlation between physical stress and sweating so I believe the fitter you are, the less you will sweat. I think that’s why you will see so many obese people sweating profusely. It has to do with their heart having to work so hard in order to do any sort of physical exertion.

    1. You are right, Ray, our physical condition is directly related to how we sweat. People with poor lifestyle tend to sweat more because even a small physical load increases their heart rate and breathing rate. On the contrary, athletes and people who eat and live healthily usually sweat less or at least more predictable. If you are interested in a diet that helps to sweat less, the book Sweat Miracle from a certified nutritionist and health consultant Miles Dawson can be helpful.

      In the article Excessive Sweating While Running – A Normal Reaction or Symptom of Some Disease, we discussed the relation between sweating and running. Profuse sweating during exercising or doing some sport is usually a good sign but when it is happening also during common daily activities, it can be a symptom of some underlying health disorder.


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