It’s normal to get sweaty hands when you’re nervous or to perspire from head to toe after a particularly tough SoulCycle class. But if your hands are so sweaty that they’re practically drenched or you avoid leather shoes for fear of slippage, then you might have hyperhidrosis.
Don’t get us wrong—sweating is good thing. It’s your body’s way of cooling itself to prevent you from overheating (this is called thermoregulation, if you really want to get fancy). But with hyperhidrosis, your sweat glands get the message from your nervous system to go into overdrive. “The sweat glands themselves are normal, but they’re hyperactive,” Joyce Fox, M.D., a clinical professor of dermatology at the University of Southern California and a Cedars-Sinai medical group dermatologist, tells SELF. “It’s an exaggerated response to normal emotional stress.”
The name hyperhidrosis may be new to you, but if you have it, you know something’s up. People who suffer from hyperhidrosis sweat a lot.