You probably know that sweating is your body's way of cooling itself. If you suffer from axillary hyperhidrosis, however, your sweating may have nothing to do with heat. It is typically caused by overactivity in the sympathetic nervous system, a part of the nervous system that is responsible for the "fight-or-flight" response.
The exact cause of this condition depends on which form of hyperhidrosis you suffer from. Generalized hyperhidrosis typically occurs suddenly in people who have not experienced hyperhidrosis in the past, and usually has an identifiable cause. Illnesses such as endocarditis or lymphoma, medications, obesity and low blood sugar are often found to be causes of generalized hyperhidrosis [source: Mayo Clinic]. After treating the underlying cause, excessive sweating usually goes away.
Focal hyperhidrosis is a different story. In this form of hyperhidrosis, excessive sweating is focused in one part of your body -- such as on your palms, the soles of your feet or your underarms -- in which you sweat for no apparent reason. The cause of focal hyperhidrosis is unknown, although research suggests it is a genetic condition, as 50 to 60 percent of research test subjects have shown to have a genetic link to other sufferers [source: The Center for Hyperhidrosis].
So deodorants don't work for you -- but that doesn't mean you have to suffer from profuse perspiration. To learn how you can treat axillary hyperhidrosis, keep reading.