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One to two percent of Americans is affected by essential hyperhidrosis. The cause remains unknown, but hyperhidrosis may be genetic. There is a 70 to 80 percent familial incidence - that is, there are other family members with the condition.
Hyperhidrosis affects people of all ages and walks of life. Although the majority of patients have been young adults, cases have been noted in infants and young children. Treated patients have ranged from teenagers to those in their 60s. Among them are an FBI agent, an Olympic athlete, a grandmother fearful of dropping her grandchild and a mother and her baby.