Excessive Head Sweating: 4 Causes & Treatment Options

Excessive head sweating can occur due to very hot environments or intense physical activity, but it may also be related to hyperhydrosis. This condition is associated with excessive sweat production. 

Sweat is a natural cooling mechanism that the body uses to maintain body temperature. It is produced all day, but may not always be noted. With hyperhydrosis, sweat glands release much more sweat than necessary and can cause excessive head sweating. 

In most cases, very sweaty scalps do not require specific trip. However, if it is uncomfortable, you should consult a dermatologist for assessment and treatment as necessary. 

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Main causes

The main causes of excessive head sweating are: 

1. Hot environments 

Hot environments can lead to increased sweat production, which can be noted in various parts of the body, including the scalp. In addition to sweating, hot environments may also cause scalp itchiness. These symptoms can often be relieved with a thorough cleansing of the head and hair. 

2. Intense physical activity 

Physical activity can lead to increased body temperature, which increases sweat production. Sweat can be noticed in the head as well as other parts of the body. 

3. Stress and anxiety

Stress and anxiety can also lead to excessive head sweating in some people. This sweating is a stress response to situations that increase blood circulation.

4. Hyperhydrosis

Hyperhydrosis is a condition associated with excessive sweat production, even when it’s not hot or the person is at rest. It can be most noted in the hands, feet, armpits and head. 

Sweaty scalp in babies 

Babies tend to sweat a lot through the scalp, especially when breastfeeding. This is a normal, expected finding, as a baby’s head tends to have increased circulation compared to the rest of the body, making it more prone to become warmer and sweaty. 

Babies who struggle to feed may also experience higher body temperatures. The close proximity of the baby’s body to the adult body can also increase body temperature, leading to increased sweat production. It is also important to remember that babies have an immature thermoregulation system, meaning they have a harder time to cool down or warm up to keep their body at around 36º C.

To prevent excessive head sweating in babies, be sure to dress the child in lighter clothing while feeding. Very heavy sweating should be assessed by a pediatrician to rule out other conditions that require a more specific treatment. 

Treatment options

Excessive head sweating can be a normal finding. However, if it is very uncomfortable or if it occurs frequently, you should consult a dermatologist. Depending on the severity of sweating, the doctor may recommend medications like: 

  • Aluminum chloride
  • Ferric subsulfate solution, also known as Monsel’s solution 
  • Silver nitrate
  • Oral glycopyrrolate 

With hyperhydrosis, the doctor may recommend botox injection applied in the area where sweating is most intense. This procedures takes about 30 minutes and requires no downtime. Sweating tends to decrease about 3 days after the initial infection.

If botox injections are ineffective, the dermatologist can recommend surgery, which involves surgical incisions into the skin.