What Is The Medical Term For Sweating?

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Encountering a new word might make you anxious, but with a helpful dictionary or thesaurus nearby, learning new words is no sweat.

Speaking of sweat, you may be wondering what medical term is used to refer to sweating or an abnormal amount of sweat. Rather than sweat the small stuff, we decided to investigate the answer to this clammy conundrum. Cool off by taking a look below!

What is the medical term for sweating?

In medicine, the term hidrosis is used to refer to “sweating” or, sometimes, “excessive sweating.” The English hidrosis was first recorded in the 1890s. It comes from the Greek word hídrōsis, meaning “sweating.” This word ultimately comes from hidrṓs, the Greek word for “sweat.”

Generally speaking, the word hidrosis is typically used in medicine when describing an abnormally excessive amount of sweating, especially when that excessive sweat is a symptom of a disease or medical condition. Sweating by itself is not normally a cause for medical concern as people (and some kinds of animals) need to sweat in order to cool themselves down. It is more common to see the term hidrosis combined with other words in the names of specific medical conditions—more on that in a bit.

Healthcare professionals use medical terms—such as hidrosis—to provide universal medical care and standardize communication within the medical field.


Examples of medical terms that include hidrosis

The term hidrosis is typically used in the names of sweaty conditions that are named for a medically abnormal type of sweating. Here are some examples:

What are some medical terms similar to hidrosis?

In medicine and science, there are two other terms besides hidrosis that are used to refer to sweating:

  • The term perspiration is commonly used in medicine and science in general to refer to sweat or the act of sweating. Even more so than hidrosis, perspiration is often the term used to describe a healthy, normal example of sweating.
  • A medical term used very similarly to hidrosis is diaphoresis. Like hidrosis, diaphoresis is most often used to describe an abnormally excessive amount of sweating, particularly when that excessive sweating is the symptom of a medical disorder or disease.

Nauseous and nauseated originally had different definitions. So what is the correct way to use them? Read about it here.

Examples of non-medical synonyms of sweating

For whatever reason, you might want to talk about sweat outside of a medical context. Perhaps you are talking about your intense workout or describing someone who is sweating bullets because they are really nervous. In that case, there are some other words you could use to refer to sweating.

If you are looking for words that refer to secreting sweat, you could use:

  • perspiring
  • excreting sudor
  • experiencing diaphoresis

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If you are looking for words that could describe someone as being sweaty, you could use:

  • sudoric
  • damp
  • moist
  • sticky
  • wet
  • clammy
  • drenched
  • drippy

Figuratively, the word sweating could also refer to someone who is really nervous. In this sense, other words you could use include:

  • anxious
  • fearful
  • scared
  • tense
  • apprehensive
  • on edge
  • jittery
  • twitchy
  • ruffled
  • afraid
  • agitated
  • shaky
  • jumpy

Are you itching to know the medical term for "itching"? Time to scratch this one off the list.

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