7 Ways to Treat Hyperhidrosis
Hyperhidrosis, or excessive sweating, can be a significant challenge to those affected. Because everybody sweats, some people think that sweating more than the next person is no big deal, but for people who suffer from hyperhidrosis, this disorder can be isolating and sometimes hopeless feeling. Hyperhidrosis is not simply sweating more than others; real hyperhidrosis is persistent, excessive, and interferes with daily life and interpersonal interactions. Fortunately, there are several ways to address hyperhidrosis.
The first four solutions are easy to manage at home. Wear light, breathable fabrics, such as cotton, silk, polypro, or merino wool. Shower or bathe with an antibacterial soap to minimize odor (which is caused by the interaction of sweat with bacteria on the skin surface), and dry skin thoroughly before applying antiperspirant. Antiperspirants can also be used on hands and feet as well as underarms! Prescription antiperspirants are available when over-the-counter brands aren’t providing enough relief. Consider adding underarm liners and shoe inserts to absorb sweat and protect clothes and shoes. You can also cut down on spicy foods and alcohol, both of which may increase sweating associated with hyperhidrosis.
While Botox injections are most commonly associated with treating wrinkles, this can also be a very effective treatment for hyperhidrosis. Injecting botulinum toxin in the underarms, hands, or feet can provide reduction in sweat production for several months; treatments are usually initially scheduled 6 months apart and timing adjusted as needed based on each patient’s response. Botox works to relieve hyperhidrosis by preventing the release of the body’s chemical that activates sweat glands.
Additionally, anti-cholinergic medications are oral pills that can reduce the activation of sweat glands. Like any medication, this should be discussed with your doctor to consider the side effects as compared to the benefits. Often, starting with a low dose and slowly increasing as needed can minimize side effects of these medications.
Last Resort Options
For the most severe and resistant cases, surgery is an option for people with hyperhidrosis. ETS, or endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy, involves making a small incision along each flank, accessing the nerve related to hyper-activation of the sweat glands, and either clamping or cutting the nerve. Results can be life changing for patients with hand and underarm hyperhidrosis, however, many patients experience compensatory hyperhidrosis, so this important side effect should be considered and discussed with your surgeon.
At Dermatology Consultants, you can count on our understanding. Our practice is devoted to helping people experience the best of the life they want to live. Through professional achievements, extensive training, and experience, we are happy to offer you a full array of options for achieving your goals. Just contact any one of our three locations to get started.