Excessive Sweating: Best Treatment Options for Hyperhidrosis
Sweating is a natural, healthy bodily function. However, some people may notice that they sweat considerably more than the average person, even to the point that it complicates normal business and social interactions and causes embarrassment. In these instances there is a good chance the person is suffering from excessive sweating, otherwise known as hyperhidrosis.
Hyperhidrosis affects more than a million people in the U.S. each year, which equates to some 2-3% of Americans. People who suffer from hyperhidrosis can sweat up to four times more than the average person. Excessive sweating primarily occurs in the underarms (called axillary hyperhidrosis) or the palms of the hands or soles of the feet (palmoplantar hyperhidrosis).
Hyperhidrosis sufferers often face difficulties with everyday activities, with excessive sweat making it difficult to do simple things like turning a doorknob, holding a steering wheel, or shaking hands.
Do I have hyperhidrosis?
Hyperhidrosis is a medical condition that your dermatologist can help diagnose. If you experience any of the following issues you may be suffering from hyperhidrosis:
- Visible sweating: Do you regularly notice beads of sweat on your skin or sweat-soaked clothing while not exerting yourself?
- Interfering with activities: Does sweaty palms make it hard to grab items? Do you ever have issues where sweat transfers to a paper you touch?
- Wet skin: Does your skin stay wet for long periods of time?
- Infections: Do you regularly contract athlete’s foot or infections/rashes of the skin?
- Drysol – Drysol (aluminum chloride) is a prescription antiperspirant solution that offers a temporary solution to hyperhidrosis by applying a thin layer it to the affected skin area at bedtime.
- Botox – Botulinum toxin A (better known as Botox) is an effective but temporary solution to minimize hyperhidrosis. Botox is FDA approved for the temporary treatment of excessive sweating. The procedure entails injecting Botox just under the skin of the underarm using a very fine needle. Botox works to block the chemical signals from the nerves that stimulate the sweat glands to sweat. The treatment prevents unnecessary sweating for an average period of six to seven months, with some people experiencing notable reduction of sweating for up to one year.
- MiraDry – MiraDry is an FDA approved non-invasive treatment that delivers precisely controlled electromagnetic energy beneath the underarm skin to the specific area where sweat glands are located, resulting in thermolysis (decomposition by heat) of the sweat glands eliminate excessive sweat glands in the underarm. MiraDry is a permanent solution as sweat glands are unable to regenerate after destruction. For best results, two procedures spaced three months apart are recommended. In a clinical study, the average sweat reduction was 86%.