How to Know if Excessive Sweating is Really Hyperhidrosis

Man examines sweat mark on his t-shirt's underarm.

If you find yourself excessively sweating and there’s no deodorant that seems to help, you may have an underlying medical condition. According to a Saint Louis University report, nearly 3 percent of the U.S. population, or 7.8 million people, suffer from hyperhidrosis. This excessive production of sweat can occur on any part of the body and can be embarrassing to deal with. Whether you find yourself avoiding handshakes, wearing undershirts to absorb the sweat, or experiencing negative effects to your romantic encounters, hyperhidrosis can ruin social and business interactions.

What Causes Hyperhidrosis?

While secondary causes for hyperhidrosis can include a myriad of diseases, it is primarily caused by heat and emotions. It can happen in the middle of the night and in any mood.

How Can You Treat Hyperhidrosis?

There are several approaches to treatment, each depending on the area of the body affected by hyperhidrosis.

Antiperspirants

Regular or clinical strength antiperspirants are usually the first treatment your dermatologist will recommend. They work by plugging your sweat glands, and hopefully, signaling your body to stop producing so much sweat. Your dermatologist might recommend a prescription-strength antiperspirant, which contains aluminum chloride hexahydrate.

Prescription Cloth Wipes

This FDA-approved treatment is available to those with excessive underarm sweating who are aged 9 or up. These individually wrapped cloths are used once a day to treat underarms using glypyrronium to reduce sweating.

Medicine

Prescription medication works from inside the body to temporarily reduce sweating throughout the whole body.

Botox Injections (botulinum toxin)

Yes, the same treatment used to reduce wrinkles can actually help stop hyperhidrosis. The FDA has approved this hyperhidrosis treatment for underarms, but some studies have shown BOTOX may be effective for other areas of the body, including hands and feet, as well as with post-menopausal women.

Laser Therapy

Lasers are used to precisely target, heat, and destroy sweat glands in the underarms.

miraDry

This noninvasive, FDA-approved treatment uses electromagnetic energy to heat sweat glands and destroy them. Typically, this hour-long procedure is repeated 2-3 times for the best results.

Iontophoresis

During this treatment, affected areas of the body are submerged in water while a medical device delivers a mild electrical current, temporarily blocking sweat glands. People who suffer from hyperhidrosis may undergo iontophoresis several times per week, each session lasts 20-40 minutes. You may notice a mild tingling sensation, but it’s not strong enough to create a shock.

Surgery for Hyperhidrosis

Your dermatologist might recommend surgery for excessive sweating. This includes excision (remove of sweat glands), curettage (scraping out of sweat glands), liposuction (removal with suction), or sympathectomy, which is major surgery performed in an operating room. During this procedure, nerves are destroyed or cut to stop nerve signals that your body sends to the sweat glands.

There are several ways your dermatologist can address excessive sweating. To find out which one is best for your condition, Request a Consultation with The Derm Group online or call us at (973) 571-2121.

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