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What is hyperhidrosis?

Classified as excessive sweating, hyperhidrosis can be quite common.

Everyone needs to sweat to cool the body. Those with hyperhidrosis appear to have overactive sweat glands and they may sweat even when their body isn’t in need of cooling. This may cause embarrassment and frustration. Excessive sweating can be an uncomfortable, yet treatable, medical condition.

Causes of Hyperhidrosis?

The problem can be primary, meaning that the cause is not another medical problem. When the cause is unknown, dermatologists refer to it as idiopathic. Sometimes, hyperhidrosis is secondary, meaning that it stems from another medical problem or is a side effect of a medication.

What is the treatment for hyperhidrosis?

Please see a certified dermatologist in order to correctly diagnose your condition and to determine a cause. Treatment will depend on the cause.

Antiperspirants – the most common antiperspirant is  aluminum chloride hexahydrate. The antiperspirant is applied overnight and washed off in the morning. 

Iontophoresis – used to treat sweaty hands and feet, this treatment requires the patient to immerse the hands or feet in a shallow pan filled with water. A medical device sends a low-voltage current through the water and temporarily shuts off the sweat glands. When used every other day, it takes about six to ten treatments to decrease sweating. The treatments must be repeated to maintain results.

Botulinum Toxin Type A – Botox is a neurotoxin that blocks nerve conduction and, when injected into the underarms, soles and palms, helps to blocks release of a chemical that stimulates the sweat glands. The effect of the medication lasts 4-8 months.

Oral medication – Medications such as anticholinergics  prevent the stimulation of sweat glands. Medicines called beta-blockers may also be a treatment option.

Surgery – underarm sweat glands can be removed by curettage (scraping), liposuction, or surgical excision (cutting). There may be scars or compensatory sweating after surgery.

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