Hyperhidrosis is the medical term for excessive sweating, a condition that affects almost 3% of Americans. While hyperhidrosis can be embarrassing, it can also have more treatments available that can help alleviate symptoms for affected individuals.
Types of Hyperhidrosis
Hyperhidrosis comes in many forms. There is a focal, primary form, in which patients sweat excessively from the time they are children or time during life and affects the whole body.
Generalized hyperhidrosis may be due to a poorly-understood over-activation of the nervous system, but it can also be a sign of an underlying disease, such as diabetes, hyperthyroidism, congestive medical doctor to ensure that no underlying condition is present.
Regardless of the form, hyperhidrosis can be a devastating disease. Excessive sweat can show up as visible damp patches on battle constant skin infections, or feel cold and clammy. Finally, profuse sweating may occur due to inappropriate stimuli, such as the smell of food, anxiety, or certain emotional states, further complicating the problem.
Fortunately, treatments for hyperhidrosis are available. Once a treatable, systemic condition like diabetes, menopause, or hyperthyroidism has been ruled out, treatments are based on relieving clinical signs of this bothersome condition. They are typically aimed at reducing either the activity or the number of functional sweat glands in the body. One of the most common treatments is prescription-strength antiperspirant. Over-the-counter antiperspirants contain aluminum chloride, which blocks the ducts of sweat glands to reduce their secretion of sweat.
However, the concentrations of aluminum chloride found in most deodorants are insufficient to treat hyperhidrosis. Prescription formulas contain more aluminum chloride and are more effective, especially for patients who sweat mainly in the armpit area. Other medical solutions include injections of Botox, which paralyzes the sweat glands and renders them nonfunctional for several months, and oral medications to reduce sweat gland activity.
For severe cases, surgical interventions are available to permanently reduce sweating. These include using suction or a laser to remove or destroy the sweat glands. Sometimes, managed with medical therapy.
Hyperhidrosis not an uncommon disease, and it can have effects on a patient’s life that can be devastating. Treatment is available– consult your doctor to learn more about your options.