Have you ever been sitting at home on your couch and noticed excessive sweat? Maybe you are in your place of business and have noticed excessive sweat in a meeting through your blazer or suit coat. If this sounds like something you experience often, you may be experiencing hyperhidrosis. Below, the dermatologists at Dermatology & Mohs Surgery Institute help diagnose hyperhidrosis and provide you with hyperhidrosis treatment options.
Some people sweat more than others, but in some cases it is excessive. When sweating becomes excessive and is not caused from hot weather or exercise, you are likely experiencing hyperhidrosis. If you have hyperhidrosis, you may notice sweat soaking through your clothes or dripping off your hands, arms, or face.
There are two types of hyperhidrosis. The first is called primary focal. This is when the nerves that trigger your sweat glands become overactive not due to heat or exercise. Sweat will become apparent on your palms and soles of your feet. There is no medical cause for this type of hyperhidrosis but may be hereditary. The other type of hyperhidrosis is referred to as secondary. This is caused by a medical condition that causes sweating all over the body. Conditions that contribute to secondary hyperhidrosis are diabetes, menopause, thyroid issues, infections and more. With either condition, this excessive amount of sweat may result in embarrassment or anxiety about being around others. If either sounds like something you have experienced, it is important to consult a dermatologist to get a proper diagnosis. Once diagnosed, the dermatologist can discuss treatment options with you.
To diagnose hyperhidrosis, a dermatologist will conduct lab tests and sweat tests. Once diagnosed, you will learn about your treatment options including medical or surgical procedures. Common medications prescribed include prescription antiperspirant or creams, nerve-blocking medications, or Botox injections.
Prescription antiperspirant is stronger than over-the-counter antiperspirant. It should be applied before bed and then washed off in the morning. If you are using a prescription cream instead, it often contains glycopyrrolate which is best for when the face or head is affected by excessive sweating. Nerve-blocking medications are taken orally and block the nerves from communicating with the sweat glands. Lastly, Botox is also an excellent option. It helps block the nerves from communicating like the oral medication, but lasts even longer. Injections are placed in each affected area and can last up to 21 months before you will need more injections. If none of these treatments are successful surgical procedures may be able to help.
A common surgical treatment is called microwave therapy. A device that delivers microwave energy will help to destroy sweat glands during two 30-minute sessions. Another option is sweat gland removal. For example, sweat glands in your armpits may be removed to help stop excessive sweating. Lastly, nerve surgery may take place for excessive sweating that occurs on your hands. A dermatologist will cut spinal nerves that control sweating in areas such as your hands.
Not all medical and surgical options are appropriate for everyone. If you think you are experiencing hyperhidrosis and want to have a proper diagnosis and be provided appropriate treatment options our dermatologists are here to help.
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