Excessive Sweating Treatment
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What is it?
Hyperhidrosis is a medical condition that causes excessive sweating. Many people who have hyperhidrosis sweat from one or two areas of the body (Primary Hyperhidrosis). Most often, they sweat from their palms, feet, underarms, or head. While the rest of the body remains dry, one or two areas may drip with sweat. Generalized (Secondary) Hyperhidrosis is caused by a medical condition or medication side effect and causes sweating on larger areas of the body. This excessive sweating can interfere with everyday activities and can cause people to feel extremely anxious and embarrassed.
Sweaty palms can make it difficult to turn a doorknob, use a computer, or shake a hand. Sweaty feet can cause problems with shoes, odor or lead to athlete’s foot or other infections. In addition, sweaty underarms often soak through clothes and can lead to social insecurities and body odor problems.
What causes it?
Certain nerves tell the body when to sweat. It is possible that these nerves overreact, causing excessive sweating.
How do we treat it?
Treatment depends on the type of hyperhidrosis and where the excessive sweating occurs on the body.
Clinical-strength Antiperspirants: These usually have Aluminum Chloride 20% as the active ingredient. Antiperspirants work by plugging the sweat glands. It can be over-the-counter or by prescription. Uses: Apply to underarms, hands, feet, or hairline
Botulinum toxin injections: Botoxulinum toxin can be injected into the skin of the area with excessive sweating in many tiny injections. Patients have little pain or discomfort and its effects last 4-8 months. Uses: Underarms, hands, feet [FDA approved for the underarms]
Iontophoresis (the “no-sweat machine”): This is an at home treatment that requires you to immerse your hands or feet in a shallow pan of water for 10-20 min. As you do this, a medical device deactivates the sweat glands by passing a low-voltage current through the water. Uses: Hands and feet
Prescription Medicine (Ditropan®): This is an anti-cholinergic prescription medicine taken by mouth that inhibits the part of the nervous system that triggers sweat production. However, the numerous side effects (dry mouth, dry eyes, blurry vision, constipation, and abnormal heart beat) prevent its use in many people. Uses: Large areas of the body
Surgery: If other treatments fail to bring relief, surgery may be considered. Surgery can be performed to remove sweat glands or to cut or destroy certain nerves that send signals to the sweat glands (sympathectomy). Surgery is permanent and carries risks.
Dr. Curcio specializes in Cosmetic and Laser Surgery. With her extensive experience, she can personalize a treatment regimen to help you attain the best possible result.