Treating Hyperhidrosis (Excessive Sweating)

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Hyperhidrosis, more commonly known as excessive sweating affects individuals in numerous ways. It can cause psychological emotional disturbance and reluctance to go out and participate in activities with friends and family. The affected person may hide themselves away. It affects both men and women equally and is sometimes difficult to treat. It is most commonly diagnosed in the palms of the hands, feet, face, and armpits. Luckily there are a number of different therapies to help control its symptoms including:

  1. Topical treatments that clog sweat glands. These only work for mild cases of hyperhidrosis and often cause burning and stinging sensations upon application.
  2. Oral medications to treat the condition work but often cause side effects such as migraines, dry mouth, flushing, constipation, and trouble urinating.
  3. In more moderate cases, BOTOX is used and usually requires several injections in the area to be treated. The downside to this type of treatment is that it has to be repeated every six to twelve months and is not a good option for those with neuromuscular disorders.
  4. Iontophoresis is a treatment for hyperhidrosis that involves sending an electrical current to the affected area. Unfortunately, it can’t be used on all areas of the body including the armpits.
  5. Laser assisted treatment can help reduce sweating of the armpits. It is a mildly invasive surgery that is capable of destroying the sweat glands by way of heat generated from the procedure.
  6. The last and most invasive form of treatment is thoracic sympathectomy. It is an invasive surgery. However, this option cuts nerve fibers that transmit the signals to and from the brain that tell your body to sweat. There are several risks associated with this procedure including anesthetic reactions, and other complications. The patient’s lungs must be deflated during the surgery so that the doctor is able to access the nerves. In addition, patients can develop compensatory hyperhidrosis which will cause excessive sweating in other parts of the body such as the face, hands, and feet. This procedure is somewhat effective but may seem extreme for the varied results.


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