Hyperhidrosis: What Is the Best Treatment for Excessive Sweating?
Hyperhidrosis, or excessive sweating, affects an estimated 5% of Americans. However, only 51% of people who suffer from hyperhidrosis have discussed it with a medical professional, so it may plague more people than we think. But what causes excessive sweating, how is it dangerous, and what treatment options are available?
If you suspect you sweat more than others, here’s everything you need to know.
What to Know About Hyperhidrosis
What Causes Excessive Sweating?
There are two types of hyperhidrosis: primary and secondary. Each kind is defined by its causes.
Primary hyperhidrosis doesn’t have an apparent cause. While symptoms may worsen when a person is stressed, doctors don’t believe it’s purely psychological. However, some recent studies have pointed to a genetic cause of overactive sweat glands.
Secondary hyperhidrosis is the result of another medical condition or circumstance, such as:
- Low blood sugar, also known as hypoglycemia
In either case, excessive sweating commonly occurs around the feet, armpits, and hands.
Why Should I Seek Hyperhidrosis Treatment?
Hyperhidrosis in itself isn’t necessarily serious or life-threatening, but it can be an indication that something else is wrong. If you experience frequent, heavy all-over body sweats, see a doctor as soon as possible. In some cases, excessive sweating indicates a serious infection, hormonal imbalances, cancer, or nerve damage.
If your excessive sweating doesn’t have an underlying cause, treatment is still important. People with hyperhidrosis:
- Are more prone to skin infections
- Lose valuable nutrients at a faster rate
- Suffer from the embarrassment that may lead them to avoid physical activity or social situations
Excessive Sweating Treatment
Fortunately, there are a number of hyperhidrosis treatments available, even if there isn’t an apparent cause.
The first is a heat-based excessive sweating treatment called miraDry. It’s well-suited to people that experience excessive sweating in the armpits. In about an hour, a professional will numb the affected area, mark it and apply thermal energy to halt or lessen the activity of sweat glands.
Topical medications provide relief to people who sweat excessively from their palms or feet. This can be a specific over-the-counter antiperspirant or a prescription-level medication administered by a professional.
Botox can also relieve hyperhidrosis symptoms. An injection of Botox blocks the nerves that activate sweat glands. It’s minimally invasive and might be great for patients that don’t respond to topical medications.
Oral medications may decrease sweating over the entire body. Due to the variety of oral medications available, many of them are prescriptions that should only be taken under a doctor’s advice.
A surgery called sympathectomy, the removal of sweat glands, is a more permanent solution. A doctor removes glands with laser treatments, liposuction, or by cutting and scraping them out.
Hyperhidrosis Treatment in Illinois
If hyperhidrosis is affecting your life, you can find excessive sweating treatment in Illinois at one of the Dermatology and Mohs Surgery Institute’s many locations. Our providers are highly-trained in fields ranging from surgical to cosmetic procedures. We’d love to go over your options, so please contact us today.