I Have Hyperhidrosis. What Do I Do?
Are you always sweating, even after applying deodorant? Do you continue to sweat even when it is not hot out or you are not exercising? Believe it or not, if you sweat excessively, there is a medical term for it: hyperhidrosis. Hyperhidrosis is more common than you may think and affects many men and women. If excessive sweating is a common issue for you, the dermatologists at the Dermatology & Mohs Surgery Institute can help determine if it is hyperhidrosis and what to do about it.
What Is Hyperhidrosis?
Hyperhidrosis is a skin disorder in which the body over-produces sweat in your sweat glands. Even when you are not in hot weather or exercising, your sweat glands become overactive, resulting in excessive sweating. Hyperhidrosis can affect any area on your body, but it typically affects the armpits, palms of the hands, and soles of the feet. There can be an underlying condition as the reason for you experiencing hyperhidrosis, or there can be no reason behind it.
Excessive sweating can disrupt your routine and your mental health, so it is important to get a diagnosis if you have any of these hyperhidrosis symptoms. To determine your hyperhidrosis causes, you will need to see a dermatologist to get a diagnosis. Once they diagnose you, they can also provide treatment options.
How to Treat Hyperhidrosis
When you schedule your appointment with a dermatologist, they will do lab tests and sweat tests to confirm their diagnosis. Once a dermatologist determines you have hyperhidrosis based on the test results, it is common to ask, “Can you fix hyperhidrosis?” Fortunately, it can be fixed through a variety of treatment options. If your hyperhidrosis is due to an underlying issue, that issue will be taken care of first. If it is not due to another medical issue, different treatments will be attempted until you find one that works best for your situation. These treatments may include prescriptions, nerve-blocking medications, Botox, miraDry, or surgical procedures.
Prescription-related treatments may include antiperspirants or creams. Antiperspirant contains aluminum chloride and can be applied to the affected skin before going to bed. It is then wiped off in the morning. Prescription creams are best used for hyperhidrosis on the head or face. Nerve-blocking medications block the signals that permit nerves to communicate to each other so they can reduce your sweating. These can be taken orally and can be combined with prescription creams or antiperspirants.
Although many think Botox is simply a cosmetic procedure to reduce lines and wrinkles, it also helps to block the nerves that cause sweating. The dermatologist will make several Botox injections in the areas you sweat from the most. Injections will need to be continued to keep seeing results. Conversely, miraDry is a commonly used treatment for hyperhidrosis too. The treatment is performed specifically on your underarms and is a permanent solution for hyperhidrosis. It uses a thermal energy that eliminates the sweat and odor glands and stops them from growing back.
If prescriptions or Botox do not work to make your hyperhidrosis better, surgery may be an option. Surgical options include microwave therapy, sweat gland removal, or nerve surgery. With microwave therapy, a device that delivers microwave energy is used to destroy the sweat glands. If excessive sweating is occurring in your underarms, there may be an option to remove the sweat glands there. Lastly, nerve surgery may be an option for excessive sweating of the palms. It involves cutting or clamping the spinal nerves.
Don’t let excessive sweating run your life anymore. If you are in Bloomington, Illinois or the surrounding areas, complete this form. A dermatologist from the Dermatology & Mohs Surgery Institute will reach out to you to help get your hyperhidrosis under control.