While excessive sweating, or hyperhidrosis, is most likely not dangerous, it can be incredibly uncomfortable and embarrassing. Team Dermatology has different treatment options including Botox injections, as well as oral and topical treatments. Read on to learn more about this condition and how we can help you.
What is hyperhidrosis?
Hyperhidrosis is a medical condition that causes sweat glands to overreact and overproduce sweat. This results in pools of sweat that can lead to skin irritation and body odor. Sweating can occur all over the body or only in specific areas, such as the palms, feet, and underarms. There are two main types of hyperhidrosis:
- Focal Hyperhidrosis is a chronic condition that typically targets the hands, feet, underarms, and face.
- Generalized Hyperhidrosis is excessive sweating that is triggered by other medical conditions. Diabetes and Parkinson’s are two common examples of medical issues that can cause the body to produce too much sweat. Some medications, including antidepressants and pain relievers can also be triggers.
What causes excessive sweating?
The function of sweating is to cool the body down when it overheats. With hyperhidrosis, this sweating happens even when there is no need to cool down.
In focal hyperhidrosis, certain foods or smells can trigger sweating. Emotional stress is also a culprit, along with spinal cord injuries. Although the medical community knows what triggers the excessive sweating, they still have not discovered what the physiological cause is.
In generalized hyperhidrosis, excessive sweating can be brought on by autonomic nervous system dysfunction, high-intensity stress, infections, menopause, metabolic disorders, or certain medications.
Treatments for excessive sweating
There are a few different ways your doctor will treat excessive sweating:
- Addressing an underlying health problem. (If you have generalized hyperhidrosis caused by an underlying medical condition, you may be able to clear up your excessive sweating by treating the condition. Seek help from a medical professional if you think this may be the case for you.)
- A prescription for stronger antiperspirants than you’ll find in stores. (Antiperspirant that contains aluminum chloride may be effective in targeting excessive underarm sweat. Your doctor would give you a prescription for this, which you would use in accordance with their recommendations. Some prescription antiperspirants may cause skin irritation.)
- Topical medicine. (In addition to antiperspirants, there are creams and gels that can be applied directly to the affected area to stop heavy sweating. These are typically used to target the face and head area.)
- Prescription Medications. Some prescription medications may be triggers.
- Botox injections. (No, Botox is not only to smooth out wrinkles! Since these injections block nerve communication that can trigger excess sweating, they can be an effective treatment for hyperhidrosis. Injections last about six months to a year before they will need to be repeated.)
- Surgical procedures. (If you haven’t seen any results from the above treatments, you may want to talk to your doctor about your surgical options. In some cases, procedures that remove sweat glands or shut down certain nerves can be effective.)
Just because you have hyperhidrosis doesn’t mean you can’t live a normal life and avoid the social anxiety that comes with sweating too much. Make an appointment with a dermatologist today to discover your treatment options, and get back to your daily activities with confidence.