I Have Hyperhidrosis. What Do I Do?

 I Have Hyperhidrosis. What Do I Do?

Hyperhidrosis, or excessive sweating, is a skin condition that can be both a nuisance and an embarrassment. Here are some of the best treatments your dermatologist can offer for treating your hyperhidrosis.

Hyperhidrosis Treatments

Medications

Treating hyperhidrosis usually starts with topical antiperspirants. While there are countless over-the-counter antiperspirants, only prescription-strength drugs will help with even moderate hyperhidrosis. Antiperspirants work to penetrate the sweat glands and clog them. When this happens, the nerve impulses that cause excess sweating stop, since no more sweat can be produced. Topical antiperspirants can be applied as needed, but they aren’t without their downsides. They can only be used on so many areas of the skin, mainly the underarms, hairline, hands, and feet. Many antiperspirants use aluminum, which has been mistakenly linked with increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease and breast cancer. There are no substantial studies that corroborate this, however. Other topical medications include specialized wipes that contain glypyrronium tosylate. These wipes are applied to the underarm once daily and can help to reduce sweating in the underarms. This drug works in a similar way to antiperspirants, inhibiting nerve impulses that can cause hyperhidrosis. In rare cases, oral medication may be prescribed for preventing extreme hyperhidrosis. There is a risk with this treatment, because it stops sweating throughout the body, and sweating is necessary for controlling body temperature. People who work physical labor and athletes should not take this drug, as it can cause hyperthermia, a condition of excessive body temperature. Don’t take this drug in warm climates. It may be a good, temporary solution in the winter for people who aren’t extremely active.

Injectables

Injectable drugs have been used for treating primary hyperhidrosis of the underarms. These injectables use the botulinum toxin, the same toxin found in Botox (an anti-aging skincare treatment), to suppress sweat gland activity in the underarms. Studies are expanding the use of botulinum toxin injectables to other parts of the body, though the FDA only approves underarm treatment at the moment. The results of injectable treatment should be noticeable within a week, and the downtime from these injections is minimal. You can go back to your life right after treatment, and discomfort is minimal. The reduction in sweating is temporary, but you should see results that can last over six months.

Surgery and Beyond

The surgical excision of sweat glands can offer permanent relief from hyperhidrosis, but this is a last-ditch effort for extreme hyperhidrosis that doesn’t respond to any other treatments. Since surgery is involved, there are higher risks for serious side effects, bleeding, and infection. Additionally, general anesthetics need to be applied for these treatments. Fortunately, there is a new, noninvasive way that dermatologists are using to permanently stop hyperhidrosis in the underarms. Called miraDry, this product uses electromagnetic pulses to damage and ultimately destroy sweat glands that are responsible for sweat and underarm odor. The procedure is simple and can be conducted in your doctor’s office. A topical anesthetic is applied to the treatment area, and then a device is applied to the underarm. Discomfort is minimal, and miraDry sessions only last about an hour. In many cases, one miraDry session is all you need for permanent results. In fact, miraDry can completely and permanently stop underarm sweating. So if you find that antiperspirants, medications, and injectables aren’t working, know that there’s one last thing to try before surgery, and miraDry’s results are promising.


Hyperhidrosis is a condition that nobody wants, but millions of us struggle with it each year. With a call to the Pacific Dermatology Specialists, you can get on the path toward a far more manageable, if not cured, hyperhidrosis.

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