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Aug 25, 2023

Close-up asian woman with hyperhidrosis sweating. Young asia woman with sweat stain on her clothes against grey background. Healthcare concept.

Do You Suffer from Hyperhidrosis?

If you sweat excessively, it could be hyperhidrosis. Hyperhidrosis is a condition that causes excessive sweating unrelated to heat or exercise. Some people sweat so much with hyperhidrosis that it soaks through their clothing or drips off of their hands, and the sweating can be so heavy that it disrupts normal activity and causes social anxiety and embarrassment. Fortunately, there are treatments for hyperhidrosis that can help. Let’s look a little closer at hyperhidrosis.

Types of Hyperhidrosis

There are three kinds of hyperhidrosis: primary focal hyperhidrosis, generalized idiopathic hyperhidrosis, and secondary generalized hyperhidrosis.

  • Primary focal hyperhidrosis is entirely treatable. This condition usually occurs on both sides of the body, affecting the hands, feet, underarms, head, and face. This can be remedied by techniques like Botox, also used in cosmetic dermatology. Sometimes, surgical intervention is used, but that is rarely necessary.
  • Generalized idiopathic hyperhidrosis involves excessive sweating on much larger areas. This is typically treated with medication.
  • Secondary generalized hyperhidrosis can be a side effect of another medical condition. Conditions like menopause or diabetes can lead to this problem, which must be investigated by a dermatologist to determine the right treatment.

What are the symptoms of hyperhidrosis?

OF course, the primary symptom of hyperhidrosis is excessive sweating. This sweating can be visible and may interfere with daily activities. Symptoms secondary to the sweating include skin infections and skin that turns soft, white, and peels. If you have excessive sweating that is accompanied by dizziness, pain in the chest, throat, jaw, shoulders, or arms, or cold skin and a rapid pulse, seek medical attention immediately.

How is hyperhidrosis diagnosed?

First, a physical exam is conducted, and the dermatologist will look carefully at the parts of the body that sweat heavily. The dermatologist will ask questions to help the doctor determine why the excessive sweating is occurring. There are medical tests that dermatologists will sometimes perform, like a sweat test.

How is hyperhidrosis treated?

The type and location of hyperhidrosis, along with the overall health and other factors regarding the patient, determine the method of treatment. There are several different types of treatment used.

  • Antiperspirants are often the first treatment recommended. An antiperspirant is affordable and can be effective when applied as directed. A regular or clinical strength antiperspirant may be recommended, or your dermatologist may prescribe a stronger antiperspirant.
  • The Iontophoresis is also called the no-sweat machine. This treatment is used at home and requires the patient to immerse hands or feet in a shallow pan of water while a medical device sends low-voltage current through the water. This can provide relief but can also be time-consuming.
  • Botulinum toxin injections are approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat hyperhidrosis in the underarms. The dermatologist injects a weak form of this medicine into the underarms, in tiny amounts, in several areas, and this can be effective in treating excessive sweating.
  • Prescription cloth wipes are also approved by the FDA for underarm sweating. These are individually wrapped cloths containing the active ingredient glypyrronium tosylate, and they can be used by people nine years old and older. They can be effective at reducing underarm sweating.
  • There are prescription medicines that temporarily prevent people from sweating. It’s important to be cautious with these medications if you are an athlete, work in a hot place, or live in a hot climate, because the body may not be able to effectively cool itself.
  • In rare cases, surgery may be considered. Surgery is permanent, and involves surgically removing sweat glands or destroying the nerves that signal the body’s sweat glands.

Hyperhidrosis Treatment from Expert Dermatologists

Whether you need hyperhidrosis treatment or expert advice and help caring for your skin, contact Arlington Dermatology. For over 40 years, our Board-Certified dermatologists have been serving patients, making the health and welfare of our patients our top priority. We offer innovative methods of treatment, using state of the art medical equipment, in our conveniently located, patient-friendly facility in Rolling Meadows, Illinois. Schedule an appointment through our website or call 847-392-5440.