Hyperhidrosis Treatment: Understanding Excessive Sweating


Causes of Hyperhidrosis
There are various reasons and medical conditions that can cause excessive sweating or hyperhidrosis. The most common causes include:

Genetics: If a close family member suffers from hyperhidrosis then there is a chance of inheriting this condition. Close to 50% of cases are hereditary in nature.

Neurological Conditions: Certain disorders that affect the autonomic nervous system functioning like Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s etc. can trigger excessive sweating in some people.

Medications: Some prescription medications as well as over-the-counter drugs are known to cause sweating as a side effect. This includes certain antibiotics, blood pressure pills, anxiety medications and decongestants.

Menopause: Hormonal fluctuations during menopause often worsen hyperhidrosis symptoms in women.

Injury or Burns: Nerve damages due to injuries, burns or surgical procedures near sweat glands can activate sweat secretion.

Hyperthyroidism: An overactive thyroid or hyperthyroidism is linked to increased perspiration.

Infections: Bacterial or viral infections can sometimes provoke bouts of sweating.

Hot Flashes: Menopausal hot flashes and night sweats are common contributors.

Stress and Anxiety: Emotional or mental distress frequently makes hyperhidrosis worse.

Types of Hyperhidrosis
Based on the areas affected, Hyperhidrosis Treatment is classified into different types:

Palmar Hyperhidrosis: Excessive sweating of the hands is the most common type affecting around 3 million Americans.

Plantar Hyperhidrosis: Sweaty feet that soak socks and shoes within minutes.

Axillary Hyperhidrosis: Underarm sweating that leaves unsightly stains on shirts and dresses.

Craniofacial Hyperhidrosis: Sweating of the face, scalp or other head and neck regions.

Generalized Hyperhidrosis: Sweating all over the body instead of localized areas.

Primary vs Secondary Hyperhidrosis
The condition is also divided as:

Primary Hyperhidrosis: Sweating beyond what’s needed for thermoregulation with no identifiable cause. Usually starts during teenage years.

Secondary Hyperhidrosis: Excessive sweating caused due to underlying medical conditions, medications or menopause. It has an identifiable cause.

Diagnosis and Tests for Hyperhidrosis
A dermatologist usually diagnoses hyperhidrosis based on:

– Thorough medical history and physical examination to rule out other issues.

– Iodine-starch test separates sweat from ordinary moisture and confirms affected areas.

– Quantifying sweat output through specialized sweat tests involving electricity or gravimetry.

– Infrared cameras that detect skin temperature changes from sweating.

– Tests to check thyroid, kidney and liver functions if hyperhidrosis is secondary.

Treatment Options for Hyperhidrosis
Depending on the severity, different treatment approaches are used either alone or in combination:

Behavioral Therapies
– Strong antiperspirants with 20% aluminum chloride regularly at night works well for many.

– Botox injections temporarily paralyze sweat glands under armpits every 4-6 months.

– Iontophoresis uses mild electrical current to inhibit sweat gland activity at home.

– Topical glycopyrrolate or anticholinergic creams/lotions for specific areas.

Surgical Procedures
– Sympathectomy destroys parts of the sympathetic nerve supply to sweat glands for long lasting relief, but has risks.

– Endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy is minimally invasive but requires general anesthesia.

– MiraDry works on microwave technology to destroy underarm sweat glands permanently.

Alternative Remedies
– Acupuncture, hypnosis and relaxation techniques as supplementary treatment.

– Oral prescription medications like anticholinergic pills. However, side effects are common.

With proper treatment, hyperhidrosis patients can manage their condition effectively and regain confidence. Lifestyle changes like quitting smoking, reducing caffeine intake and stress levels also complement medical therapies.

Managing Hyperhidrosis
People with hyperhidrosis must try coping strategies to make their situation more manageable:

– Wear light, breathable fabrics that dry quickly like cotton instead of polyester or nylon.

– Carry multiple changes of clothes, shoes and socks when outside for unexpected sweat episodes.

– Use paper or cloth towels to blot sweating instead of air drying which takes longer.

– Apply antiperspirant before getting dressed to allow active ingredients time to work.

– Wipe sweaty hands regularly and carry tissues or portable wipes everywhere.

– Take preventive measures during stressful or anxious activities.

– Practice relaxation techniques like yoga, meditation or deep breathing for mental relief.

Support Groups for Hyperhidrosis Patients
Connecting with others facing similar challenges provides invaluable support.

– International Hyperhidrosis Society is a nonprofit with resources for patients worldwide.

– Local support groups held by dermatology clinics offer real-time advice from experienced members.

– Online forums let people connect virtually to share experiences and treatment feedback.

– Counseling aids in coping positively with hyperhidrosis emotional aspects and reducing stress impacts.

With the right medical care, coping methods and community support, people with hyperhidrosis can effectively manage their condition and feel more confident. While it no longer needs to control their lives, seeking help early improves long-term outcomes.

1. Source: Coherent Market Insights, Public sources, Desk research
2. We have leveraged AI tools to mine information and compile it