Hyperhidrosis, or excessive sweating, can be a very distressing condition for its sufferers. It can cause great discomfort, a loss of self-confidence, and the embarrassment can even cause severe emotional distress. Patients who suffer from hyperhidrosis sweat an overabundant amount, regardless of patients’ mood, activity level, or environmental circumstances. There are now several effective treatment methods for this distressing condition.
Hyperhidrosis is categorized as either primary focal hyperhidrosis, where the excessive sweating is focused in specific body areas, or as secondary general hyperhidrosis, where the condition manifests in various unspecific body areas. In primary hyperhidrosis, the major affected body areas are the underarms, hands, feet, and torso. Certain people are genetically predisposed to hyperhidrosis, and others may have abnormally large sweat glands. Underlying medical conditions can also trigger hyperhidrosis, such as thyroid disorders or hormone changes that accompany pregnancy and menopause.
In cases where hyperhidrosis is a symptom of a different medical condition, it is often the best solution to treat the underlying cause itself, rather than the symptom. Medication or hormone regulation may fix this for such patients. For patients whose hyperhidrosis is not caused by these separate medical conditions, there are several other treatment options available. Prescription antiperspirant products that contain aluminum chloride may be enough to halt hyperhidrosis for some patients, but this must be applied daily, and is not as helpful in the areas such as the hands or soles of the feet. The most permanent solution is an endoscopic thoracic sypathectomy (ETS), which is a surgery that disrupts the nerves that cause sweating.
For patients who want a more long-term solution, but do not want to undergo surgery, BOTOX is a great middle-ground treatment. Though Botox is more popularly known as a cosmetic treatment for wrinkles, the Botulinum toxin has several other uses in the medical community. For example, it has been used successfully to treat muscle spasms and headaches, and it has now been proven to be a very effective treatment for hyperhidrosis. The Botulinum toxin has been FDA approved for the treatment of hyperhidrosis in the armpits and hands, and doctors have also used it as an off-label use for the soles of the feet. During treatment, Botox is injected into the tissues of the treatment area. The neurotoxins will then reduce sweat gland activity for several months; some patients have reported a relief from excessive sweating for up to six months after a single injection. The injections may be uncomfortable, but very small needle sizes will minimize this discomfort.
To learn more about treatments for excessive sweating, please contact us at Dyson Dermatology. Dr. Senait Dyson is one of the top dermatologists in Tucson, and has helped alleviate hyperhidrosis in many patients. Dr. Dyson will be able to help you determine a treatment course that is best for you and fits with your lifestyle. Contact us for a consultation, and do not let hyperhidrosis prevent you from fully enjoying your life.