Excessive Sweating: Best Treatment Options for Hyperhidrosis
One unique biological aspect of all humans is that we sweat. Some people sweat far more than average, however, and reach a level of constant perspiration that negatively impacts business and social interactions, leading to embarrassment and shame. If you find yourself sweating far more than other people, there is a good chance that you have a condition known as hyperhidrosis, otherwise known as excessive sweating.
More than a million people in America suffer from hyperhidrosis. It affects about 2 to 3% of the adult population, and millions more around the world are afflicted with this condition. A person suffering from hyperhidrosis can sweat as much as four times more than the average adult, drastically impacting their quality of life and relationships with other people. Hyperhidrosis primarily affects the underarm area (the official medical term is axillary hyperhidrosis), as well as the hands and feet (officially called palmoplantar hyperhidrosis).
Hyperhidrosis is far more than just an embarrassing condition. Suffers can have difficulty performing ordinary activities such as opening doors, gripping the steering wheel of a car, or shaking hands with other people. When a person is driven away from normal social interactions, severe psychological ramifications can occur. Thankfully, today there are a number of treatment options available to help reduce excessive sweating.
Do I have hyperhidrosis?
Hyperhidrosis is a chronic medical condition that only a dermatologist or medical professional can accurately diagnosis. Below is a checklist of some of the most common symptoms of excessive sweating:
- Wet skin without exertion – Regularly seeing sweat forming on your skin, or suffering from sweat-soaked clothes on a regular basis even when you’re not physically active.
- Interrupting daily activities – Sweaty, slick palms that make it difficult to grasp objects such as pens, doorknobs, steering wheels, and handrails.
- Getting things wet – You may regularly get papers and other documents wet when you touch them. You may also leave sweat marks on other people’s clothes if you touch them or transfer sweat to furniture and other objects
- Infections and Rashes – Regularly suffering from rashes, skin infections, and/or athlete’s foot
Today, there are a number of extremely effective treatment methods available for people suffering from hyperhidrosis. Below are a few of the most commonly-used treatment options for excessive sweating:
- PrecisionTx™ – The most advanced treatment now available for people suffering from excessive underarm sweating. Using a surgical incision into each axilla, the area of the underarm sweat glands is carefully defined. After a small amount of local anesthesia is applied and the area is numb, a tiny laser fiber is inserted into the affected area and then angled until it is directly above the sweat glands. The laser is then activated, and the sweat glands are destroyed, permanently removing their ability to function and cause transpiration. This procedure leads to a nearly 100% reduction in total sweating produced in the underarm area.
- miraDry® – This FDA-approved procedure is non-invasive and works by directing precise electromagnetic waves towards the sweat glands in the underarm area. This gentle application of heat leads to thermolysis, which essentially destroys the sweat glands at the cellular level, permanently disabling them. Most patients undergo two different miraDry® treatments, the second following about three months after the first application. Scientific research has demonstrated that sweating in the underarm area can be reduced by as much as 86% using this non-invasive procedure.
- Drysol – Officially known as aluminum chloride, Drysol is a prescription topical solution that coats and blocks the area affected by excessive sweating. Applied in a thin layer at night, Drysol forms a barrier over the affected area producing excessive sweat.
- Botox® – Botox®, the common name for Botulinum toxin A, is only a temporary solution to excessive sweating, but has been shown to be extremely effective in significantly reducing the symptoms of hyperhidrosis. After multiple clinical trials, Botox® has been approved by the FDA specifically for use in treating hyperhidrosis. After the Botox® is injected into the affected area, the nerve signals that activate the sweat glands to produce perspiration are interrupted, giving patients an average of six months of relief. Some people suffering from hyperhidrosis have experienced a significant reduction in sweating for as much as a year after a single Botox® treatment.
If you are suffering from excessive sweat, and would like to explore the best treatment options available for you, please call 215-315-7655 to schedule a private consultation with Dr. Kole.