Hyperhidrosis: What Is It and What Treatment Options Are Available?

Hyperhidrosis is a condition that results in excessive sweating of the hands, feet, scalp, or armpits. According to WebMD, the condition is fairly common and affects around 2-3% of the U.S. population. Hyperhidrosis is not painful, but it can be an embarrassing and inconvenient condition. Excessive sweating can become intense and the stress that comes with it often results in even more sweating. Hyperhidrosis of the hands can make it hard to write on paper or hold books without getting the pages wet. Hyperhidrosis of the scalp can cause sweat beads to run down the face, even if sitting in a cool room.

Treatment Options

Thankfully, there are a few ways one can effectively treat and/or reduce the symptoms of hyperhidrosis. Some of them include:

Qbrexza is an anticholinergic, meaning that it works by blocking neurotransmitters from reaching nerve cells. This treatment comes in the form of a cloth and is only available by prescription. Inside of the cloth, there is a topical medicine that helps to stop excessive sweating of the underarms. To use this product, tear open the pouch containing the pre-moistened cloth. Next, unfold the cloth and wipe it one time across the left armpit and one time across the right armpit. After this, discard the cloth. For best results, repeat this routine once a day.

Botox is FDA approved for the treatment of excessive sweating. According to official sources, results will become apparent after a couple of days and should last for a while, although some patients need to repeat the procedure after 3-6 months. When it is time to undergo treatment, the affected area will first be cleaned and numbed with a special ointment. Next, a tiny needle will inject a small amount of Botox underneath the skin. In doing so, the nerve’s chemical signals will be blocked, preventing the stimulation of sweat glands.

Electrostimulation therapy, also known as iontophoresis, utilizes an electrical current to stop excessive sweating. During the procedure, patients submerge their feet or hands into a small tray of water; armpits require a special pad soaked in water. A small current passes through the water, which won’t give patients pain, only a slight tingle. This method is effective because it thickens the outer layer of the skin and also disrupts nerve transmission, both of which prevent sweat formation.

Prescription antiperspirants are sometimes needed when store-bought antiperspirants are not strong enough to handle excessive sweating. Antiperspirants typically come in the form of a topical liquid and are applied directly to the affected area. For best results, the liquid should be applied before bedtime and left on for 6-8 hours. Users need to keep the treated area covered so that the liquid does not get wiped off as they sleep. After waking up the next morning, wash the area with soap and water. Each individual treatment will last a week or two, and this procedure can be repeated before bed whenever affected individuals feel like the area is beginning to sweat again.

This article should not replace advice or treatment from a licensed medical professional. Only a doctor can make an accurate diagnosis.

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