Although this certainly does not come as a comfort, excessive sweating, also known as hyperhidrosis, is a condition that affects 1% to 3% of the population. The exact causes of this condition have not been established, but the results can often lead to extreme introversion and feelings of low self esteem. Yet, do not despair, if you are one in that 1-3%, there are methods to fight this dreary condition. But, first a bit about the hyperhidrosis.
Hyperhidrosis normally starts during adolescence and young adulthood. Normally, sweating is severe in soles, palms, or underarms. When excessive sweating is confined to these areas it is known as focal hyperhidrosis. It is important to mention and stress out that people suffering from this condition are regarded as healthy.
Basic Treatments of Hyperhidrosis
Unfortunately most of the individuals suffering from this condition have never sought any treatment. Studies show that people suffering from focal hyperhidrosis have lived with the condition since they were young. They have adapted to living with the condition to the extent that they do not recognize that the condition can be treated. There are effective treatments of excessive sweating. Although there is no perfect treatment, hyperhidrosis medications can go a long way in helping people.
Some general practitioners or primary care physicians have methods of treating focal hyperhidrosis, which include:
Over-the counter antiperspirants: these are applied to feet, hands, and armpits. The great thing is you do not require a visit to the doctor in order to obtain them.
Prescription antiperspirants: many people find that OTC antiperspirants are not enough, since sweat can soak OTC antiperspirants. Therefore, doctors usually prescribe stronger antiperspirants that are made from aluminum salts. These antiperspirants are effective for mild conditions.
If these two are of no help, it is a good idea to visit a dermatologist.
Advanced Treatments for Hyperhidrosis
Iontophoresis: in this method the feet or hands are soaked in a basin of water which has a mild electric current passed through it. This method is effective when done regularly and reduces sweating to a great extent.
Anti Sweating Injections: This is an injection that inhibits the sweat glands of the underarms. Approximately 20 injections are given into palms and armpits, while the area is treated with a local anesthetic. The effect usually lasts for up to a year and a half. This treatment is more than 90 percent effective as an excessive sweating medication.
Oral medications for hyperhidrosis are also effective in reducing excessive sweating but the side effects associated with it usually limit their use. Some of the side effects, depending on the medicine, can include lightheadedness, dryness of palms, mouth and nose or the area around the sweat glands, or even nausea.
In severe cases, referral to a surgeon becomes necessary. Surgical procedures used to treat hyperhidrosis are quite effective, but are recommended when nothing else works.
While focal hyperhidrosis is not considered medically serious, there are other forms of hyperhidrosis which signify underlying medical problems. Some people have generalized hyperhidrosis which involves sweating profusely all over the body. This can be caused by diseases affecting the sweating all over the body at once and is called generalized hyperhidrosis. It’s frequently caused by several factors such as infections, cancer, hormone problems, and nerve problems. Serious hyperhidrosis usually happens during the sleep, contrary to focal hyperhidrosis which occurs when you are awake. Individuals with this condition should see their doctor immediately.