Hyperhidrosis is a medical condition that features with the excessive sweating. It is not a serious medical condition but may cause embarrassment and seriously interfere in patient's social life and interpersonal relationship. In the United State hyperhidrosis of the underarms, soles or palms affects 2 -3 % of all people. The problem with excessive sweating of the underarms starts in puberty while the problem with excessive sweating of the soles and palms may occur during childhood.
Over sweating may be rather embarrassing and people suffering from hyperhidrosis have to face this feeling each and every day. Excessive sweating leaves stains of the clothes and each time one has to shake hands with other people he/ she must pluck up courage and try to avoid embarrassment.
Causes of Hyperhidrosis
The exact cause of hyperhidrosis has not been identified yet. Even though it may be connected with certain neurologic, metabolic or systemic diseases hyperhidrosis most commonly affects healthy people. This medical condition may be triggered by heat, stress, emotions which lead to even more intensive sweating.
Treatment for Hyperhidrosis
There are several treatment modalities which may help patients suffering from hyperhidrosis and improve quality of their lives. The treatment includes antiperspirants, iontophoresis, oral medications, Botox and surgery.
The treatment starts with antiperspirants. The patients are recommended antiperspirants which contain aluminum chloride. These are more effective than the regular ones. Some people may even benefit from prescription-strength antiperspirants which contain aluminum chloride hexahydrate. These are applied before bedtime for 7 to 10 days in a row and after this period they are applied only once a week. The most common side effect of antiperspirants is irritation.
If excessive sweating cannot be stopped by antiperspirants patients are usually prescribed anticholinergics. These medications reduce sweating and may help patients suffering from hyperhidrosis. There are certain side effects of these medications such as dry mouth, insomnia and blurred vision.
Iontophoresis is another treatment modality of hyperhidrosis. During the procedure electric current is conducted to the skin and it prevents the production of sweat. The treatment requires several sessions.
If none of the previously mentioned has helped the patient he/ she may undergo Botox injections. These injections are applied right into the underarm. Specific amount of toxin is injected into approximately 20 spots in each armpit. The excessive sweating is reduced. However, the treatment must be repeated every six months.
And finally, the last option for people suffering from hyperhidrosis is endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy. In this procedure the surgeon interrupts some of the sympathetic nerves in charge with sweating. This is not a routine surgery and is only left for small number of patients.