Hyperhidrosis or excessive sweating is a condition that impacts thousands each year and though it isn’t usually harmful, your self-esteem can take a major hit. There are many hyperhidrosis treatments that can help make excessive sweating a thing of the past so you can once again feel comfortable in your own skin.
Sweat glands play a pivotal role in maintaining your body’s internal temperature. Our body perspires as a result of heat most commonly, but it can also be triggered by factors like stress, medications and certain illnesses. When a person sweats more than they need to, the condition is referred to as hyperhidrosis. Excessive sweating has many causes, but for some people there is no explanation beyond genetics. Excessive sweating of the eccrine sweat glands— usually on the face, underarm, hands and feet—is called primary hyperhidrosis. While the eccrine glands are not responsible for body odor, PH is disruptive to daily life because sweat can be more than just an unsightly issue. People with hyperhidrosis may not be able to hold things well due to sweaty palms. There are a number of issues caused by the condition, but any of them beyond justify doing something about it if it’s bothering you.
In other cases, hyperhidrosis has a clear cause, and it doesn’t need any real treatment. Stopping the activity or behavior may be all it takes to prevent excessive sweating. Exercising, eating spicy foods or having uncontrolled anxiety may be the cause of your condition. When hyperhidrosis has an external explanation, it’s called secondary hyperhidrosis. If your excessive sweating is caused by a health condition or medication you’re on, treating it will require an approach that works for PH.
There are a number of ways to treat hyperhidrosis, ranging from simple life changes to more aggressive actions. How you and your dermatologist go about treating hyperhidrosis is going to be unique to your condition. For example, iontophoresis is a unique, but long-practiced treatment for reducing hyperhidrosis of the hands and feet. It involves immersing your hands or feet into water with a slight electric current. While the reasons this treatment works are not entirely understood, it can be very effective for hyperhidrosis of the extremities. Iontophoresis can be administered in an office or in some cases you may be given an at home device. Iontophoresis needs to be done with some frequency, so being able to do it at home with a dermatologist-approved device is a nice perk.
For some people, an antiperspirant may work well for hyperhidrosis. Antiperspirants can actually be applied to more than just the underarms. They can also be prescribed to treat sweating of the hairline, hands and feet. Antiperspirants work by blocking sweat glands, preventing them from producing as much perspiration. Some people may encounter side effects from strong antiperspirants like burning or irritation, but for many people they’re a good line of defense against hyperhidrosis.
There are other ways to treat hyperhidrosis, including surgical options. These involve the removal of the sweat producing glands under the skin. While these invasive surgeries are effective and usually safe, some may be hesitant to try them. Other surgeries actually destroy the nerves attached to sweat glands, preventing the body from telling them to produce sweat. Surgical treatment is usually reserved for the underarm.
Before you try the nuclear option of invasive surgery, there’s a new way to treat hyperhidrosis and prevent excessive sweating without going under the knife. miraDry is a sweat reduction treatment that doesn’t require surgery or much downtime afterwards. miraDry uses thermal energy to destroy sweat and odor glands in the underarms. The process is not complicated, but it has some quirks. Local anesthesia is administered to the underarms before the treatment is administered. It uses a device that gives off focused heat and energy to damage sweat glands without harming other tissue. miraDry takes about an hour to administer, and common side effects are tenderness, swelling, discomfort or numbness. It is FDA approved and is highly effective. You may need more than one session to get the desired effects, but it depends on the person. If you don’t have hyperhidrosis, you may only need one session. Ultimately, miraDry can reduce sweating and odor by up to 85%. This is a remarkable improvement, and its safety and efficacy can’t be overstated.
If you’re struggling with excessive sweat, getting the right treatment for hyperhidrosis isn’t complicated. Find help with the experts you can trust at Northeast Dermatology Associates.
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