Hyperhidrosis, or excessive sweating, is an often frustrating and unsightly skin condition. Fortunately, if you’ve been diagnosed with hyperhidrosis, there is hope for its effective control and treatment.
Hyperhidrosis is primarily caused by overactive or misfiring nerve impulses. Primary hyperhidrosis usually occurs in the armpits, soles of our feet, and sometimes our hands. Our body sweats to regulate its temperature, but things can go wrong with our nerves. There’s no known cause or trigger for primary hyperhidrosis. Primary hyperhidrosis does seem to be hereditary in some way, as people are more likely to have hyperhidrosis if their parents or other relatives have it. Secondary hyperhidrosis is excessive sweating that is caused by another medical condition. Examples of other health problems that may cause hyperhidrosis include diabetes, heart attack, nervous system disorders, or menopause. This excessive sweating is less common but can appear anywhere on the body. If you experience excessive perspiration alone, with no other symptoms, and it’s generally on the hands, feet, or face, then it’s most likely primary hyperhidrosis. In either case, treatment is possible.
Excessive sweating can be unsightly, but it can also cause other problems. It can ruin clothing, make performing simple tasks difficult with slick hands, and can cause odor issues. There are plenty of reasons to want to bring excessive sweating to an end, and fortunately there are different treatments out there. Chances are, the first thing your dermatologist may suggest for your hyperhidrosis is a prescription antiperspirant. These drugs can be applied to the underarms, feet, and hands. Antiperspirants work by resting atop the skin and being drawn down into sweat glands, where they then clog the glands. With the sweat glands clogged, the body should stop producing as much perspiration.
Another method for treating hyperhidrosis may sound strange, but it’s usually very effective in reducing hyperhidrosis symptoms on the hands and feet. Iontophoresis is the process of submerging the hands and/or feet in tap water and passing a low voltage electric current through them. If this sounds a bit daunting, don’t worry; your dermatologist can help you get acclimated to the practice, and you’ll be doing it at home in no time. While the results aren’t immediate, iontophoresis can greatly reduce hyperhidrosis. The electrical stimulation inhibits sweat glands by shutting down the nerves controlling them.
Additionally, miraDry is a newer but incredibly effective way to permanently stop sweating of the underarms. While there are surgical options for removing sweat glands, miraDry is the only hyperhidrosis treatment that delivers permanent results in a noninvasive way. In fact, miraDry uses a handheld device to deliver precise electromagnetic and thermal energy to the sweat glands. The glands absorb this energy and are destroyed, giving way to sweat-free underarms in as little as a single session. Local anesthesia is applied prior to treatment to minimize discomfort, and miraDry can be done in your doctor’s office. There’s no downtime necessary following a treatment, with the exception that you should avoid exercise for a few days following treatment.
If you’re recently diagnosed with hyperhidrosis or suspect you may have hyperhidrosis due to excessive sweating, give us a call at Northeast Dermatology Associates. We’re happy to help you on your way to less perspiration.
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