It’s summertime, and many of us are spending more time outside than we normally would because of the restrictions from Covid-19. Increased time in the heat is especially daunting if you have hyperhidrosis. When you’re already prone to excessive sweating, hot weather just provides more opportunity for uncomfortable and potentially embarrassing situations. Find out some of the hyperhidrosis treatments that you can receive to get some relief from your excessive sweating no matter the temperature.
Did you know that antiperspirants can be applied to places other than your armpits? If you have hyperhidrosis, your dermatologist might recommend using an antiperspirant for hyperhidrosis as an initial strategy for decreasing your sweating. You can apply it to the bottom of your feet, hands or hairline, as well as to your underarms. When you start to sweat, the antiperspirant will be absorbed into your sweat glands and plug them. This will signal to your body to stop producing sweat. If a regular antiperspirant is not proving to be effective, your dermatologist can prescribe a clinical-strength one with aluminum chloride, such as Drysol, Xerac Ac.
There are other medications that your doctor can prescribe besides antiperspirants. A cream that has glycopyrrolate can be applied to the face and head for excessive sweating. Some antidepressants are known to help reduce sweating and can also decrease the anxiety that triggers hyperhidrosis. Your dermatologist can prescribe an oral medication called an anticholinergic drug, which blocks acetylcholine, a chemical in your body that stimulates your sweat glands to start working.
Botox isn’t just a cosmetic treatment for wrinkles. It can also be used to help manage hyperhidrosis. Botox and other botulinum toxin A treatments (like Myobloc) block the nerves that stimulate your sweat glands. Usually, Botox is injected into the sweat glands of the armpit, but some dermatologists will also use botulinum toxin A for excessive sweating on the hands and feet. You will need to have several treatments for successful treatment of your sweating, but the results can last as long as a year.
To help with sweating in the hands and feet, you should consider iontophoresis. Iontophoresis involves the use of a machine that sends a mild electrical current through your hands and feet. During the 20-30 minute treatment, you sit with your hands and/or feet submerged in a shallow pan of water with a device attached that releases a low-voltage current through the water and into your body. The electrical current shuts down your sweat glands. You will need to repeat the treatment 2-3 times a week, but you can buy an iontophoresis device so you can do the treatments at home. You may find that your excessive sweating stops after several sessions and you can reduce your treatments to once a week or month.
In this treatment (such as miraDry), a device is used that delivers electromagnetic energy to your underarms, destroying sweat glands. It is a painless procedure and can effectively stop underarm sweat without damaging your body’s ability to cool itself with sweat, as only about 2% of your body’s sweat glands are in your armpits. This can only be used in your armpits, where there is enough fat to protect the area from damage. The hands and feet do not have enough fat to make microwave therapy safe.
If all other treatments have failed, and you are still suffering from constant and excessive sweating, your dermatologist may recommend hyperhidrosis surgery. One type of surgery removes the sweat glands from your armpits. Your dermatologist can achieve this removal through lasers, excision, liposuction or curettage (scraping out). Sympathectomy is a more serious surgery that involves the doctor cutting or destroying the nerves that send signals to your sweat glands. This kind of surgery has to be done in an operating room, whereas the sweat-gland removal surgeries can be performed in a dermatologist’s office.
Call Vanguard Dermatology today. Located in the greater New York City area, Vanguard has multiple board-certified dermatologists who provide expert treatment for a broad range of dermatological needs.