Hyperhidrosis or excessive sweating is a condition that affects about 1-3% of the world population, men and women equally. People mainly associate excessive sweating with armpits and hands, but the problem can appear almost anywhere on the body - head, face, groin, torso, or feet. Excessive sweating can completely disappear for some people over the years, while for others, it can get worse over time.
Written by: Sandra Eriksson Mirkovic, MD
Currently, there is no cure available for hyperhidrosis. But, treatments like iontophoresis can help decrease the sweat level and alleviate the symptoms. Hyperhidrosis is not visible on blood tests, even though the symptoms are severe. Excessive sweating isn't always due to the condition called hyperhidrosis. Other medical conditions can also cause excessive sweating. If you're experiencing severe problems, you should contact a doctor to examine your case and exclude other diseases. Healthcare systems often don't have enough knowledge to take symptoms of hyperhidrosis seriously. The condition is referred to as "silent disease" because it can be challenging to find a solution to the problem and many suffer in silence. To make sure you're getting the right diagnosis, we suggest that you seek out a proper sweat clinic.
Several different treatment options are available for the treatment of hyperhidrosis. All options are worth testing, depending on the location of your sweat problems. Treatment that can be effective, but requires to be repeated a couple of times a year is injection treatment. The substance is injected into the skin of the body parts affected with excessive sweating. Most commonly, it serves as a treatment for excessive sweating of the armpits and palms. It's also possible to use injection treatment to treat other body areas, such as feet, head, back, groin, buttocks, and chest. Yet, it can be hard to find such clinics that offer this treatment. Also, it can be very expensive and requires new treatments after a few months. Some people can be immune to treatment with type A.
There is an alternative treatment with type B. Type B can be very effective and cause less impact on your muscles like for example temporarily reduced grip function compared to type A. However, type B toxin often has a shorter effect. Your doctor can prescribe you a pill, but these pills can often have many side effects. Sometimes, a combination of the pills and injection treatment therapy serves as a solution for people affected by general hyperhidrosis. You should discuss with your doctor at your sweat clinic before starting the treatment.
Another method for treating hyperhidrosis, mostly in the armpit area, is called miraDry. miraDry is a method based on microwaves that "boils" the sweat glands, which can lead to about 70-85% permanent reduction of sweating after 1-2 treatments. So far it has mainly been tested on armpits but it might be available for other areas in the future.
When it comes to armpit sweats, surgery may be an alternative solution. The so-called "Axillary evacuation" is a treatment where the sweat glands are removed. Side-effects of this surgery can be permanent scarring and swelling in the area. Before you consider this type of surgery, we highly suggest that you consult an experienced surgeon with knowledge and experience in the procedure.
An additional surgery option for permanent treatment of hyperhidrosis is Sympathectomy (ETS). Sympathectomy is used as a permanent solution for the treatment of hyperhidrosis of the armpits and palms. The procedure consists of cutting the nerves that convey the sweat signals to these areas. That way, the sweating in that area decreases. Even though it is a permanent solution for the treatment of hyperhidrosis, it's often associated with severe compensatory sweating on the trunk, as well as other unpleasant side effects.
Iontophoresis is a method that successfully treats hyperhidrosis. It's a painless method that you can use mainly for the treatment of your palms, armpits, and feet. You can perform the treatment at home and see great results when you perform it regularly. You can also use iontophoresis as the treatment of the face, although it's not yet proven as effective as for other areas. More than 90% of our satisfied customers who use our iontophoresis machine say that the treatment produces great results and helps ease their everyday life.
Patient Association for Hyperhidrosis
If you are affected by hyperhidrosis, you can join the Hyperhidrosis Patient Association in your country/region. More members strengthen the possibility of pushing the issue of hyperhidrosis patients' situations where you live. If you feel comfortable speaking about your pains and problems with hyperhidrosis with your surroundings, it can help you normalize the condition and make others with hyperhidrosis open up. If you have a person close to you that is affected by hyperhidrosis, it's important to learn how to communicate with your loved ones about their condition. It's critical not to accuse your loved ones of being responsible for their situation because they're stressed or overweight, etc. To discover more about how to deal with these situations, visit SweatHelp.org
Together we can make a difference and make sure that everyone who's affected by hyperhidrosis gets the right diagnosis, the right information, and good help.