Hyperhidrosis - excessive sweating
Hyperhidrosis, excessive sweating, is a condition that affects about 1-3% of the population all around the world. It is equally common among men and women. It can occur almost anywhere on the body. Many people believe that excessive sweating only affects palms, feet and armpits but the condition might as well affect your head, groin, chest, back or even your whole body. In some cases the hyperhidrosis disappears after a few years. In some cases the sweating gets worse. Hyperhidrosis cannot be detected with blood tests and usually all tests are normal. Sometimes there are other, underlying causes to why a person sweat a lot. It is important to know that the treatments that are used against excessive sweating are not a cure but only a sympthomatic treatment. It is important to see a doctor and to receive the diagnosis hyperhidrosis and not to give the diagnosis to one self because that can make you miss signs of other, underlying diseases.
There are problems in the healthcare systems around the world today. We have most experience with the Swedish system but we know that there is usually not any difference in other countries. Patients with hyperhidrosis are not taken seriously and it is also very common that doctors and nurses lack important knowledge about hyperhidrosis and its possible treatments. To make sure you get a good experience with health care personnel familiar with hyperhidrosis, you should seek contact with practices that specialize in excessive sweating. In Sweden there are a few of these specialized clinics and Swedish citizens are allowed to seek care anywhere in the country for example: Akademiska sjukhuset in Uppsala, Huddinge sjukhus in Stockholm, Svettmottagningen Stockholm, Hudmottagningen in Uddevalla and so on. Svettmottagningen in Stockholm is a private practice but one can receive free treatments in Copenhagen through this clinic because of the laws of the European Union. If one is suffering from hyperhidrosis it is recommended to try out Aluminium Chloride that can be bought at pharmacies withput a prescription. If this does not work well enough, which is often the case with hyperhidrosis, one can try going to a clinic and receiving injections with Botulinumtoxin “Botox” over the areas with excessive sweating. Botox injections are usually very effective but need to be repeated 1-4 times per year. One can also receive medication against excessicve sweating, so called anticholinergic tablets but they are in many cases associated with several side effects.
There is a new method up and coming that is called Miradry. So far, it is only tested on treatment of the armpits and it looks like it might lead to permanent decrease of sweating. The method uses microwaves where the sweat glands are ”bolied”. If one suffers from hyperhidrosis in palms and feet one can also try the method called Iontophoresis. If one suffers from excessive sweating of the armpits one can try Aluminium Chloride. One can receive Botox injections at a clinic with and effect that usually lasts 3-12 months. One can try Miradry treatment a clinic. There is also a kind surgery where the surgeon removes the sweat glands but that can lead to scar tissue as well as swelling. These matters should be discussed with a plastic surgeon. Iontophoresis is not a scientifically proven method for treating excessive sweating of the armpits.
If one suffers from excessive sweating from the head, back, chest, groin och several large areas of the body on can Aluminium Chloride. Is this does not work the treatment is usually a combination och medicine and injections with Botox. This is a matter that should be discussed with the doctor at a clinic specialzing in excessive sweating. Excessive sweating of the palms and feet can also be treated with Botox but in cases where this is not possible, iontophoresis can be a good alternative.
Links to scientific texts about hyperhidrosis, some in Swedish, some in English: