Excessive sweating happens when a person sweats more than is necessary. While sweating is necessary to cool the body and prevents overheating, people who have hyperhidrosis sweat at inappropriate times, when the body does not need cooling.
Many people who have hyperhidrosis sweat from their palms, feet, underarms, or head. This excessive sweating can interfere with everyday activities and affect a persons quality of life.
Several topical, oral and injectable medications can help with primary hyperhidrosis:
- Antiperspirants- Available with and without a prescription and work to decrease sweating by plugging the sweat duct openings, so that sweat cannot physically come out of the skin. The most common active ingredient in antiperspirants is called aluminum chloride. Now there are “clinical-strength” antiperspirants available over-the-counter with higher concentrations of active ingredients. The most effective time to apply anti-perspirants is at bedtime to allow for the antiperspirant to penetrate, adhere to sweat glands and exert its effects.
- Oral medications- Oxybutinin and glycopyrrolate, acetycholine receptor antagonist and anticholinergics, are often prescribed orally to treat hyperhidrosis. These medications can also be compounded for topical use.
- BOTOX® and other neuromodulators- BOTOX® was first FDA approved neuromodulator for the treatment of excessive underarm sweating and may also be used off-label for hyperhidrosis of hands and feet. Botulinum toxin works by blocking the release of acetylcholine which normally stimulates the sweat glands. Most patients say that the Botox wears off over a 6- 8-month period, at which time it needs to be re-administered. However, larger but safe quantities, injected at the initial treatment may lead to prolonged results.
- Laser and microwave treatment- The MiraDry System permanently kills targeted sweat glands with microwave energy. MiraDry and similar procedures have been shown to decrease sweating by 80- 90 percent.
Hyperhidrosis can affect individuals emotionally and socially. If you are affected by hyperhidrosis, Dr. Kittridge can help.