Hyperhidrosis is a condition that causes an abnormally excessive amount of sweating. This sweating is not necessarily related to heat or exercise and is enough to drip from hands and soak through clothes. Embarrassment and social anxiety often accompany hyperhidrosis because the sweating so heavy that it disrupts daily life. When lifestyle changes and home remedies such as bathing daily, relaxation techniques, antiperspirant, airing feet, wearing socks and shoes made of natural materials, changing socks often, wearing clothing that fits the activity, and applying astringents are not enough to help cope with body odor and sweating, other treatments may be necessary.
One of the newer therapies for hyperhidrosis is radiofrequency microneedling. Studies have shown that after two to three treatments spaced over a specific period of time, sufferers showed significant improvement in the amount of sweating. This therapy is also used to treat acne scars, rosacea, cellulite, large pores, and other conditions. Many times rf microneedling packages consisting of multiple treatments over a set time frame are offered.
Microwave therapy can be used to destroy sweat glands. Typically, treatment includes two sessions lasting 20- to 30- minutes spaced three months apart. This type of therapy is not widely available and is generally considered to be expensive.
Sympathectomy and sympathotomy are two variations of nerve surgery used to treat hyperhidrosis. In sympathectomy, the surgeon clamps or burns the spinal nerves that regulate sweating in the hands. A possible side effect is that the procedure can cause excessive sweating in other parts of the body. Sympathotomy is a variation on the same procedure, but it does not remove disable the nerve but interrupts their signals instead.
The surgical removal of sweat glands is another treatment. It is helpful if the excessive sweating is localized, such as in the armpits. In this case, removing the sweat glands in the armpits may be helpful. A less invasive option is a type of liposuction for sweat gland removal.
Medications such as some antidepressants have a side effect that also decreases sweating. Prescription creams work by interrupting the signal from the nerves to sweat glands. Prescription antiperspirants cause sweat to become too thick and sticky for the sweat gland muscles to push out. Botulinum toxin or Botox can temporarily block the nerves that control sweating.
Hyperhidrosis can be an embarrassing and life-altering condition. Several treatments are available to help reduce sweating. Treatment may involve radiofrequency or microwave therapy, surgery, or prescription medications.