Hyperhidrosis is an illness that’s characterized by increased perspiration, in excess of normal sweating, used to regulate body temperature.
Hyperhidrosis is divided in two categories:
Generalized hyperhidrosis involves the whole body, being a result of a core condition. As opposed to focal hyperhidrosis, it can start at any point in your life as a result of other condition such as menopause, certain drugs, mercury poisoning, diabetes and others.
Excessive sweating is found on specific parts of your body: underarms, palms, soles, face/head and it usually starts in adolescence. It is estimated to affect 2, 8 % of the population of the US. It affects men and women in the same proportion, commonly occurring among people aged 25-64 years. Some have been affected since childhood, and about 30-50% have a family member with the same condition, implying genetic predisposition.
The cause of focal hyperhidrosis is unknown, although it can be attributed to factors such as the ingestion of certain foods and drinks, caffeine, nicotine, etc…
Not a treatment per se, but changing clothes often, and washing carefully will help you decrease the uncomfortable feeling associated with perspiration.
These treatments can be applied to decrease sweating in a particular area of your body.
- Antiperspirants containing aluminum chloride hexahydrate or aluminum tetrachloride are the first line of therapy for hyperhidrosis.
Most regular antiperspirants contain aluminum chloride, and they’re especially effective for treatment of the underarm/axillary regions. Normally it takes 4-6 days to see the results. The main downside of this treatment is that it may cause skin irritation. For more severe cases, there has been some success using conservative measures like antiperspirants with a higher concentration of aluminum.
- Injections of Botulinum toxin, used to block the neural control of the sweat glands, lasting from 3-9 months, depending on the site of injections. This procedure has been approved by the FDA in the United States.
The stimulation with electrical current applied to the affected area. This procedure is repeated every 2/3 days for around ten sessions.. This device is usually used for feet and hands. The afflicted area is placed in a device with two pails of water with a conductor in each; the hand/foot acts like a conductor between the positively/negatively charged pails. When the current passes through the skin, the minerals in water block the sweat glands, limiting perspiration.
One of the few FDA-approved electromagnetic-devices for the treatment of hyperhidrosis is called miraDry, and the treatment is given in a physician’s office.
- Prescription medication taken orally used to treat either secondary or primary hyperhidrosis. Use of these drugs is limited by common side effects like dry mouth, constipation, urinary retention, mydriasis and cyclopedia. Furthermore, many of the medicaments used to treat hyperhidrosis are not approved by the FDA for that purpose, and are being used off-label.
- Formalin compresses
- Gluteraldehyde compresses
- Surgical procedures
These procedures are used to remove sweat glands:
-sweat glands suction
-retro dermal curettage
-endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy, which cuts or clamps the thoracic ganglion that runs alongside the spine. It can be helpful in treating axillary hyperhidrosis, facial blushing and sweating. There have been reported satisfaction rates above 80%, increasing in the cases of hand sweating to about 85-95%.
ETS has side-effects that range from trivial to devastating. The most common effects is compensatory sweating (sweating in different place prior to the surgery, with people claiming the compensatory sweating to be tolerable)