Hyperhidrosis (Excessive Sweating)
Hyperhidrosis is a condition that causes excessive sweating. Sweating is the body’s natural way to cool down and maintain a steady, healthy temperature, and sweating in hot environments, during or after physical activity, or even as a result of a stress-related reaction is not uncommon. But when perspiration is excessive and chronic, it can be embarrassing and disruptive, interfering with normal activities and socialization. In hyperhidrosis, excessive perspiration is produced even when temperatures are cool, and usually occurs in the armpits, hands, and feet without any apparent trigger. Hyperhidrosis can cause clothing to become soaked with perspiration, and it can also cause physical discomfort and emotional anxiety and stress.
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Frequently Asked Questions
What causes hyperhidrosis?
Sometimes, hyperhidrosis can be caused by an underlying medical condition like:
spinal cord injury
Hyperhidrosis can also be caused by certain medications. When hyperhidrosis occurs as a result of an underlying condition or medication, it’s called secondary hyperhidrosis. Primary hyperhidrosis is not related to another medical condition, and it can occur even without an identifiable trigger when the nerves that stimulate sweat gland production are overactive. About 3 percent of the U.S. population suffers from primary hyperhidrosis, and people with a family history of hyperhidrosis are more likely to develop the condition themselves.
What is the best treatment for excessive sweating (hyperhidrosis)?
Depending on the type of hyperhidrosis you are suffering from (primary hyperhidrosis or secondary hyperhidrosis) as well as other factors, your dermatologist might recommend any of the below appropriate treatments used for excessive sweating conditions:
Prescription topical creams for excessive sweating
Botox injections for sweating
Antidepressants to reduce sweating
How is hyperhidrosis treated?
In people with secondary hyperhidrosis, the first step in treatment is to address the underlying medical condition to determine if a change in treatment results in a decrease in sweat production. When these steps are ineffective or in people with primary hyperhidrosis, treatment options include:
prescription antiperspirants for underarm sweating
medication designed to target sweat glands and slow production of perspiration
iontophoresis which uses an electronic pulse to deactivate glands
BOTOX® injections to block the nerve signals that trigger sweat production so glands aren’t stimulated
Patients with hyperhidrosis require ongoing treatment customized for their specific needs to manage symptoms and keep sweating under control.
What Kind Of Results Can I Expect From Hyperhidrosis Treatment?
Botox® takes effect within a few days of treatment, reducing the amount of sweating in the treated areas. Within a week, patients should notice the full results of treatment, with a significant reduction in sweating that lasts for approximately six months. With topical treatments, patients will gradually notice an improvement in their symptoms that can be maintained with regular use of the product.
Can Hyperhidrosis Be Caused By Anxiety?
Hyperhidrosis, also known as excessive sweating–is not simply the result of anxiety. Most people have a natural bodily response to sweat when they are experiencing hot temperatures or stress. But those who suffer from hyperhidrosis experience sweating that goes far beyond this type of normal sweating response. However, hyperhidrosis might be triggered or worsened by high anxiety or stress.