Hyperhidrosis or excessive sweating is a commonly seen problem among many people. Excessive sweating can cause an embarrassing situation for the person suffering and also an uncomforting situation for the people around. Majority of the people suffer from excessive sweating in regions like palm and soles of the feet. Sweating in underarms usually starts later in adolescence age while sweating in palm region or feet can start early around the age of 12 or 13 years. Severe cases of sweating can create problem in carrying out regular activities like holding a pen, holding stirring wheel or even shaking hands with others.
Causes of Hyperhidrosis
Hyperhidrosis can occur in patients who are healthy; however a person can also suffer from excessive sweating in case of infection, weak immunity and other skin related diseases. Some might suffer because of heat or emotional distress. Most often the reasons are unknown and the person might suffer from sweating for almost entire day.
To treat hyperhidrosis a systematic evaluation of causes and triggers is carried out. With the help of proper stepwise approach to treatment, many people can achieve good results and improved quality of life. Usually the sequence of treatment is as follows:
- Using over-the-counter antiperspirants: To start with antiperspirants containing lower amount of metal salt are used. Antiperspirants having “aluminium chloride” is more beneficial for some patients.
- Prescription based antiperspirants suggested as per the situation
- Iontophoresis: It is a device which uses direct electricity to pass ionized tap water through the skin. It works by temporarily blocking the sweat glands.
- Occasionally depending on the situation of the patient oral medications are also prescribed. Side effects include dry mouth, blurred vision and problem while urinating.
- Botox is an effective method used that is approved in USA by the FDA. Botox can help reduce underarm sweating.
- Lasers are used to destroy underarm sweat glands that help reduce sweating to a certain limit.
- If none of the above options work then surgery known as thoracic sympathectomy is the last option available. The surgery intends to destroy the part of the nerve that connects to the sweat glands of the skin. This way the sweat glands are deactivated and sweating is controlled. The treatment involves risks such as sweating in other body parts and lung and nerve problems.
Botox for Excessive Sweating
Botox has been known to reduce wrinkles and also to treat migraines and muscle spasms. However, another benefit of using Botox is to reduce underarm sweating. A small amount of Botox is injected using a very fine needle into close to 20-25 spots in each armpit. The treatment could be discomforting for some patients. However, effect of the treatment stays for as long as 14 months. This treatment is approved by US FDA and is relatively safe, hence there are many patients who opt for this for faster relief. Botox is often used only on armpits; the usage of Botox on palms or feet is not approved by FDA.