Excessive sweating is also known as hyperhidrosis. While more men than women are afflicted with this condition, it may cause women even more embarrassment and heartache than men.
This embarassing and potentially dangerous condition can cause a lot of anxiety and discomfort around other people. It can affect your daily life, cause you to be shy about touching people (in a romantic relationship, for example or shaking hands during an interview, for example) and even make it difficult to use your hands for important things, such as cutting vegetables with a knife.
There are different types of hyperhidrosis. Some people may find that only their underarm area is affected, others may find that their hands or feet are affected. If you’re particularly unlucky when it comes to skin problems, you may find that you have excess sweating all over.
Naturally, anyone who has this problem doesn’t want to go on living with it for very long. Luckily, there are treatments for hyperhidrosis that can help you improve the quality of your life.
Some of the most common treatments are:
* Prescription antiperspirants – these contain the ingredient aluminum chloride (not good for health an aluminum can be absorbed by the skin). This will not work with sweating anywhere other than the underarms.
* Over-the-counter antiperspirants – like their prescription stregth counterparts, these antiperspirants should be avoided when possible because of the aluminum chloride.
* Iontophoresis – this device passes electricity through your skin. It uses tap water to do so. The sessions take approximately 10-20 minutes, and you will need an initial treatment of 3 sessions a week. After that, you will go in routinely for maintenance. Most people do not find this painful at all.
* Botox – In the United States, Botox was recently approved by the FDA for tretaing axillary hyperhidrosis (excessive underarm sweating). It may work with palm and sole sweating, but is not approved to do so. Treating these areas would also be much more painful.
* Oral medications – the active ingredient in oral medications would be anticholinergics, which works to reduce sweating. Oral meds are not recommended because of the side effects they commonly cause. Many people report dry mouth and blurry vision while taking anticholingerics.
* Cervical Sympathectomy Surgery – this is a last resort option only for the most extreme cases. This procedure interupts the sympathetic nerves that are responsible for sweating. It’s a risky procedure but usually effective. It’s extremely rare that a doctor will recommend this procedure because of the risks (could lead to nerve damage or excessive sweating in other parts of the body).
Talk to your doctor about these excessive sweating treatments if you find that a hyperhidrosis condition is affecting your life.