What You Can Do About Excessive Perspiration

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March 24, 2015

Known medically as hyperhidrosis, excessive perspiration can cause emotional and physical distress for those who suffer from it. Beyond the embarrassment of visible sweat stains, perspiring excessively can put patients at risk for skin infections, rashes, and eczema.

Until the middle of the 20th century, individuals who perspired excessively had no real treatment options. The best they could do was change their clothes frequently to reduce the feeling of dampness that represents the principal symptom of hyperhidrosis. Wiping their hands and mopping their brows also reduced clamminess and the appearance of nervousness, but their sweating would continue unabated.

Now, prescription-strength antiperspirants, injections, and surgical techniques exist to control excessive perspiration. The choice of each option depends on patient-specific factors, including the area where a person produces the most sweat and whether other treatments have been attempted without success.

How To Recognize Excessive Perspiration As A Medical Problem

Sweat glands exist all over the body. This means hyperhidrosis can affect a person's hands, feet, underarms, and forehead. A small number of people experience excessive perspiration all over their body. Hyperhidrosis means sweating begins and continues even when the temperature is cool and the person is still. People who only sweat when they work out or spend time in warm environments do not have hyperhidrosis.

The condition runs in families, but it can also develop in conjunction with health problems that impair the body's ability to regulate its internal temperature or nerve response.

Finding Effective Treatments for Excessive Perspiration

The first approach to controlling excessive perspiration usually involves prescribing a daily application of a topical antiperspirant that contains a 20 percent concentration of aluminum chloride. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved this approach for all forms of hyperhidrosis and recommends it as the only therapy for heavily sweating hands and feet.

When a super-strength antiperspirant does not stanch underarm sweating, doctors consider injecting BOTOX® directly into overproductive sweat glands. Only a highly trained and certified physician should administer injections. More than one Botox treatment may be required.

A final option for excessive underarm and facial perspiration is surgical removal of sweat glands. The endoscopic transthoracic sympathectomy procedure can be performed on an outpatient basis, but only a specialist should do the surgery.

Are You Interested In Treating Excessive Perspiration? Contact Dr. Peter Goldman

For more information about any of the treatments we offer, contact a dermatologist in Los Angeles who can diagnose your perspiration problem and prescribe appropriate treatment measures.

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Category: Medical Dermatology

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