The Most Effective At-Home and Medical Treatments for Hyperhidrosis
Excessive sweating, also known as hyperhidrosis, affects 8 million Americans. It can be a very embarrassing problem to have. The good news is there are treatments for hyperhidrosis that can help control excessive sweating.
Home treatments for hyperhidrosis
While changing your lifestyle won’t cure excessive sweating, it can help minimize your symptoms. Trying one or more of the following tips can be a good place to start if you’re looking for easy treatments for hyperhidrosis:
- Avoid known triggers – certain things like spicy foods and alcohol may exacerbate your symptoms. Avoiding these triggers can help with excessive sweating, particularly in uncomfortable situations.
- Avoid tight, restrictive clothing – restrictive clothing can hinder your body’s ability to breathe. Avoid tight clothing and man-made fibers that don’t offer good breath-ability such as nylon.
- Wear black or white clothing – instead of restrictive clothing, opt for colors which minimize signs of sweating.
- Wear thick, absorbent socks – just as breath-able fabrics can help on your upper body, socks made of natural, absorbent fibers can also help.
- Alternate your shoes – try to wear shoes made of leather and alternate which pairs you wear each day.
- Underarm and shoe liners – another option if heavy socks aren’t enough is to use liners in your shoes and under your arms to help absorb excessive sweat.
Use an antibacterial soap – showering or bathing daily combined with an antibacterial soap can help control the bacteria on your skin that causes body odor. Be sure to dry yourself completely following your bath or shower and before applying any antiperspirant.
One of the easiest treatments for hyperhidrosis is switching from deodorant to antiperspirants. Antiperspirants often contain aluminum salts. When applied to the skin, they help block perspiration. They can be applied to any areas where you sweat and can even be worn at night then wash it off in the morning.
Antiperspirants can be purchased over-the-counter or by prescription from your doctor. If you’re already using an antiperspirant and find it ineffective, ask your doctor for a stronger option.
Medical treatments for hyperhidrosis
Iontophoresis is one of the treatments for hyperhidrosis most commonly used on the hands and feet. It was first introduced over 50 years ago and has remained one of the primary treatments for hyperhidrosis. It can also be applied to the underarms but is usually less effective in that area.
Treatment with iontophoresis involves applying a weak electric current with a damp pad or water. The belief is that this electric current will help block the sweat glands. When treating hands and feet, your hands or feet are placed into a bowl of water through which an electric current passes. For treating the armpits, a pad is used. While treatment isn’t painful, some temporary, mild discomfort may be experienced. Sessions last for 20 to 30 minutes and need to be undergone two to four times a week.
Botulinum toxin injections
Botulinum toxin A is a chemical used to treat wrinkles you may be more familiar with under the name Botox. The FDA has approved Botox for treating hyperhidrosis in the underarms but doctors may also use it for excessive sweating in the feet or hands.
Botox prevents the release of a chemical which causes the sweat glands to activate. The procedure usually takes 30 to 45 minutes and requires 15 to 20 injections. The effects will last several months to a year, at which time additional injections will need to be applied.
Your doctor can prescribe anticholinergics as treatments for hyperhidrosis. Anticholinergics block the effects of acetylcholine, a chemical our nervous system produces to activate sweat glands. They come in tablet or solution form that can be applied to the affected areas. While they are not widely used, some people find anticholinergics to be an effective means of treating hyperhidrosis. Anticholinergics can have negative side-effects such as blurred vision, dry mouth, heart palpitation,s constipation, and urinary tract problems. As such, they aren’t for everyone and are usually only prescribed if other treatments are unsuccessful.
Hyperhidrosis is a very real and embarrassing problem. A full 90% of hyperhidrosis sufferers say that their condition negatively impacts their emotional state, causing reduced self-confidence and insecurity. These at-home and medical treatments can help you control your symptoms and improve your self-confidence.