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We’ve all had the embarrassing experience of clammy palms when shaking hands, or visible sweat stains appearing on our clothing during a high-stress meeting. Heavy perspiration in times of physical exertion, mental stress, or high ambient temperatures is normal. If perspiration is a constant problem, or antiperspirants aren’t enough, you might simply think you are unlucky. However, excessive perspiration is actually a common and treatable medical condition, called hyperhidrosis.
Causes of hyperhidrosis
Hyperhidrosis is excessive perspiration that is not associated with typical triggers such as exercise, emotions, or heat. In most people, the cause is an over activity of the sweat glands and is not related to any underlying medical condition. However, in some cases, it is secondary to a medical condition, or medication. Some of the most common conditions associated with hyperhidrosis include heart disease, anxiety, menopause, lung disease, Parkinson’s disease, and an overactive thyroid.
Diagnosis and treatment
Your doctor will ask you about your symptoms, the severity and frequency of the problem, the area affected, and your medical history. We may recommend seeing your primary care physician if you have other symptoms, such as unexplained weight loss or unnatural fatigue, which could be signs of a more serious condition. However, for most people, hyperhidrosis is a straightforward problem that responds very well to simple treatments.
The most common treatments are:
- Antiperspirants – A high-strength antiperspirant may be sufficient for underarm sweating. However, it is not strong enough for everyone, and not possible to use in many areas where sweating is a problem.
- Oral medications – Prescription medicines can be effective in preventing perspiration, but they can have side – effects and may not be appropriate for everyone.
- Botox – Quickly becoming the treatment of choice for many people, Botox provides temporary, but long-lasting, relief from excessive sweating. It works by preventing the nerve signals that trigger the sweat gland over activity.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is hyperhidrosis hereditary?
Evidence suggests that heredity may play a role in some cases of hyperhidrosis. However, about half of all people afflicted have no family history of it.
How effective are over-the-counter products?
Deodorants simply counteract smell; they do not reduce the amount of perspiration. Antiperspirant products often contain aluminum, which may shut down sweating. However, they may also cause allergic skin reactions.
Does hyperhidrosis have other symptoms besides sweating?
In most cases, sweating is the only noticeable symptom. If you are experiencing other symptoms, the perspiration may be a sign of another medical condition.
Is treatment reversible?
The only permanent treatment is surgery, which most people prefer to avoid. Botox® is an effective solution that lasts around six months on average; longer with subsequent treatments. Therefore, you can enjoy long-term freedom with just a couple of annual touch-ups. If you discontinue Botox treatments, the symptoms will gradually return.
You don’t have to suffer with discomfort and embarrassment of uncontrollable sweating. Visit North Sound Dermatology Aesthetics and let us help you take control. Just call 425-954-2437 to schedule an appointment at one of our five locations in, Mill Creek, Everett, Smokey Point, South Everett, and Monroe.