Hyperhidrosis can be either localized or generalized. Both forms can be treated, but the generalized form – which is caused by an underlying medical condition – can sometimes be cured if the medical issue is treated.
For those who have the localized version of the condition, there are several hyperhydrosis treatment options available to eliminate or manage this condition.
1. Prescription Antiperspirants
The simplest – and often most convenient – way to treat excessive sweating is with a prescription antiperspirant. These are typically stronger than the conventional, over-the-counter deodorants.
Conventional antiperspirants contain aluminum salts, which plug sweat glands to prevent perspiration. Prescription-level products can irritate the skin.
Antiperspirants can also be used on other parts of the body, such as the feet or hands.
2. Oral Medication
In cases of generalized hyperhidrosis, oral medications can be used to treat the condition. These medications are called anticholinergics, and they block the acetylcholine neurotransmitter, which is what tells your body to sweat.
While not FDA-approved, this form of treatment is commonly prescribed for this condition.
Like most other medications, there may be side effects to deal with, such as: constipation, dry mouth and even blurred vision.
Botox is a popular treatment for excessive sweating. It works by blocking the nerve signals that control the sweat glands. And if done properly, this treatment option has little side effects.
If you’re worried about Botox blocking sweat in one area and making you sweat even more somewhere else, don’t be. They simply make your sweat glands stop working as they once did.
The only downside with Botox is that one treatment only lasts four to five months, and it can cost $1,000 or more per treatment.
If the treatment is deemed medically necessary, insurance may cover the cost.
One controversial treatment for hyperhidrosis is an iontophoresis machine. This treatment involves you placing your feet or hands (or both) in a shallow tray of water for 20-30 minutes while some electrical current travels through the water.
Experts are still unsure of how the treatment works, but it is believed to block sweat from reaching the skin’s surface.
The treatment is repeated several times per week, but it’s designed to stop sweating. Machines can be purchased for at-home use, and some people only need to use the machine a few times per month for maintenance purposes.
While this treatment is considered generally safe, it does use electrical stimulation. For this reason, it should not be used by people who are pregnant, have metal implants, have pacemakers, or those with cardiac conditions.
While drastic, surgery is an option. If you do not respond to any other treatment options, a procedure called suction curettage may be a solution. This minimally-invasive procedure sucks out sweat glands from under the skin.
If this procedure does not work, another procedure called endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy (ETS) clips the nerve that stimulates the sweat glands. This procedure is invasive and will require you to be put under anesthesia.
ETS can cause a few side effects, which should be discussed with your doctor.