Hyperhidrosis is heavier than normal sweating that occurs in somewhat random situations. For example, someone could simply be sitting at their desk in a classroom or at work, and start to sweat. Sweating caused by hyperhidrosis often occurs on the forehead, feet or in the groin area.
Hyperhidrosis typically starts during a person’s teens and doesn’t improve until they reach their 30s so it can be very embarrassing to deal with. Whether someone is consciously or subconsciously worrying about sweating, the brain sends a signal to activate the sweat glands. When someone with hyperhidrosis starts to sweat, it can soak right through their shirt, pants or socks in a very short period of time.
Do I Have Hyperhidrosis Or Do I Just Sweat a Lot?
Everybody sweats to some degree, especially during intense physical activity and when the temperature rises. Sweating can also be from nerves or stress.
But if you’re just sitting at room temperature, not exerting yourself, and you begin to drip, that’s a sign that you have hyperhidrosis. Most people will not sweat in this situation. However, if someone is dripping wet, a doctor can measure that and determine they have hyperhidrosis.
Four Types of Treatment
The first type of treatment is a high concentration, aluminum chloride deodorant. This is similar to over-the-counter deodorant, but the prescription version has much higher aluminum chloride content.
Aluminum chloride accumulates and swells in the outlet for the sweat ducts. Salt literally plugs the sweat glands so the body can’t release sweat.
This simple topical treatment is helpful as a temporary solution for a lot of people. However, a high concentration of salt can be irritating under the arm, especially because it needs to applied fairly frequently.
Robinol, an oral medicine taken as a pill, can also be used to dry the mouth and prevent a person from sweating profusely. Robinol can be especially helpful for a person who sweats from the groin, which is difficult to treat with a topical deodorant.
The drawback with Robinol is that it creates a dry sensation in the mouth, which makes a person feel thirsty. Also, Robinol doesn’t always work, even for people who have used it successfully in the past.
Most people associate Botox with cosmetic enhancement, but it can provide relief for up to six months. Some insurance plans will actually cover Botox for the treatment of hyperhidrosis, but treatments can be rather costly.
Remove the Sweat Glands
The only permanent solution is to remove or destroy the sweat glands. Sweat glands can be removed surgically, while ultherapy uses ultrasound waves to destroy the sweat glands without an incision. Ultherapy is a great option for people who have axillary hyperhidrosis, or excessive sweating of the underarms.
If you find yourself sweating profusely without strenuous activity and in environments where the temperature is comfortable, contact us to schedule an appointment. We can determine if you have hyperhidrosis and prescribe a treatment plan that makes the most sense for your individual situation and lifestyle.
Dr. R. Todd Plott is a board-certified dermatologist in Coppell, Keller, and Saginaw, TX. His specialization and professional interests include treating patients suffering with acne, identifying and solving complex skin conditions such as psoriasis, rosacea, atopic dermatitis, and identifying and treating all types of skin cancers. In his spare time, Dr. Plott enjoys cycling, traveling with his wife, and spending time with his children and new grandson.
Learn more about Dr. Plott.