Excessive sweating, or “hyperhidrosis”, can be embarrassing and interfere with your job or other activities. It can also lead to other skin conditions such as chafing, dermatitis, and infection. Different areas of the body can be affected, but the most common sites include the underarms (axillae), palms and soles, lower back, and face. Hyperhidrosis can be triggered by stress/anxiety, heat, spicy foods, and exercise. Certain medications can also make this problem worse. Sometimes, hyperhidrosis can be the sign of an underlying medical condition, so it is important to talk to your doctor about your symptoms.
Some changes you can make to help control hyperhidrosis include wearing loose-fitting, breathable clothing, using over-the-counter “clinical strength” antiperspirants, and avoiding caffeine. To help prevent skin irritation and infection that can result from excessive sweating, change out of damp clothes as soon as possible, and try talcum powder or cornstarch powder after bathing. If hyperhidrosis affects the feet, try silver-containing socks and/or absorbent insoles.
If these measures do not control the problem, a prescription treatment may be needed. Prescription strength antiperspirants are available. These should be applied at night, just before bed, to cool, dry skin. They can be used once weekly to every day, depending on how you respond. Sometimes, if they are too irritating, a cortisone cream may be prescribed in order to make them more tolerable.
There are also oral medications that may be used to treat hyperhidrosis. While these are very effective for some patients, there is a risk of side effects, as with any medication. Your provider can discuss this in more detail with you.
Botox® is also an effective treatment option for hyperhidrosis. Botox® is injected into the affected area, and typically the results last for 3-6 months. Insurance often covers Botox® injections for hyperhidrosis. If not covered, we offer CareCredit, an interest-free payment plan to make this an affordable treatment.
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