Sweating a lot? It’s normal to sweat a lot after a long workout or an intense yoga class. You’ll also sweat when the sun is beating down in the middle of summer. But when you’re sitting still, relaxing in your home and notice sweat dripping down your back, you may suffer from excessive sweating.
Hyperhidrosis, the medical term for excessive sweating, is a condition that 7.8 million people in the United States, or roughly 2.8% of Americans, suffer from.
Doctors, at one time, didn’t recognize that hyperhidrosis was a serious condition. Instead, the condition was met by doctors shrugging off the symptoms.
“It won’t kill you,” they say.
But awareness has transformed this form of uncompassionate care, and now doctors understand that hyperhidrosis has a major impact on a person’s life.
Treatments are available to help you overcome bouts of excessive sweating and improve your quality of life in the process.
The four treatments that are the most promising include:
1. Iontophoresis Treatment
Iontophoresis treatment has a varying success rate, depending on where treatment is performed. You’ll find that the success rate on feet is as high as 98.5%, while underarm treatment has a 70% success rate. When you choose iontophoresis, you’ll be subjected to three treatments per week.
Treatment sessions can be reduced as you start to see a decline in sweating.
What’s great about this form of treatment is that it’s:
- Poses very little risk
- Improves confidence
Iontophoresis machines are a great overall option for anyone who has uncontrollable bouts of sweating. Doctors and scientists aren’t quite sure why this treatment works, but they believe that the electricity and minerals in the water will thicken the outermost layer of the skin.
An electromagnetic energy procedure, miraDry destroys your body’s sweat glands. This treatment targets the armpits, so it’s not an option for someone with excessive palm or feet sweating. MiraDry is an expensive treatment, and insurance doesn’t cover the costs.
The nice thing about miraDry is that the treatment only needs to be performed twice.
Once both treatments have been completed, the excessive sweating will stop. You will be able to mark the treatment area, so this procedure targets your problem areas.
The treatment isn’t painful. Cooling is applied to the skin to make sure that the skin is protected.
3. Endoscopic Thoracic Sympathectomy
Endoscopic Thoracic Sympathectomy, or ETS, is your last resort. This is a surgical procedure that will disrupt your body’s nerve signals and sweat glands. The nerves are disrupted at the spinal column, and the nerves are either cut or destroyed in the process.
While the treatment itself is rather safe, there is a concern: sweating may increase in other areas.
Patients that have received ETS often note that while their palms, or other problem areas, seem to have stopped sweating intensely, they notice that other areas of their body will begin to sweat. Correcting the issue is not possible.
And since 80% of people that undergo ETS have this problem, it’s deemed a last resort. Doctors, or any reputable doctor, will urge their patients to try all other treatment avenues first.
4. Medicinal Options
Medicinal options are available that will help you get your sweating under control. Your doctor will prescribe the best medicine for your condition, but it’s often some form of an anticholinergics.
What does this mean?
This form of medication works on a systemic level. Essentially, the entire body’s sweating will be under control, allowing you to sweat less. Doctors often don’t recommend medication until other forms of treatment have been sought.
Strong antiperspirants are also recommended. They can often be enough to help curb the intense sweating in minor cases.