Hyperhidrosis is the condition characterized by abnormally increased perspiration, in excess of that required for regulation of body temperature.
- Hyperhidrosis can either be generalized or localized to specific parts of the body. Hands, feet, axillae, and the groin area are among the most active regions of perspiration due to the relatively high concentration of sweat glands.
- Primary hyperhidrosis must be distinguished from secondary hyperhidrosis. The latter form may be due to a disorder of the thyroid or pituitary gland, diabetes mellitus, tumors, gout, menopause or certain drugs, and may start at any point in life. Primary hyperhidrosis is estimated at around 1% of the
population,and is more common in women.
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Treatment For Hyperhidrosis
- The most common treatment is aluminum chloride (hexahydrate) solution. A 15% aluminum chloride solution or higher usually takes about a week of nightly use to stop the sweating, with one or two nightly applications per week to maintain the results.
- Iontophoresis is often effective in patients with hand or foot hyperhidrosis who do not respond to aluminum chloride. The hand or foot is placed in a device that has two pails of water, each with a conductor. The hand or foot acts like a conductor between the positively- and negatively-charged pails. As the low current passes through the area, the minerals in the water clog the sweat glands, limiting the amount of sweat released.
- Oral medication: There are several prescription drugs available with varying degrees of success.
- Botulinum toxin type A (trademarked as Botox®): Injections of the botulinum toxin are used to disable the sweat glands. The effects can last from 4-9 months depending on the site of injections. The procedure has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
See also Sweathelp.org International Hyperhidrosis Society
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Scott Taylor, PA-C
Scott Taylor has been working in dermatology since 2011 with a special focus on surgical and general dermatology. He is particularly passionate about patient counseling in a wide variety of dermatological conditions from...
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