Step #1: The Diagnosis
A doctor will ask a patient about his/her sweating patterns, including what part(s) of the body are affected, how often the sweating occurs and if these episodes occur during sleep. The doctor may try to rule out underlying conditions (hyperthyroidism or hypoglycemia) through blood and urine tests.
A doctor may ask:
- If the patient carries anything (napkins, towels, antiperspirants) to deal with the excessive sweating
- If the sweating affects his/her mental state
- If the sweating affects his/her employment
- If he/she changes clothing often
- How often he/she showers and/or bathes
- How often he/she thinks about the excessive sweating
A doctor can also perform a thermoregulatory sweat test. This test uses a powder that is sensitive to moisture. When excessive sweating occurs at room temperature, the powder will change color. Then, the patient is exposed to high heat and humidity in a sweat cabinet, which triggers sweating throughout the entire body. When exposed to heat, people who do not have hyperhidrosis tend not to sweat excessively in the palms of their hands, but patients with hyperhidrosis do. This test can also help the doctor determine how severe the condition is.
Step #2: Treatment Options
Treatment for hyperhidrosis is varied. A doctor will evaluate a person’s triggers for hyperhidrosis, along with possible causes. After this evaluation, the doctor will come up with a treatment plan that can lead to positive results and an improved quality of life. The following are treatments for hyperhidrosis:
These medications inhibit the transmission of parasympathetic nerve impulses. On average, patients will notice improved symptoms in two weeks.
Botulinum toxin (Botox injections)
These injections block the nerves that trigger the sweat glands. Several injections are needed for effective results. This is best for underarm sweating.
Both the hands and feet are submerged into a bowl of water. An electric current (painless) is passed through the water. Patients usually need two to four 20 to 30-minute treatments.
Antiperspirant sprays (not deodorants) can stop sweating. Some prescription-level antiperspirants contain aluminum chloride hexahydrate, which plugs the sweat glands.
ETS (Endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy)
This is a surgical procedure used in severe cases of hyperhidrosis when patients are not responding to other treatments. In this procedure, the nerves that carry messages to the sweat glands are cut. This procedure helps with hyperhidrosis in the face, hands, and/or armpits.
Step #3: Schedule An Appointment
If you feel you are experiencing symptoms related to Hyperhidrosis, contact our office today and schedule a consultation with Dr. Peter Mikhail.