Hyperhidrosis is a medical condition that causes excessive sweating. Sweating is a natural process that cools the body and prevents us from overheating. People who have hyperhidrosis, however, sweat when the body does not need cooling. The most common areas to experience hyperhidrosis are the palms of the hands. Other common areas include feet, underarms, or head.
Excessive sweating may not only be embarrassing but it can interfere with daily activities such as using a computer or shaking hands with a colleague or friend. Excessive sweating from the underarms causes embarrassing sweat marks and stains on clothing.
How can a Dermatologist diagnose hyperhidrosis?
Dermatologists can help control excessive sweating. The first step in treatment is to determine if there is a cause for excessive sweating. Medical conditions such as diabetes and thyroid disease can cause excessive sweating.
Treatments that dermatologists use to help their patients control hyperhidrosis include over-the-counter clinical-strength antiperspirants or prescription antiperspirants. Antiperspirant are applied to the skin and plugs the sweat glands. This prevents sweating and causes the body to stop producing excess sweat.
Botulinum toxin injections can also be used to treat excessive sweating in the underarms. Botulinum injections work by temporarily blocking a chemical in the body that stimulates the sweat glands. This treatment can reduce sweating for up to 6 months.
For excessive sweating that does not respond to treatment or excessive sweating in several areas of the body, oral prescription medications can be used. These medications prevent the sweat glands from working by blocking the chemical in the body that stimulates the sweat glands.