Hyperhidrosis & Excessive Sweating Treatment
If you believe you have excessive sweating, consider speaking with Greater Miami Skin & Laser today for a personalized Hyperhidrosis consultation. Our talented dermatologists can review your case, answer any questions you have, and help you determine whether you are a candidate for treatment. Call 305.532.4478 today to speak with our staff and schedule your consultation!
What is hyperhidrosis?
Hyperhidrosis–commonly known as excessive sweating or profuse sweating–is a common condition that affects people of all backgrounds and ages. The condition is bothersome and embarrassing for those who suffer from it, and often needs medical attention. However, many are too reserved about their sweating to talk about it with a doctor.
Unfortunately, hyperhidrosis goes far beyond just being embarrassing and annoying.
In severe cases, it limits a person’s ability to grip tools (like a pencil or hammer) and could even prevent someone from entering or exiting a room using a normal doorknob. In addition, hyperhidrosis causes people to change clothes more frequently and avoid tight-fitting or certain colors of clothing.
What is the cause of hyperhidrosis?
There are two types of hyperhidrosis with two different causes. Each type of hyperhidrosis is described below:
Secondary Generalized Hyperhidrosis
Secondary hyperhidrosis is a kind of excessive sweating that is caused by something else–commonly another health condition or medication side effects. Because secondary excessive sweating has a known cause, it’s much easier to treat than other kinds of hyperhidrosis. Often, the secondary condition is resolved, or a person’s medication is switched or discontinued, and the condition resolves itself.
Primary Focal Hyperhidrosis
This type of excessive sweating is not caused by an underlying medical problem or medication. Instead, primary focal sweating is the only known medical problem and those with this type of hyperhidrosis tend to experience excessive sweating in many places on their body. Often beginning during a person’s childhood, primary hyperhidrosis has been thought to run in families. However, there’s no specific cause for primary hyperhidrosis that is currently understood by researchers.
What parts of the body are affected by hyperhidrosis?
The excessive sweating is usually on the palms of the hands, the soles of the feet, and the underarms. Less frequently it occurs on the face.
Is hyperhidrosis preventable?
Primary focal hyperhidrosis is not preventable. That’s because the nerves responsible for signaling your sweat glands become overactive, despite the lack of a usual trigger such as physical activity or a rise in temperature. Stress and anxiousness simply exacerbate the situation.
Why some people develop this type of hyperhidrosis is unknown, making it impossible to prevent. It’s thought there is a genetic component to this form of excessive sweating.
Secondary hyperhidrosis is completely preventable by treating the health condition or switching the medication that is causing the excessive sweating.
The goal of some treatments, such as Botox injections, is to disable the sweat glands in the injection area for a period of up to six months. This isn’t full, permanent prevention, but it does provide temporary prevention.
How common is hyperhidrosis?
It’s difficult to get a good handle on the number of people who have hyperhidrosis, as many people are too embarrassed to talk about it with their doctor, while others don’t understand it is a condition and is treatable. The American Academy of Dermatology estimates that about three percent of the U.S. population suffers from excessive sweating.
Is excessive sweating hereditary?
While primary focal hyperhidrosis is somewhat of a mystery as to its causes, there does appear to be a genetic tendency. If your family members suffer from excessive sweating, it’s likely you will too. If your excessive sweating occurs in one or two areas of the body, this is likely genetically driven.
What type of doctor treats hyperhidrosis?
Your local dermatologist can help you reduce and relieve your excessive sweating using a variety of hyperhidrosis treatment options. A dermatologist who specializes in skin conditions like hyperhidrosis can complete a full diagnostic evaluation of your skin and determine the cause of your excessive sweating, possible causes, and treatment options that may work for you.
When should I see a dermatologist for excessive sweating?
Visit a dermatologist if you notice any of these symptoms of hyperhidrosis:
- Sweat marks on your clothing
- Sweating when you are not hot
- Sweating on the palms of your hands
- Sweating on your feet
- Chronic skin conditions, including fungal or bacterial
- Feeling uncomfortable about how much you sweat
- Sweating more than usual for you
"We had a great customer service experience! Dr. Zaicac is very professional and knowledgeable. He was nice and performed the procedure, fast and no pain. The Office staff, was nice as well. I would highly recommend Dr. Zaiac."
What is excessive sweating a sign of?
In most cases, excessive sweating is the sign of an underlying condition or medication side effects. It could also be a normal reaction to excessive heat, nervousness, stress, or anxiety. In some cases, it could be a sign of a more serious condition. Ask your dermatologist if you notice signs of excessive sweating.
Can hyperhidrosis be dangerous?
Sometimes, excessive sweating is the sign of a more serious health condition, such as a heart attack. It is very important to seek medical help immediately if any of the following symptoms occur in addition to excessive sweating:
- Rapid heartbeat
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
Is there a cure for hyperhidrosis?
Depending on which kind of hyperhidrosis you are suffering from, you may be able to overcome your condition. For those who suffer from secondary excessive sweating, simply changing your medication or finding a cure for the underlying condition that is causing the problem. The most common underlying conditions that can be treated to relieve secondary excessive sweating include:
- Generalized anxiety disorder
In addition, symptoms can be relieved when the following triggers are limited:
- Excessive heat
Talk to your dermatologist about how to manage your symptoms of excessive sweating. Your doctor can offer a personalized treatment that is suited to your personal needs and helps you get back to a normal lifestyle.
What is the best treatment for hyperhidrosis?
Typical treatments for excessive sweating begin with prescription antiperspirants and creams, but their success is variable.
Your dermatologist might recommend one of the following treatment options to reduce or completely stop your excessive sweating:
- Prescription antiperspirant medicine
- Antidepressant medications to alleviate excess sweating
- Prescription ointments or creams for excessive sweating
At Greater Miami Skin & Laser Center, we now offer the most effective treatment for hyperhidrosis — Botox injections. The FDA has approved Botox for the treatment of hyperhidrosis.
Talk to your dermatologist today to determine if any of these solutions may be the best option for you.
How does Botox work to stop hyperhidrosis?
Everyone has heard of Botox because of its success in treating wrinkles and lines on the upper third of the face. Botox received approval for those aesthetic uses in 2002. The FDA approved Botox for treating hyperhidrosis in 2004.
Botox, which is made from the botulinum toxin type A, works on wrinkles and sweat glands in the same way, by blocking nerve messages. For wrinkles formed by muscle contractions, Botox blocks the nerve messages to contract the muscles. When Botox is injected around sweat glands, it blocks the messages sent by the overactive nerves to the sweat glands, so the sweat glands do not receive the messages to begin producing sweat and the person stays dry or produces dramatically less sweat.
Who is a candidate for Botox treatment of hyperhidrosis?
Just about anyone suffering from hyperhidrosis could be helped by Botox injections, but patients must be at least 18 years old. Patients should also have already tried topical solutions and found them not effective.
What are some things I can do at home to help with my excessive sweating?
At Greater Miami Skin & Laser Center, we can help you with your hyperhidrosis with the treatments described above. But you can also try some home treatments to help.
At home, you can also employ these strategies:
- Wait between showering and dressing — Allow your body to become cool and dry before you put on your clothes after showering. This is especially true here in Miami with our ever-present humidity.
- Shave your armpits — If you’re experiencing heavy underarm sweating, you can try shaving your armpits. Hair holds moisture, and this includes underarm hair. Removing the hair also helps to fight any odor.
- Avoid foods that make you sweat — You may not know this, but your diet can impact how much you sweat. Some foods cause your body to produce more sweat. Low fiber foods make your digestive system work harder to break them down. High-sodium foods make your body detox all that salt in the form of excess urine and sweat. Foods high in fat cause your insides to warm as your body processes the fat.
These foods and drinks can also trigger armpit sweating:
- Processed foods
- Garlic and onions
- High fat foods
- Hot, spicy dishes
- Ice cream
- Liquor and beer
- Eat more foods that reduce your sweating — Conversely, some foods calm overactive sweat glands and reduce the amount you are sweating. These foods are easy for your digestive system to handle, and they don’t overstimulate your nervous system:
- Foods with high calcium content
- Vegetables and fruits with high water content (watermelon, grapes, cantaloupe, broccoli, spinach, cauliflower, bell pepper, eggplant, red cabbage)
- Olive oil
- Green tea
- Sweet potatoes
- Stay hydrated — Hydration helps keep your body cool.
- Wear breathable, loose-fitting clothing — Eliminate clothes that fit snugly under your arms. Wear breathable fabrics and clothes that fit more loosely. This is especially smart in South Florida.
- Lose the caffeine — Caffeine stimulates the nervous system and increases sweating. It also causes your blood pressure to rise, raises your heart rate, and kicks your sweat glands into action.
- Stop smoking — Nicotine works like caffeine, raising your body temperature, heart rate, and sweat production.