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    Most people apply an antiperspirant/deodorant to their underarms once or twice a day and that’s all they need to help them stay fresh and dry. Other people suffer from hyperhidrosis. No matter how much antiperspirant/deodorant these folks put on, they sweat and sweat. But help is available. Read >>
Health and Fitness News

End the Embarrassment

Excessive sweating is a problem many people deal with. Here’s what can be done about it.

Most people apply an antiperspirant/deodorant to their underarms once or twice a day and that’s all they need to help them stay fresh and dry. Other people suffer from hyperhidrosis. No matter how much antiperspirant/deodorant these folks put on, they sweat—and sweat and sweat and sweat.

And it’s not just under their arms. Excessive sweating can happen on the palms, face, feet, or other areas of the body. It’s an embarrassing problem that can stain and ruin clothes and make social interactions awkward. While people usually get sweaty in the heat or when they’re stressed, hyperhidrosis can strike at any time.

Hyperhidrosis may be caused by an underlying disease, but most of the time it affects otherwise normal, healthy people. As long as disease is ruled out, there are multiple ways to effectively treat excessive sweating.

Here they are.

Antiperspirants

When your regular antiperspirants fail to do their job, it’s time to find something a little—or a lot—stronger. Look for over-the-counter extra strength or prescription strength antiperspirants that contain aluminum chloride. When those don’t do the trick, it’s time to see a dermatologist.

The first line of treatment your doctor may prescribe is a prescription strength antiperspirant that’s made with aluminum chloride hexahydrate. This antiperspirant is typically applied before bed for two to three nights and then just once a week following initial treatment.

Medications

When sweating occurs in other parts of your body besides under your arms, or when antiperspirants and other methods fail, your doctor may prescribe oral medications called anticholinergics that work to reduce sweating by blocking the chemical messenger that triggers sweating. Unfortunately, medications aren’t without potential negative side effects. The most common suffered from these medications include dry mouth, blurred vision, constipation, heart palpitations, and urinary retention.

Iontophoresis

Used to treat excessive sweating on the hands and feet, iontophoresis is a medical procedure that has been shown to reduce sweating more than 80 percent by blocking sweat ducts. During the painless procedure, the hands and feet are placed in shallow water while a device passes a mild electrical current through the water. The process takes 15 to 40 minutes and is repeated several times a week until sweating decreases to a desired level. Once the sweating is under control, weekly treatments are needed for ongoing maintenance. Iontophoresis devices can be purchased with a doctor’s prescription and may be covered by insurance.

Botox

Often used to firm skin and reduce wrinkles, botox can also be used to treat excessive underarm sweating. Injections of botulinum toxin A in the skin temporarily paralyze the muscle and block the production of the chemical messenger that triggers sweat glands. Botox for hyperhidrosis has proven safe and effective, with up to 87 percent reduction in sweating. Treatments are uncomfortable, but results typically last from 4 to 12 months until repeat injections are needed.

Lasers

The use of lasers has also been developed as way to reduce hyperhidrosis. With this method, a thin beam of heat is aimed to destroy sweat glands under the arms. Surrounding tissue is left unharmed. The skin is numbed and small incisions are made to allow the laser to target sweat glands. Recovery is fast and since sweat glands don’t grow back, improvements are permanent.

MiraDry

Another method used to permanently kill underarm sweat glands, as well as remove underarm hair, is miraDry. Instead of lasers, miraDry uses microwave energy. During the hour-long procedure, the skin is numbed and cooled while electromagnetic energy heats and destroys sweat glands.