The Ultimate Sweat Resource

Treatments for Excessive Sweating or hyperhidrosis

Use of Aluminum chloride antiperspirants:

Antiperspirants help to decrease sweat production by temporarily blocking the eccrine and apocrine sweat glands.  However, the commercially available cosmetic antiperspirants may not be very effective. You need to look for antiperspirants with aluminum chloride as an active component to trigger off the excess sweat.

Drysol is an antiperspirant with 1/5th aluminum chloride in ethyl alcohol (anhydrous). It is available only on medical prescription and is effective in treating excess sweat in palms and armpits. An application of Drysol on the involved areas for about 5 hours preferably before bed is said to yield best results. However, for those with sensitive skin it may cause tentative irritation in the applied areas.

Xerac AC is also a good antiperspirant for treating excessive sweating, though comparatively less effective than Drysol. Like Drysol this one is not available as an over the counter drug.

For successful results make topical applications using antiperspirants in the night before you fall asleep

Iontophoresis:

Iontophoresis is a tried and tested successful medical treatment for hyperhidrosis ranging from mild to moderate degree. The treatment includes conduction of electric impulses into the sweat glands through water to disrupt the sweat production. The electric impulses are administered for about 15 min in a session for about 3 sessions and then a maintenance treatment is needed 3 weeks post the previous session depending on the degree of hyperhidrosis. It has minor side effects like dryness and cracks in the involved areas. Though the process involves injecting electric impulses it is not very painful, it may trigger a slight tingle in the first session.  This treatment is now covered under medical insurance.

Botox:

Botulinum Toxin, commonly known as Botox is a medication that is used in anti-aging treatment for getting rid of wrinkles and to treat muscle spasms.  Its new application is to treat excessive sweating. Around 45 units of Botox are administered into the armpits in different spots to tentatively block the neurotransmitters aiding sweat glands for sweat production. The effect is known to last for about 6 months. Hence it turns out to be quite expensive. Since it is FDA approved you may want to grab a health insurance before you start the treatment. This method gives best results for reducing sweat in the armpits though it is insignificant when used to treat palms and soles. This may lead to weakening of muscle in the affected area for a short while.

Endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy:

As a last resort Endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy may be used. It involves surgery of the sympathetic nerves which stimulate sweating, to block a portion of the nerve connecting the sweat glands using an endoscopic machine which is inserted in between the ribs beneath the armpit. During the operation the lung is slightly deflated to enable a better view of the nerve. This method is risky though quite effective. It can sometimes lead to excess sweating of other parts and may cause lung diseases.

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