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Tips for Hyperhidrosis Prevention and Treatment

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Sweating is a natural response to certain situations, including hot weather, physical activity, anger, fear, and stress. Hyperhidrosis, however, is excessive perspiration without any visible reason. We have compiled a guide on hyperhidrosis prevention and treatment to help those affected.

Read this article until the end to learn about hyperhidrosis, its causes, risk factors, and how to treat it.

Dr. Szerman explains hyperhidrosis:

What Is Hyperhidrosis?

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Hyperhidrosis

According to the Brazilian Society of Dermatology, hyperhidrosis is a disease characterized by excessive sweating caused by hyperactivity of the sweat glands, which is often caused by no apparent cause. This condition affects 1 to 5% of the population and has a genetic or pathological cause.

The disease affects various parts of the body, with the armpits, palms of the hands, soles of the feet, face, groin, and scalp being the most commonly affected.

People with hyperhidrosis sweat excessively under normal conditions and even more so in hot weather or under stress.

Hyperhidrosis can be an uncomfortable condition, affecting both men and women’s social and professional lives. Excessive sweat on the armpits can stain clothes, and sweat on the hands can reduce the ability to handle objects and be embarrassing.

Not to mention that hyperhidrosis can cause other skin ailments, like warts, eczema, dermatitis, folliculitis, nail fungus, athlete’s foot, and more.

Therefore, finding ways to treat hyperhidrosis is critical so that its progression does not disrupt your personal, social, or even professional life.

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What Causes Hyperhidrosis?

Hyperhidrosis is a well-studied condition that may be linked to genetic factors. However, in general, this is a problem that appears for no apparent reason, particularly when it is primary hyperhidrosis.

When the problem manifests itself in adulthood, it may be linked to the side effects of other diseases or medications. Antidepressants are one type of medication that can cause the disease.

The following diseases have side effects that can lead to the development of hyperhidrosis:

  • Lymphomas
  • Thyroid Diseases
  • HIV
  • Chronic Alcoholism
  • Gout
  • Menopause
  • Febrile illnesses
  • Infections
  • Tuberculosis
  • Diabetes
  • Neoplasms
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Heart Diseases
  • Hormonal changes
  • Liver or bone cancer
  • Carcinoid Tumors
  • Leukemia
  • Mesothelioma
  • Adrenal Gland Disorders
  • Cerebrovascular Accident (brain stroke)
  • Lung disease
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Huntington’s disease
  • Stroke
  • Carcinoid Syndrome
  • Acromegaly
  • Drug use
  • Obesity
  • Family history
  • Migraines (some rare cases)
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Epilepsy

If you’re experiencing symptoms of hyperhidrosis, it’s best to see a doctor for a general evaluation. A medical professional will be able to diagnose the condition and recommend the best treatment for your specific case based on the signs, symptoms, and your personal history.

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What Types of Hyperhidrosis Exist?

Hyperhidrosis is classified according to the cause into two types: primary and secondary.

Primary Focal Hyperhidrosis

Primary hyperhidrosis often begins in childhood due to a genetic predisposition, which causes excessive sweating in the feet, hands, and armpits. Less often, this type may also affect the face or scalp.

Almost 50% of all individuals with hyperhidrosis have a family history of the condition, suggesting genetics may be a contributing factor.

Secondary Generalized Hyperhidrosis

Secondary Hyperhidrosis (also known as Diffuse or Generalized Hyperhidrosis) can be caused by external factors and affect multiple body areas at any time.

Hyperhidrosis may be caused by external factors and diseases, such as lymphomas, diabetes, medication use, alcoholism, anxiety disorders, neoplasms, menopause, infections, heart diseases, fevers, or hormonal changes.

How Can You Tell if You Have Hyperhidrosis?

As previously stated, excessive sweating, known as thermoregulation, is a natural process the body uses to regulate its temperature. However, one should take notice when the sweat production is excessive.

If you experience excessive sweating in unlikely conditions, like cold temperatures or when you’re not active, see a doctor to get a diagnosis and the best treatment for your hyperhidrosis.

Symptoms of Hyperhidrosis

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Hyperhidrosis

Hyperhidrosis is characterized by excessive sweating in the typical areas, such as hands, feet, armpits, and groin. Sweating typically intensifies with hot weather, physical activity, and emotional stress, although it may occur without these factors.

Symptoms of hyperhidrosis can include excessive sweating with no known cause, as well as other indications.

  • Persistent sweating for more than 6 months occurring at least weekly.
  • Excessive sweating leads to difficulty completing everyday activities.
  • Night sweats.
  • Hands and feet appear pale.
  • Weight loss due to perspiration.
  • Experiencing profuse sweating accompanied by a fever, chest discomfort, difficulty breathing, and a rapid heart rate.

If you experience any of the symptoms above, consult a dermatologist for a thorough evaluation. A doctor’s diagnosis is necessary to get the proper treatment for hyperhidrosis.

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Risk Factors for Hyperhidrosis Sufferers

Hyperhidrosis sufferers are more likely to experience certain risk factors. We already know that hyperhidrosis is a condition that causes excessive sweating, more than what’s needed to regulate body temperature.

Though not life-threatening, the disease can disrupt and complicate sufferers’ lives both personally and professionally.

Excessive sweating can cause psychological issues such as low self-esteem, emotional stress, depression, anxiety, and may also lead to skin diseases like eczema, warts, atopic dermatitis, fungal nail infection, folliculitis, acne, athlete’s foot and body odor.

Working in hot environments increases risk of fatigue and dehydration, leading to reduced productivity and compromised physical and mental well-being.

What Are the Ways to Prevent Hyperhidrosis?

Sweating is a normal body function that helps regulate temperature. however, hyperhidrosis is a medical condition where excessive sweating occurs. People can be born with hyperhidrosis or develop it due to certain diseases or medication side effects.

To avoid hyperhidrosis, except in cases of genetic inheritance, it is important to maintain good overall health, as many diseases and medications can contribute to this condition.

Mental and physical health are essential for preventing hyperhidrosis and other related diseases. Here are some preventive measures:

  • Eat a balanced diet.
  • Incorporate regular physical activity into your lifestyle.
  • Abstain from alcohol abuse.
  • Reduce your sugar consumption.
  • Avoid using drugs.
  • Do not self-medicate; always consult a doctor before taking medication.
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Opt for lightweight clothing.
  • To maintain healthy skin each day, use sunscreen, products designed for your skin type, and make sure to thoroughly dry yourself after showering.
  • Avoid excessive sun exposure.

Additionally, avoid antiperspirants and thermogenic foods, as they increase body temperature and may lead to excessive sweating.

When Should I Seek Medical Help?

Hyperhidrosis affects 3% of the population and can negatively affect self-esteem, physical and emotional health, and daily activities. It is often embarrassing and can make routine tasks difficult.

If excessive sweating is disrupting your daily activities, seek medical help.

Seek medical care if:

  • Excessive sweating leads to skin irritation, fungal or bacterial infections.
  • You become anxious about staining your clothes.
  • You have a fear or embarrassment of physical touch.
  • You exhibit signs of social isolation and depression.
  • Work difficulties arise.
  • You waste time managing sweat, such as frequent changes of clothes in a single day, wiping sweat several times, and using napkins and armpit pads to absorb it.

Seek medical help immediately if you experience any of the following symptoms:

  • Fever of 39ºC (102.2ºF) or higher
  • Experiencing continual shivering, lightheadedness, and nausea.
  • Physical weakness or frailty.
  • Feeling faint or dizzy.
  • Cognitive disorientation.
  • Chest pain.

When you are unable to manage your medical condition, it is essential to consult a doctor; self-medication is not advisable.

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How Is Hyperhidrosis Diagnosed?

A general practitioner typically diagnoses hyperhidrosis after evaluating its origin and symptoms. If needed, they may refer the patient to a specialist, such as a dermatologist, neurologist, or cardiologist.

During the initial diagnosis and consultation, the doctor will ask about symptoms, their onset, the patient’s lifestyle and whether the patient has existing illnesses or is taking medications.

To identify the source of hyperhidrosis and determine the most effective treatment, doctors may request a variety of tests, such as blood, urine, iodine, and sweat tests.

Can Hyperhidrosis Be Cured?

People with hyperhidrosis often wonder if it’s treatable. The good news is that, despite being genetic or pathological, there are treatments available that can significantly reduce symptoms.

Secondary Hyperhidrosis, caused by external factors, can be cured with treatment.

Primary Hyperhidrosis, caused by genetics, has effective treatments such as various procedures and surgeries. Effective solutions include:

Treatments for Hyperhidrosis

Hyperhidrosis treatments are highly effective and improve a patient’s quality of life. Here are some of the available treatments:

Botox Injections

Botox injections are widely considered the gold standard for treating hyperhidrosis.

This hyperhidrosis treatment uses a bacterium substance known as Clostridium Botulinum to inhibit excessive sweating.

The substance reduces muscle tension and suppresses sweat production for 3-10 months when applied to regions with a high concentration of sweat glands.

Botox injections are typically used to treat hyperhidrosis. Usually, the areas injected are the hands, feet, and armpits, but this may vary depending on the doctor’s recommendation.

The procedure is quick and easy, and should be repeated every 6 months for optimum results. It is a highly effective treatment, especially for severe cases, with great outcomes.

Botulinum toxin is an effective treatment for hyperhidrosis which offers several advantages over other treatments, including:

  • The application process is swift.
  • It’s painless
  • No anesthesia is required.
  • It is a cost-effective procedure.
  • It is 100% effective in reducing excessive sweating.
  • Results may last up to ten months without maintenance.
  • Regular maintenance every six months ensures long-lasting results.
  • Botulinum toxin is harmless to the organism.
  • It eliminates the need for daily tasks such as taking medications, grooming, and applying antiperspirants.
  • This procedure is not invasive.
  • No rest period after applying required.
  • Hyperhidrosis is best treated with this method.
  • It visibly improves skin in the area of application.
  • It helps reduce signs of aging on the skin.

Laser Treatment

Laser treatment is an alternative for Hyperhidrosis. This technique uses light energy to reduce sweat gland size, thus decreasing their production of sweat.

Use of Antiperspirants

Antiperspirants are a popular treatment for hyperhidrosis. They are products that can be applied to the skin to prevent sweating. They typically contain aluminum salts which temporarily block sweat glands in the skin, reducing the amount of sweat that is released, as well as body odor.

Antiperspirant active ingredients are absorbed by the skin, forming a protective barrier to reduce sweat secretion.

Use of Specific Medications

Hyperhidrosis can be treated with long-term use of medication prescribed by a doctor.

These drugs inhibit the stimulation of the sweat glands, decreasing perspiration greatly. However, they may cause decreases in urine, saliva and tears production, so caution should be taken.

Endoscopic Thoracic Sympathectomy Surgery

Thoracic Sympathectomy, a surgery performed by a thoracic surgeon, is an option for severe cases of hyperhidrosis that have not responded to other treatments. It works by blocking certain functions of the sympathetic nervous system.

Sweat production is suppressed and can be treated on the face, neck, scalp, chest, abdomen, armpits, back, hands, and feet.

A thoracoscope – an instrument with a camera attached – is inserted through one side of the thorax to reach the sympathetic nerve close to the spinal cord. This surgical procedure is performed via video.

The surgeon will decide whether to divide the nerve or clip it into pieces to reduce sweat gland activity.

The procedure, which lasts approximately one hour, requires general anesthesia and two weeks of rest post-surgery.

Sweat Gland Removal Surgery

For more severe cases that have not responded to other treatments, surgeons may remove sweat glands to reduce excessive sweating in the armpits.

Under local anesthesia, two small cuts in the armpits are made, and hydrosuction cannulas inserted to remove the sweat glands. Post-operatively, patients must rest for two days and avoid straining the arms.

What Is the Most Effective Treatment for Hyperhidrosis?

Botulinum toxin is the most commonly used treatment for hyperhidrosis. It’s a non-surgical procedure that addresses the root of the problem efficiently, quickly, and safely.

FAQ

What Body Areas Are Most Commonly Affected by Hyperhidrosis?

Primary and secondary hyperhidrosis most frequently affect the palms of the hands, armpits, groin, and soles of the feet. Excessive sweating of the face, scalp, breasts, and other areas of the body is, however, also common.

What Is the Duration of Hyperhidrosis Treatment?

Treatment lengths vary depending on the treatment chosen and the doctor’s recommendation. Botulinum toxin treatment requires maintenance every six months and gradually reduces sweat production, decreasing the need for further applications. Times may vary for other treatments.

How Many Sessions Are Necessary?

The duration and number of treatment sessions vary based on severity, region, procedure, and other factors. Botulinum toxin treatments last up to 10 months and require a second session after 6 months to maintain results.

What Is the Title of a Doctor Who Specializes in Treating Hyperhidrosis?

Different medical specialties treat hyperhidrosis, depending on the diagnosis, origin, and treatment goals. Considering intensity of disease, its location, and treatment options, which can include botulinum toxin, local medication, or even surgery.

General Practitioners can diagnose the disease and refer to Dermatologists, Neurologists, Cardiologists, or Plastic or Thoracic Surgeons as needed.

Hyperhidrosis Before and After

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Treatment Statistics

Hyperhidrosis affects 1-5% of the population and can be significantly disruptive to sufferers’ social and professional lives, despite not being a serious medical condition. It can cause significant distress and negatively impact well-being.

Axillary hyperhidrosis can range in intensity from mild to severe, with 87% of cases resulting in bromhidrosis (body odor).

Testimonials

Hear what people are saying about Clínica Pele’s treatment for hyperhidrosis, and be amazed at the results that botulinum toxin therapy offers.

Hyperhidrosis can have a significant effect on someone’s wellbeing and self-confidence, despite it not being considered a serious condition. It is important to seek out effective treatments to improve quality of life.

Clinica de Pele is located in Rio de Janeiro and specializes in treating hyperhidrosis and other skin issues. Contact us now to learn more about our treatments and get answers to your questions.

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