Sweating is an important way that your body regulates its temperature. Sweat glands produce perspiration to regulate the body’s temperature when we exercise, have a fever, are nervous, or when it’s hot out. Although it’s natural to sweat, some people experience sweating beyond the normal quantities. This is often called excessive sweating, or hyperhidrosis.
What is Excessive Sweating?
Excessive sweating can have a negative impact on your daily life. Often, it can be embarrassing to sweat excessively in situations where it doesn’t seem appropriate. Even in situations where sweating is expected, it can seem like you sweat far more than your peers. For most individuals, antiperspirant is enough to control daily amounts of sweating— but for others, sweat is produced even when there is no reason for it, sometimes so excessively that it drips from the body.
What are My Hyperhidrosis Treatment Options?
There are a variety of treatments available including antiperspirants, medications, Botox® injections, iontophoresis, and even surgery. Often, patients benefit from a combination of these procedures that fits their lifestyle and goals best. Some of our most recommended options are miraDry® and Botox®.
miraDry uses a non-invasive, microwave delivery process to eliminate excessive sweating in the underarms. Using light suction, the sweat glands are brought closer to the surface of the skin where they are then destroyed by waves of energy. Once they are destroyed, they will not return, permanently reducing the amount of perspiration.
Some of the benefits of the miraDry system are:
- 82% average reduction in axillary (armpit) hyperhidrosis
- Strong safety profile with minimal risks
- High patient satisfaction
- Results are immediate and long lasting
- No compensatory sweating
- Only two treatments needed
What to Expect During Treatment with miraDry
miraDry treatments come with minimal discomfort and downtime. Prior to treatment, your underarms will be numbed to ensure a comfortable process. After treatment, you might experience normal side effects such as swelling and soreness that will diminish over the next few weeks. Two treatment sessions are generally recommended for optimal results with over 80% reduction in perspiration.
To learn more about miraDry and hear from one of our patients, check out our miraDry video above.
Botox injections are another solution for palmar (hands), plantar (feet), and axillary hyperhidrosis. Botox works by blocking the chemical signals coming from nerves that stimulate sweat glands. This process is called neuromodulation. Although Botox is most often used for cosmetic treatments, it can also be an effective medical treatment. Unlike miraDry, you’ll need to return for re-treatment every six months or so.
What to Expect During Treatment with Botox
Treatment with Botox can take less than thirty minutes to complete. Firstly, we’ll provide a topical numbing cream to make sure you’re comfortable. Then, the product is carefully injected into your treatment area to begin reducing sweat gland activity. Afterwards, you can expect some minor swelling and redness, but this subsides quickly. Botox can take up to a week to take full effect, but most patients begin to notice a reduction in sweating within the first few days.
Schedule a Consultation
Excessive sweating can be difficult to manage and embarrassing to live with. It’s important to remember that you have effective options when it comes to reclaiming your lifestyle and feeling comfortable with your body. To meet with our hyperhidrosis experts and discuss your options for treatment, contact our Seattle offices by calling or filling out our online form.
How do I know if I have hyperhidrosis?
The difference between normal sweating and hyperhidrosis is that excessive sweating affects your everyday life. It’s likely that, if you have hyperhidrosis, you spend a significant amount of time trying to manage it— freshening up, changing clothes, tackling sweat stains, choosing dark clothes, and trying to absorb sweat with napkins or pads. It’s also likely that it affects your social life, where you prefer to stay home or avoid certain activities. In short, hyperhidrosis is very disruptive of your lifestyle whereas regular sweating is not. If these hyperhidrosis symptoms seem familiar, it can be a helpful step to speak with your physician about your symptoms.
What causes hyperhidrosis?
Normally, the millions of sweat glands in your body are activated by nerves and secrete sweat. These nerves can be stimulated by a number of different things, including hormones, emotions, high temperature, and exercise. In people who have hyperhidrosis, these glands are overactive and respond to stimuli more than normal. For example, normal sweat glands turn on and off throughout the day whereas overactive sweat glands are constantly on. Sometimes, hyperhidrosis can be caused by a medical condition or certain medications. For this reason, it’s important to assess your health with the help of your physician so you can explore all of your treatment options.
What is hyperhidrosis a symptom of?
There are many different conditions and medications that can cause hyperhidrosis. Some of the most common conditions are infections, diabetes, hyperthyroidism, pregnancy, and menopause. This list can be extensive, and not every patient experiences the symptoms similarly, so speak with your physician about the possibilities.
Will I sweat more in other places after treatment?
It’s a common myth that treatment for hyperhidrosis causes excess sweating in other areas of the body. In truth, your body has between 2 and 4 million sweat glands, and the sweat glands in your hands, feet, or underarms contain a tiny percentage of sweat glands. Treating these sweat glands so that they don’t produce sweat will not cause the body to sweat more in other places. You’ll simply sweat as normal without the excess production in your treated areas.
Is miraDry covered by insurance?
miraDry is not generally covered by major insurance companies, but we always encourage patients to check with their provider before opting for treatment for hyperhidrosis. You may be able to use your health savings account to pay for treatments, however. We can discuss your miraDry cost during a consultation at our Seattle office.
Is Botox for hyperhidrosis covered by insurance?
Botox for sweating can sometimes be approved by insurance companies depending on some specific factors like a medical record of your diagnosis from a board certified dermatologist. It’s important to check with your insurance provider about their specific path for getting covered. However, it is possible that you may be refused coverage or asked to try other treatment options first.
Is miraDry safe?
miraDry has seen widespread use around the world and has shown to produce excellent results. Some common side effects usually include soreness and swelling which usually subside quickly.
How do I treat hyperhidrosis at home?
There are a number of treatment options for hyperhidrosis that don’t require regular professional appointments. Your physician or dermatologist can prescribe physician-strength anti-perspirants and oral medications that can be used daily. Some natural remedies are often suggested as a way to combat excessive sweating, and we recommend you speak with your physician or dermatologist before trying them to make sure you remain safe and healthy.
Can hyperhidrosis be cured?
There is no cure for hyperhidrosis, per se. If your excessive sweating is caused by another condition, then treating the condition will help mitigate sweating. If your hyperhidrosis occurs on its own, then you can explore long-term or short-term treatment options. miraDry has been shown to produce long-term results with just a couple treatments.
Is miraDry permanent?
miraDry can produce long-term results with as much as 82% reduction in sweat with a couple treatments. Although some sweat does return to the treatment areas, it is often greatly reduced.