Sweat A Lot? It May Be Hyperhidrosis
Date Published: January 1st, 1970
Keeping your body cool and eliminating toxins is the primary reason that you sweat, so it is a necessary part of life. The amount that you sweat, though, should be manageable. If you frequently have bouts of uncontrolled sweating that soaks through your clothes, you may have hyperhidrosis, a condition that causes excessive sweating.
Signs of Hyperhidrosis
Not every episode of high perspiration is a sign of hyperhidrosis. The key indicators of the condition are based on how frequently or how severely you sweat. The most obvious sign of hyperhidrosis is having sweat stains in your armpits that soak through your clothes. Hyperhidrosis may also cause sweaty palms and feet. The skin may look white or light colored due to the excess moisture, much like when you soak your hands or feet in water for too long. The constant moisture may also lead to skin infections.
What Causes Hyperhidrosis?
Excessive sweating happens when you have overactive nerves in your armpits, palms or feet. These nerves control the glands that release sweat and toxins from your body. The exact cause of hyperhidrosis is not known, but many believe that it is genetic.
Are Some People at Higher Risk for Excessive Sweating?
In addition to family history, you may develop hyperhidrosis as a secondary symptom of a chronic medical condition, such as gout or diabetes. Many women experience excessive sweating as they go through menopause. Hyperhidrosis is most often diagnosed in teenagers and younger children, but it can happen at any age.
Can Hyperhidrosis Be Treated?
Hyperhidrosis can be treated by eliminating some of the glands in the armpits that produce sweat. At Seattle Skin & Laser, we offer MiraDry® treatments. The procedure works by using a light amount of suction to pull the sweat glands closer to the surface of the skin, and microwave energy is applied to destroy the glands. We do not destroy all the glands, because you need to perspire to keep your body cool. After just two treatments, most patients see more than 80% reduction in their perspiration.
Is MiraDry® Painful?
MiraDry® is a non-surgical treatment, so all you feel is a slight pull on the skin followed by a warming sensation. The area may be slightly swollen and tender for the first one to three days.
Does Botox® Help with Excessive Sweating?
We recommend Botox® for more limited use in cases of hyperhidrosis, specifically for the treatment of excessive sweating in the palms, soles of the feet and other areas of the body. The effects of Botox® are temporary, lasting four to six months, and you can have follow-up treatments after about six months.
Will I Need Antiperspirant?
You may still need to use antiperspirant and deodorant after your MiraDry® or Botox® treatments. This varies by patient, but you will need to use less of these products.
Why live with the embarrassment of clothes soaked with sweat? At Seattle, Skin & Laser, we offer MiraDry® and Botox® to treat hyperhidrosis. To learn more, contact us to schedule an appointment.