Never Let Them See You Sweat: 6 Ways To Stop Excessive Sweating For Good
We all sweat from time to time. Whether it’s from the oppressive heat of summer in the city, nerves before a big presentation, an intense spin class or a hot yoga session, sweating is a normal function that helps us regulate our body temperature and stay cool. But for people with hyperhidrosis, sweating is anything but cool.
Hyperhidrosis literally means too much sweating. Many people with this condition produce excessive sweat from more than one area of the body (palms, feet, underarms, head, etc.), according to the American Academy of Dermatology. It can occur at any time and can leave you feeling anxious and embarrassed (not to mention saddled with high dry cleaning bills), but luckily there are more treatments than ever before to help cool excessive sweating.
Antiperspirants are usually the first line of defense for excessive sweating. They come in regular or prescription strength and, contrary to popular belief, are not just for underarms. Antiperspirants can also be used on the hands, feet or the scalp to plug the sweat glands, which should cause your body to stop producing so much sweat. Look for antiperspirants containing aluminum chloride, such as Drysol or Clinical Secret.
With Iontophoresis, you immerse your hands or feet in a shallow pan of tap water as a medical device sends a low-voltage current through the water. The electric current closes up the sweat glands temporarily. It is only effective for excessive sweating in the hands and feet, and several treatments are needed. A treatment session usually takes 20-40 minutes. Home devices are available and cost around $600. Talk to your doctor for more information.
3: Botulinum Toxin Injections
Yes, the same neuromodulator that can delete wrinkles can also put the brakes on excessive sweating. Botox is FDA-approved for excessive underarm sweating, and some doctors use it to stop sweat in other parts of the body such as the scalp and palms. Botox blocks a chemical in the body that stimulates the sweat glands. The anti-sweat effects tend to kick in within four to five days. Treatment must be repeated every few months. Costs range from $500 to $1,000.
There’s a lot of enthusiasm about Miradry these days. The system employs microwave energy to destroy the sweat glands under the arms without surgery. Sweat glands do not regenerate, so when they are destroyed, they are gone for good. Results are visible after one treatment, but some people may need a second treatment. The underarms are numbed with a local anesthetic before treatment so they are comfortable. Miradry costs around $2,000 per treatment.
There are several ways for sweat glands to be surgically removed, including liposuction, curettage (scrape out) or laser surgery. Sympathectomy is another type of surgery in which certain nerves are removed to stop the signals that your body sends to the sweat glands. This procedure is mainly used to treat the palms. Cost varies widely based on the procedure.
Some medications help stop excessive sweating. These include anticholinergic drugs that block the neurochemical acetylcholine which triggers sweat production, and betablockers and benzodiazepines to help control the physical manifestations of anxiety that can cause excessive sweating. Your doctor can explain the risks and benefits associated with these medications to help guide your decision process.
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