Hyperhidrosis Treatment in Sarasota

image of dermatologist treating hyperhidrosis

Hyperhidrosis is a condition that causes excessive sweating on the hands, feet, armpits, face and genital area, or all over the entire body. The exact cause of this condition is unknown, although it often runs in families and begins during childhood.

Patients with hyperhidrosis may sweat all over their body or in certain areas. Their skin may become white and wrinkled or red and irritated as a result of the constant moisture, and it may develop an odor as well. Living with hyperhidrosis often causes patients to feel embarrassed, awkward and self-conscious, especially during social situations.

What Causes Hyperhidrosis?

If the hyperhidrosis is caused by an underlying condition, it is known as secondary hyperhidrosis. These underlying conditions may include:

  • Anxiety
  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • Hormonal changes
  • Gout
  • Blood sugar problems

Certain medications may also cause hyperhidrosis. In some cases, there may be no known cause for this condition, although one theory is that nerves overreact, causing excessive sweating. Hyperhidrosis that has no specific cause and is not caused by an underlying medical condition is known as primary or focal hyperhidrosis. This condition tends to affect both sides of the body and can occur on the hands, feet, underarms, head and face.

How is Hyperhidrosis Treated?

Treatment for hyperhidrosis depends on the severity of the condition, but may include prescription-strength antiperspirant or medication to help control sweating or stop the stimulation of the sweat glands. Botox® injections in the armpits block the nerves that cause sweating and can effectively treat hyperhidrosis for up to six months for each injection.

In severe cases, surgery may be required to remove the nerves that control the sweat glands, or the actual glands themselves. This procedure is usually considered a last resort to be used only after conservative methods have failed. Patients who undergo surgery may develop more intense sweating, a condition known as compensatory sweating, later in life.

How Does Botox® Work for Excessive Sweating?

The International Hyperhidrosis Society has released study findings that suggest Botox injections can reduce underarm sweating by approximately 85 percent. This treatment does not completely eliminate sweating. Instead, it alleviates the excessive natural of overactive sweat glands. It does so by blocking the nerve signals that are involved in activating these glands. With the reduction in sweat, patients often also see a reduction in body odor. That said, it may be necessary to wear antiperspirant or deodorant even after getting Botox injections for excessive sweating. 

Do Botox® injections for Hyperhidrosis Hurt?

Injections into any area of the body can sound painful. While your doctor uses a tiny needle and superficial technique to insert Botox into the area where the sweat glands are overactive, you can expect some discomfort. In general, Botox injections into the underarm area are very well tolerated by the vast majority of patients. Injections into other areas, like the palms or the soles of the feet, are more uncomfortable. That's because there are more nerve endings in those areas.

How Long Do Results Last if I Get Botox® for Hyperhidrosis?

The answer is it varies. For some people, getting injections of Botox in the area of excessive sweating, such as the underarms, stops excessive sweating for three months. The results can last as long as about 14 months, though. There is no way to predict how long the effects of this treatment will last for any given patient. As excessive sweating returns, we can retreat the area using the same technique.

How Does Medical-Grade Antiperspirant help Hyperhidrosis?

A good antiperspirant is often the first line of defense against hyperhidrosis. If extra-strength antiperspirant does not achieve satisfying improvement, your doctor may prescribe a medical-grade antiperspirant. This product works by temporarily blocking the sweat glands with aluminum chloride hexahydrate. The antiperspirant is not used in the same way as commercial products. If your doctor prescribes antiperspirant, you'll apply it to clean, dry skin before you go to sleep. When you wake up, you'll wash the product off. The prescription antiperspirant is used in this manner daily until you begin to notice less sweating. After that point, you may only need to apply the product once or twice a week.

How Does Topical Medication Work for Excessive Sweating?

Research has found that excessive sweating is related to the transfer of signals from the brain to cells involved in various specific functions. These signals get passed along by the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. To address the issue of excessive sweating, researchers developed topical creams and wipes with what are called anticholinergic medications. These medications stop the action of acetylcholine in the targeted area. Topical anticholinergic medication may be ideal for the treatment of excessive sweating on the hands or feet, where Botox® injections would be more uncomfortable.

Schedule Your Consultation Today

If you are experiencing hyperhidrosis and are seeking treatment, visit Sarasota Dermatology. Our providers, including Dr. Elizabeth Callahan, are experienced in hyperhidrosis treatment and have been serving the Sarasota community for over 15 years. At SkinSmart Dermatology, we treat a wide variety of skin problems and care for every individual patient with a personal touch. Schedule an appointment by calling 941-308-7546 or fill out the form on our contact page.

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