Excessive sweating. Who doesn’t sweat? Most of us, if warm enough, will sweat on any given day. But what degree of sweating is acceptable? When does sweating too much become an issue? What are the treatments for excessive sweating? These are all questions that many of us have asked ourselves or professionals when seeking help.
Many patients who suffer from excessive sweating will have this all year round. It can be debilitating and restrictive on the lifestyle and work habits of the people who struggle with this condition. Excessive under arm sweating can cause social stress and can interfere with wearing certain clothing choices. Many of the patients that suffer with excessive under arm sweating are limited to wearing darker colors, and patterns. They are less likely to wear white or gray and certain fabrics like silks and cottons which can show sweat marks and leaves staining easily. They often don’t like to wear a shirt without a jacket or a sweater over it in order to cover areas that might show sweat rings.
What Are The Causes of Excessive Sweating?
Excessive sweating is usually not secondary to an underlying medical condition. More often than not, excessive sweating is hereditary. Rarely, new onset sweating can be a sign of an underlying condition, a hormonal imbalance, or overactive thyroid and should signal a proper medical work up to rule out any underlying conditions which should be treated, rather than just treating the symptoms. This must be properly worked up and a careful history should be obtained prior to treatment.
The reality of excessive sweating is that it’s a really common issue for many people. Due to the common nature of this condition, there are thankfully many options that have evolved over the past few decades in order to help alleviate symptoms of excessive sweating.
Excessive Sweating Categories
There are several categories of excessive sweating. There is generalized sweating which affects the entire body and then there is localized sweating which affects places such as axillary, palmar, soles of feet, or facial sweating. The treatment will vary depending on which category is present. Generally for generalized sweating the treatment is usually oral medication, called Glycopyrrolate. This medication can be very effective but can have side effects such as dry mouth and urinary retention, so dosing must be limited and carefully monitored. Axillary, palmar/soles sweating have more options – the topical options are Dry-Sol solution (which is aluminum chloride-based), and the newest topical that is available is Qbrexza™, the first and only topical anticholinergic towelette that works very well. The Qbrexa pads are very popular with patients as they are easy to use wipes that leave no residue, and they are very effective. It is important to wash hands after handling the little towels because if you touch your eye on by accident it can cause the pupil to dilate for up to 48 hours.
Botox injections can also be done in the under arm area, on the palms and soles, as well as the forehead or scalp for sweating. These injections work to prevent nerve stimulus to the sweat glands, and will last anywhere from 3 to 6 months depending on the patient. Injections with Botox are especially helpful for facial sweating and for the scalp, but may be limited by discomfort of injection when treating palms and sensitive soles of the feet.
Another way of long-term treatment for axillary sweating that is very effective is the Mira Dry. The Mira dry treatment works with Radiofrequency technology, and usually works well in 1 to 2 sessions. It provides great results, but is not covered by insurance which may limit accessibility for patients. Treatments can run from $1000-$2000 per session depending on the office.
If you or anyone you know suffers from excessive sweating this information might be helpful. There is no need to suffer and feel the stigma of excessive sweating. Thankfully there have been many advances in the medical field that are addressing this stressful condition. And the treatments vary from oral medications, topical therapies, Botox injections and energy-based devices to help control and eradicate excessive sweating. On the horizon, hopefully there will be better long-term treatments that will become available for the treatment of palms, soles and other parts of the body that will be safe and effective. Schedule An Appointment with us today to explore what options are best for you.
— Dr. P