Dr. Hina Altaf Dermatologist

Excessive Sweating

Excessive Sweating

Hyperhidrosis is a medical condition characterized by excessive sweating that is not related to fever, heat or exercise. It can occur in the palms of the hands, soles of the feet, underarms, face, and other areas of the body. This can cause social and emotional discomfort, as well as skin irritation, maceration, and infection in affected areas. 

The exact cause of hyperhidrosis is not known, but it is believed to be related to an overactive sympathetic nervous system, which controls sweating. It can sometimes be associated with certain medical conditions, such as hyperthyroidism, diabetes, or menopause; however most cases have no underlying cause.

Treatment options 

Treatment for hyperhidrosis depends on the severity of the condition and the areas of the body that are affected. Mild cases may be treated with over-the-counter antiperspirants or prescription-strength antiperspirants, such as aluminum chloride hexahydrate. In more severe cases, other treatment options may include:

  • Botulinum toxin injections: Botox has been around for over 20 years and is considered an extremely safe medical treatment for anti-aging and migraines. Botox also works beautifully for hyperhidrosis, which block the release of the chemical responsible for sweating. For treatment in the underarms, Botox is injected in about 15-20 sites in the armpits. Decreased sweating is seen about two weeks later, with the sweat reduction lasting approximately six months. Botox injections also work well to treat excessive sweating in soles of the feet and palms of the hand.
  • Iontophoresis : the procedure is quick, non-invasive and involves the passage of the mild electrical current through the affected area, which disrupts the signal between the nerves and sweat glands and halts sweat production in the treated zone. It can be done in a clinical setting under medical supervision, but it is more commonly done at home with a compact and user-friendly home-use device. 
  • Oral medications: such as anticholinergics or beta blockers, which can reduce sweating.
  • Surgery: is a surgical procedure that is rarely used to treat hyperhidrosis. It has risks and potential complications, as a result, it is reserved for severe cases. 

 

Prevention tips

There are several steps you can take to manage hyperhidrosis, including:

  • Wearing breathable clothing and avoiding tight-fitting clothing.
  • Using absorbent materials, such as cotton, to wick away moisture from the skin.
  • Applying antiperspirant to affected areas before bedtime, when sweat production is lowest.
  • Maintaining good hygiene and avoiding triggers, such as spicy foods or caffeine, which can increase sweating.

 

When to see a healthcare provider 

If you are experiencing excessive sweating that is affecting your quality of life, it is important to see a healthcare provider. They can help determine the underlying cause of your symptoms and recommend appropriate treatment options.

Hyperhidrosis can be a frustrating and uncomfortable condition, but with proper treatment and prevention strategies, it can be managed effectively. If you are experiencing symptoms of hyperhidrosis, talk to your healthcare provider to determine the best course of treatment for your individual needs.

Minimal Downtime

You can return to your daily routine immediately after

Immediate Results

Results within 24 to 48 hours, with full results in 30 days

Painless Procedure

Brief period of discomfort during the injection, similar to a pinch

Results That Last

Effects typically last for several months

Hyperhidrosis is a medical condition characterized by excessive sweating beyond what is necessary to regulate body temperature. It can occur in specific areas, such as the underarms, palms, soles of the feet, or affect the entire body. This condition can significantly impact a person's quality of life, causing embarrassment, discomfort, and interference with daily activities.
The exact cause of hyperhidrosis is not fully understood, but it is believed to be related to an overactivity of the sweat glands. Primary hyperhidrosis, the most common form, usually has no identifiable cause and tends to run in families. Secondary hyperhidrosis can be triggered by certain medical conditions (such as hyperthyroidism or menopause), medications, or underlying health issues.
A dermatologist or healthcare professional can diagnose hyperhidrosis by evaluating your medical history, conducting a physical examination, and discussing your symptoms. They may also perform certain tests, such as a starch-iodine test or thermoregulatory sweat test, to assess the extent and pattern of sweating. These tests can help determine the most effective treatment options.
While specific foods are not known to directly cause hyperhidrosis, certain triggers or substances in food and beverages may exacerbate sweating in some individuals. For example, consuming spicy foods, hot beverages, or foods with high caffeine content may temporarily increase body temperature and trigger sweating. Additionally, some people may find that alcohol consumption leads to increased sweating. It can be helpful to pay attention to your individual triggers and modify your diet accordingly to manage excessive sweating.
Yes, in some cases, excessive sweating can be a symptom of an underlying medical condition. Conditions such as hyperthyroidism, diabetes, menopause, certain infections, and hormonal imbalances may contribute to excessive sweating. It's important to consult with a healthcare professional if you experience excessive sweating to rule out any underlying medical causes and ensure appropriate diagnosis and treatment.

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Dr. Hinah Altaf’s clinic is currently at Gargash Hospital, 145 Umm Suqeim Street – Umm Al Sheif -Dubai.