Many people suffer from excessive sweating in Minneapolis area. In fact, it is estimated that approximately three percent of people in the United States have this problem. The medical term for excessive sweating is hyperhidrosis. This condition occurs as the result of an overactive sympathetic nervous system, which is the system that regulates sweat production. An overactive sympathetic nervous system increases the amount of the sweat that the sweat glands produce.
The face, underarms and palms are some areas of the body that are commonly affected by hyperhidrosis. Hyperhidrosis can be classified as being primary or secondary. Primary hyperhidrosis is triggered by body stimuli. Family history often plays a role in the development of primary hyperhidrosis. Secondary hyperhidrosis is caused by an underlying medical condition, such as a spinal cord injury or endocrine disorder.
The good news is that there are a number of treatments available for this embarrassing problem. One of those treatments is a procedure called LaserDry. LaserDry involves using a laser to destroy the sweat glands in the armpit. This procedure is very effective. Most patients will notice anywhere from an 80 to 90 percent improvement after getting this treatment. One of the disadvantages of this procedure is that it can only treat excessive underarm sweating.
Botox is another treatment that is available for hyperhidrosis. It can be performed on the face, feet, hands and underarm. Botox works by blocking the sympathetic nervous system’s nerve endings. It also prevents the body from releasing acetylcholine. Acetylcholine is a neurotransmitter that activates sweat production.
There have been studies done to show that Botox can help prevent underarm sweating for up to six months. One study showed that over 80 percent of patients noticed a 50 percent reduction in sweat production after six months. Half of the patients reported a significant reduction in sweat production after seven months.
Your body’s normal cooling mechanism is sweating, but some people sweat excessively – a condition called hyperhidrosis. The excessive sweating usually occurs on the hands, soles of the feet and underarms. Symptoms of this condition include frequent sweating that is so heavy your clothes become soaked with perspiration. You sweat even when you have not been exercising. Your hands and feet are clammy or even dripping with sweat. Hyperhidrosis is normally accompanied by a feeling or warmth, similar to a hot flash; if you have cold sweats, it may be a symptoms of a heart attack or severe anxiety. Hyperhidrosis can be focal – meaning it affects your palms, the soles of your feet and your underarms – or generalized. Focal hyperhidrosis may be genetic, as it tends to run in families. Generalized hyperhidrosis may be related to menopause, low blood sugar, some diseases or a side effect from medications. Medical conditions that may occur as a result of hyperhidrosis include fungal nail infections, bacterial skin infections, warts, eczema and skin rashes.
Treatments for hyperhidrosis include prescription antiperspirants, anticholinergic drugs, iontophoresis, laser therapy, surgery and Botox. For light to moderate hyperhidrosis, prescription antiperspirants with aluminum chloride are the first choice. The antiperspirant is applied to completely dry skin each night and washed off in the morning. Anticholinergic drugs block acetylcholine, a chemical in your body that stimulates the sweat gland. Anticholinergics may have side effects such as dry mouth or constipation. Intophoresis is a procedure that delivers a low level of electrical current to the hands, feet or armpits while the body is immersed in water. It is performed for about 15 to 30 minutes daily for two weeks and then less frequently for maintenance, which can be done at home. Botox can block the nerves that make the sweat glands work. It can be painful and the results last about four months. Side effects such as weakness of the hand muscles may occur. Laser therapy is used to destroy sweat glands in the armpit area and may be as much as 90% effective.