Hyperhidrosis: Excessive Sweating
While it’s perfectly normal to sweat in hot weather, during strenuous activities, and in response to certain situations, it’s not normal to sweat excessively for no apparent reason. Approximately 2–3% of Americans suffer from excessive sweating, which is known as hyperhidrosis. These individuals are most likely to experience excessive wetness in the underarms, palms of their hands, and/or soles of their feet.
Hyperhidrosis can be extremely inconvenient and cause the sufferer much embarrassment. Clothes can become soaked through, requiring the individual to change his/her shirts throughout the day or risk social embarrassment. This can impact self-esteem and hinder their professional standing and romantic relationships. Those who suffer from sweating on their palms may find it difficult to grip objects and driving may become unsafe. They may also feel too embarrassed to offer a handshake when meeting new people.
Hyperhidrosis is a medical condition and should be treated accordingly. With treatments available today, there is no reason to continue suffering from excessive sweating. Our New York dermatologist, Dr. Paul Jarrod Frank, specializes in the treatment of excessive sweating and offers the most cutting-edge treatments to his NYC patients.
Causes of Hyperhidrosis
Most cases of hyperhidrosis occur in patients who are otherwise healthy. In some cases, hyperhidrosis can be linked to other diseases. Occasionally heat and emotions cause hyperhidrosis. Most people who suffer from hyperhidrosis, however, sweat heavily at all times, regardless of activity level, emotions or the weather.
Doctors and scientists have yet to uncover the cause of primary hyperhidrosis. They are aware that certain factors, including diet, caffeine, emotional state, and substance abuse, can trigger or worsen primary hyperhidrosis, but it has been difficult to identify the originating cause of the condition.
When assessing patients for treatment, Dr. Frank will first review their medical histories to reduce the possibility that any systemic diseases or conditions are causing hyperhidrosis. Next he will assess the amount of sweat that is produced by the individual to determine if it is considered normal or excessive. This is done by examining the areas of the body that sweat excessively and, if necessary, performing tests to determine the amount of sweat produced. Then Dr. Frank will recommend the best course of medical treatment for excessive sweating, along with any modifications to diet or behavior that may help improve hyperhidrosis.
Treatments for Excessive Sweating
Traditionally, topical or oral prescription medications were the go-to treatment for hyperhidrosis. In less severe cases, medication can be used to control hyperhidrosis, but it may not work for all individuals. Many of these medications also cause skin irritation and cannot be used long term as a result.
When recommending treatment for hyperhidrosis to his NYC patients, Dr. Frank prefers to identify solutions that will provide long-term results with few side effects. Among these, he has identified VASER® Hyperhidrosis Therapy and Botox injections as the best treatments for excessive sweating.
VASER® Hyperhidrosis Therapy
VASER® is a treatment for underarm hyperhidrosis that utilizes ultrasonic energy to alter the activity of sweat glands beneath the skin’s surface. The treatment is performed in our state-of-the-art New York City facility using only a local anesthetic. Dr. Frank makes a tiny incision in the underarm skin and then inserts a thin wand through the incision to target the axillary sweat glands. The results of VASER® therapy for hyperhidrosis are long lasting*. The patient is able to resume normal activities after 24 hours*.
Before the development of VASER® Hyperhidrosis Therapy, Dr. Frank frequently recommended Botox to treat excessive sweating. Botox, however, requires ongoing treatment – if the patient stops receiving injections, the sweating will return.
Botox for Hyperhidrosis
For individuals who cannot undergo VASER® or are unwilling to try this treatment, Dr. Frank may recommend Botox. The active ingredient in Botox inhibits the release of sweat in the treatment area. It can be used locally to stop sweating in the underarms, palms, or soles of the feet without affecting sweat glands anywhere else on the body. Botox is a very quick and easy procedure to perform and requires no downtime afterwards. Dr. Frank simply injects Botox in a specific pattern in the targeted area. To maintain results, Botox injections are required every 6 months*.