Sweating is One Thing, Hyperhidrosis Quite Another

HyperhidrosisEveryone sweats during exercise, when the outside temperature is soaring, and sometimes when he or she is nervous. After all, sweating is the body’s way of cooling itself down.

But when the sweating occurs even when the temperatures are cool or when you’re at rest your sweating is something different. It’s known as excessive sweating, clinically known as hyperhidrosis. At Matsuda Dermatology, we treat this condition.

What is hyperhidrosis?

When a person sweats excessively without any outside triggers or reasons, it’s hyperhidrosis. The sweating usually occurs on the palms of the hands, the underarms, and the soles of the feet. In rare cases, sweating occurs across the body.

Hyperhidrosis differs from normal sweating in the amount and the reasons. With hyperhidrosis, the sweat glands become overactive, no matter what the outside influences.

Primary and secondary hyperhidrosis

A person with primary hyperhidrosis experiences random sweating in the hands, armpits, and feet. It is thought that 2-3 percent of the population suffers from the condition, but many people don’t think to seek treatment for it.

Secondary hyperhidrosis can be a side effect from a medication the patient is taking or it can be a symptom of another condition. These are certain other conditions that may cause excessive sweating:

  • Diabetes
  • Anxiety
  • Heart disease
  • Cancer
  • Substance abuse
  • Lung disease
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Menopause
  • Stroke
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Tuberculosis

Treating hyperhidrosis

At Matsuda, we employ a variety of treatments to stem your excessive sweating. We start with prescription antiperspirants containing aluminum salts. These salts block perspiration by forming a plug on the skin’s pores.

If prescription antiperspirants don’t stop the sweating, these are medical treatments we use:

  • Botox— Known for its treatment of wrinkles on the forehead, Botox can also stop excessive sweating. It works by blocking the nerve signals in a muscle, or in this case the sweat glands, from reaching the brain. The results are temporary, lasting a few months, and must be repeated to maintain the effect.
  • Iontophoresis— Patients sit with both hands and feet immersed in a tray of shallow water for 20 to 30 minutes as low electrical current is run through the water. This reason this therapy is successful is somewhat of a mystery, but is thought to block sweat before it gets to the skin surface.
  • Medication— Prescription oral medications have proven helpful with hyperhidrosis.
  • Surgery— This is only used for extreme cases, but there are two options. One method cuts out or destroys sweat glands. The other targets the nerves that control sweating.

If you think you sweat more than is normal, you may have hyperhidrosis. Call the pros at Matsuda, 808-949-7568, and let’s see how we can help.