Excessive sweating affects millions of people around the world. The condition, also known as hyperhidrosis, affects nearly 5% of the population and has a very negative impact on social and personal life. As many treatments for heavy sweating are available today, it is not easy to recognize which one is the best for your condition.
This article will help you identify the ideal solution. We will briefly introduce each available treatment for hyperhidrosis. You will find out the main differences between them and know the criteria that should be considered for choosing the proper treatment.
Choosing The Best Treatment For Hyperhidrosis
Step 1 – Analyze the type of sweating.
You should know that most cases of excessive sweating don’t require medical help. But sometimes abnormal perspiration points out to certain health problems. That’s why we should first define the symptoms of our sweating.
When to visit a doctor?
- You sweat profusely all around the body
- You experience night sweats
- You take a medication that makes you sweaty
- Your excessive sweating started in the adulthood
If you meet these symptoms, you should talk to a dermatologist. These are typical symptoms of secondary hyperhidrosis caused by other medical conditions, certain diseases or medications. In this case, excessive sweating can be reduced by eliminating the core problem. In article 14 Illnesses And Conditions That Cause Excessive Sweating we have listed the most common causes of secondary hyperhidrosis.
When to Treat Excessive Sweating By Yourself?
- Excessive sweating affects only one or a few body areas (armpits, hands, feet, head)
- Excessive sweating occurs mostly during a day
- Excessive sweating happens without an apparent reason
- Sweating bothers you at work
- Profuse sweating reduces the quality of personal life
- Excessive sweating started in the childhood or puberty
If you meet these symptoms, you can treat on your own. This condition is known as primary hyperhidrosis. The sweating is not caused by any other condition, disease or medication. Experts say this is a congenital predisposition, which is also confirmed by positive family history (other family members usually have similar symptoms).
Primary hyperhidrosis is not dangerous. However, it is very annoying and restricts people from their normal activities. Overproduction of sweat is related to malfunctioning of the sweat glands, which are activated even if the body does not need it for cooling.
SweatChecker is another way to analyze your sweating and find out what treatments are right for you. It is a quiz that consists of 11 simple questions designed according to dermatological criteria. Based on your answers, you will be redirected to a web page with results and treatment recommendations. The whole quiz takes about 2 minutes, is completely anonymous and free. Start the quiz now.
Step 2: Analyze the severity and areas of sweating
Now you know if you have more likely primary or secondary hyperhidrosis. The following step is to realize how often, how intensely and where do you sweat. You can ask yourself these questions:
- How often do I sweat?
- How easily do I sweat?
- In which situations do I sweat the most?
- Do I sweat only in one area or more?
- Do I sweat when I am nervous?
The severity of sweating and affected areas are other important factors in choosing the right treatment of hyperhidrosis. The following table will help you to know what treatment can be proper for you.
1- the lowest level of sweating, 6- the highest level of sweating
Look at the table and compare the data with your sweating condition. If you have not tried any treatment for hyperhidrosis, we recommend starting with an over-the-counter antiperspirant or iontophoresis. These treatments do not require a prescription and are effective. Antiperspirants have the advantage of easy application and up to 3-7 days protection against sweating. The disadvantage is a higher concentration of aluminum salts, which can cause skin redness or allergic reactions in some people.
Unlike antiperspirant, Iontophoresis does not use any chemicals for treatment. It works on the principle of a weak electric current that reduces sweating. The side effects are minimal and the effects last for several months. The disadvantage is the longer application time (1 session lasts about 20min, and it is recommended to repeat the procedure several times a week).
We will introduce basic information about every treatment later. Now we proceed to the final step to your freedom from sweating.
Step 3 – Compare The Treatments
As you can see, there are several effective treatments, each with some advantages and disadvantages. Now we will compare these treatments according to the following criteria:
- Does the treatment require medical assistance or prescription?
- How long does the application last?
- How long last the anti-sweat effect after the treatment?
- How often and common are side effects?
- How much does it cost?
This table shows the basic differences between treatments of hyperhidrosis. You can see how time-consuming and pricy they are, and how long the sweat prevention lasts. In the article Comparison of Hyperhidrosis Treatment Cost you will find out how much cost each treatment in the horizon of 2 years of using.
The only treatments that can be used without a prescription are over-the-counter antiperspirant and iontophoresis. If you are considering other treatments, you will need to visit a dermatologist.
Now you should have enough information needed to make your decision. If you are still not sure, or if you have questions, feel free to let a comment below this article. We will answer as soon as possible.
Treatments For Hyperhidrosis Overview
While over-the-counter antiperspirant is the most affordable solution for sweaty armpits, hands, feet, and head, the effect lasts “only” several days. It is a great option for everybody who sweats too much but not too often. The best clinical strong antiperspirants contain around 15% of aluminum chloride. This chemical narrows skin pores and prevents sweat to come through them.
Iontophoresis prevents sweat for a longer time, but it is more expensive and time-consuming. During iontophoresis, a mild electrical current is delivered directly to the affected areas. The efficiency of this treatment is close to 100%. The other positives are that the iontophoresis machine can be used for treating at home and there are no chemicals used during the procedure. Click here and know the best iontophoresis machines.
Qbrexza is the newest treatment of hyperhidrosis. These medicated wipes contain anticholinergics that are usually used in medicaments for hyperhidrosis. Due to local application, possible side effects are reduced.
Qbrexza can treat only excessive underarm sweating and a prescription is needed. Read more about this option in the article Qbrexza For Excessive Sweating – New Treatment of Hyperhidrosis.
MiraDry is a modern system using microwave technology. During the procedure, electromagnetic energy destroys sweat glands in the armpits while the skin is protected. It is safer than botox in terms of side effects, but the treatment is limited only for underarm sweating. Read more about MiraDry here.
Botox is used for different medical purposes for decades. In the case of excessive sweating, botox injections are injected directly into the affected area. The exact amount and number of points for injections are considered by a doctor. Even though this can be a little painful, the results are very compelling. Most the people who underwent one botox procedure experienced sweat relief for more than 6 months.
ETS surgery is used only for the heaviest cases of hyperhidrosis. It is an invasive procedure when a surgeon removes sweat glands in affected areas. Even though ETS surgery is the only permanent solution on how to stop excessive sweating, side effects are very often.
Choosing the best treatment for excessive sweating depends on several factors. The severity of sweating, affected area, sweat-protection duration, cost, ease of use and possible side effects should be always considered.
We hope that you found this article helpful. Let us know your own experiences with hyperhidrosis treatments, opinions or your questions in the comment section.
Vaclav Michalcik is PR manager who write for medical clients, and founder of sweatlimit.com. As a hyperhidrosis sufferer, he tries to help people with a similar condition. Vaclav collaborates with dermatologists and medical experts to provide helpful information using proven medical sources.