Hyperhidrosis Q&A

Hyperhidrosis, more commonly known as excessive sweating, is an issue that threatens many people's ability to enjoy life and participate in strenuous physical activities. Since there are typically more questions than answer, let's take a look at some of the most frequent queries about this ailment.

Is hyperhidrosis passed down from generation to generation?

At this point in time, there have been no solid links established between excessive sweating and hereditary factors. Studies and tests have been performed, but are mostly inconclusive. While there could be a genetic component involved, physicians lack concrete evidence.

Does hyperhidrosis ever improve?

If you're waiting for your excessive sweating to improve on its own, good luck. By the beginning of adolescence or adulthood, this condition tends to set in and does not improve. Hyperhidrosis only worsens over time, especially in instances where the person has failed to seek medical attention.

If in need of a hyperhidrosis treatment you will be happy to learn that there are a range of non surgical treatments and surgery is not required for all patients, but it may be recommended in cases where all other options have been exhausted. Some patients only sweat excessively under cases of extreme stress, while others do so at all times.

What are the hyperhidrosis symptoms?

One of the primary symptoms is the appearance of excessive sweat, regardless of your physical exertion level. When sweat has no direct correlation to the temperature of the area you're in or any sort of emotional responses, this could signal the onset of hyperhidrosis.

What body parts are most susceptible?

There a number of areas that are at risk for excessive sweating. Hyperhidrosis patients typically report excess sweat on their hands, feet and armpits.

Are there any available treatment options?

A doctor will try a number of treatments before recommending surgery. There are topical ointments that can be applied daily to the troubled areas. There are certain side effects, including chapped skin and compensatory sweating.

Oral medications are another common course of treatment. These drugs attack the problem at its core, by keeping the nervous system from releasing sweat signals. Side effects include dry eyes and mouth.

Will Iontophoresis provide relief?

For patients who've already tried all of the topical and oral remedies, this is the next logical step. A doctor will use water to conduct an electrical current throughout the skin. The currents make the outer layer of skin thicker, which then blocks excess sweat for reaching the surface. This procedure works for 4 out of every 5 patients who try it.

What about surgery?

This is considered a last resort, due to the severity of the side effects and irreversible nature of the procedure. Thoracoscopic and ETS surgery are both options for those who are struggling with excessive sweat and are seeing no improvement from traditional medications. Thoracoscopic procedures have made a great deal of advances and can now be performed on an outpatient basis, while ETS surgery is considered far more risky.