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What is the treatment for hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating)?

There are many nonsurgical alternatives to treat patients with hyperhidrosis. Some patients with hyperhidrosis have mild symptoms, which can be helped without the need for surgery. It is important to have a medical evaluation to be certain that symptoms are not the result of an endocrine or hormonal imbalance before trying any over-the-counter remedy. Under the guidance of a board-certified dermatologist, a trial of topical remedies may be recommended if they have not yet been tried. Botox therapy can effectively treat palmar and axillary hyperhidrosis; however, it is not a permanent solution, and symptoms may recur after four to six months. Occasionally, temporary relief is only necessary, such as prior to a major social event. In those instances, Botox therapy can be considered. Other treatment options include:

  • Drysol
  • Drionics
  • Herbal therapy
  • Beta-blockers
  • Anticholinergics
  • Tap water ionotophoresis

Patients with severe symptoms who fail to respond to these non-surgical remedies can be referred for surgery.

Dr. Doris Day, MD
Dermatologist (Skin Specialist)

Over-the-counter antiperspirants usually prove ineffective for hyperhydrosis sufferers. However, several prescription treatments are available. One is a prescription topical antiperspirant such as Drysol which is a higher concentration of the same active ingredient found in over-the-counter antiperspirants. This is effective for a lot of people, at least for a while, although it can be very irritating to the skin. There is also an oral prescription medication called Robinol, but it has uncomfortable side effects such as dry mouth and dry eyes. Another option is a procedure called Iontophoresis that uses electrical currents. This cannot be done on the underarms due to the curve of the area and it has to be repeated regularly, often two to three times per week to maintain results. Treatments take half an hour or longer which makes them very time consuming. Finally, there is an operation called a sympathectomy which is the surgical removal of the sweat glands.

None of these options are ideal, and the surgical option is not without risks and side effects. My recommendation to my patients is the most up-to-date, safe and effective treatment: Botox injections.

Dr. Anthony S. Youn, MD
Plastic Surgeon

Effective treatments for hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating) include Botox shots, and the MiraDry treatment, a more permanent solution to eliminate underarm sweat. In this video, plastic surgeon Anthony Youn, MD, explains these treatment options.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.