Diagnosis and treatment of hyperhidrosis; what you should know
Before any patient is diagnosed of hyperhidrosis, it is quite important to find out why the patient has excessive sweating while studying the patient’s skin condition; all this will be carried out by the dermatologists before treatment begins.
How hyperhidrosis is diagnosed
Before diagnosis, the dermatologist will carry out a physical examination. This includes studying specific areas of the body that sweats excessively. The dermatologist will also ask some specific questions regarding your medical condition, lifestyle and family history. All of this will help the doctor get a clear understanding of the situation at hand.
Some medical test may be carried out as well; one major test that is usually used for this diagnosis is the sweat test. This involves coating the skin with a powder that usually turns purple when the skin is wet. Some other medical test can also be used for diagnosis.
Treatment depends on how severe your condition is, your health condition, some other factors, including the specific area of the body that is affected.
This is one of the major treatments that a dermatologist will recommend for most hyperhidrosis patient, and the good thing about this treatment is that they are less expensive. For treatment, antiperspirants are applied to the affected area, which may be the underarms, feet, hairline, and hands.
Thus, as you sweat, the antiperspirant is pulled into your sweat glands. When this happens, the sweat glands are plugged, and your body stops the production of excess sweat in the affected area. Someside effect of this treatment may includeburning sensation and irritations of the skin.However, when you notice any side effects, make sure you tell your doctor or dermatologists.
Antiperspirant and breast cancer, what you should know
Most patients are often concerned about the effect of antiperspirant on the breast, whether it can lead to breast cancer among affected femalepatients using antiperspirant as a treatment solution. Well, there is no clear evidence that using an antiperspirant on the skin can lead to breast cancer in women.
Dermatologists also give out prescriptions for a medication that helps to prevent affected patient from sweating temporarily. These medicines work in such a way that they prevent the sweat glands in the body from working, and can be used totreat sweating that involves the entire body effectively. It can also be used for women in their menopausal agethat are known to sweat excessively from the head.
However, while this method may be effective, it should not be frequently used by people that work and live in hot weather condition. Other side effects of these medicines may include dry mouth, blurry vision, dry eyes, and abnormal heartbeats. Side effects may increase with higher doses as well. Ensure you speak to our dermatologist about the risks and benefits of any medicine prescribed before they are used.
These treatment options are often used at home and are quite effective for cases where excessive sweating affects your feet, hands, or both area. It requires placing your hands, or feet in a shallow pan of tap water, while a medical device sends a low voltage current via the water.If this treatment option is right for you, the dermatologist will give you necessary tips on how to effectively use the device, while giving you the necessary prescription that is required for the treatment process.
While this may be very effective in treating excessive sweating, they can be only used for the hands and feet. Other parts of the body like the underarms cannot be treated using this method.
During the process, the electric current temporarily shuts down the treated sweat glands. However, the treatment process should continue for at least 6 treatments, before the sweat glands are shut down. For quick treatment and recovery, ensure you follow the prescription and recommendation given by the dermatologist.
Some side effects of usingiontophoresis as a treatment option may include the following
- dry skin
- discomfort during treatment, and
- Irritated skin.
Botulinum toxin injections
The FDA has approved this treatment options for excessive sweating in the underarm. It involves injecting a weak form of this medicine into your underarm. During the process, the injection will help to temporarily block the major chemical in the body that stimulates the sweat gland. The recovery process is fast, such that most patients start noticing result within 4 to 5 days of treatment. However, reduced sweating may last for 6 months and above. Thus, when excessive sweating continues, you can repeat the treatment process.
Side effects of botulinum toxin injections: the major and common side effect of this treatment option is temporary muscle weakness, which can occur when they are injected into the arms.
Surgery is often considered when other treatment option may have been exhausted, or when the condition is severe. Although they may be effective in treating excessive sweating, it comes with some certain level of risk. Sympathectomy and surgical removal of sweat glands can be used to stop excessive sweating.
Surgical removal of sweat glands
During this process, the area to be operated upon is numbed, so that the patient remains awake. The dermatologist will surgically remove the sweat glands from the underarms using one or more of the following surgical techniques:
- laser surgery
Note that surgical removal of the underarm is mainly used for treating excessive sweating in the underarm alone.
Surgical operation using sympathectomy
Sympathectomy is another surgery that is often used by most surgeons in treating excessive heating. During the process, the surgeon tries to stop the signals that your body sends to the sweat glands by destroying or cutting certain nerves in the body. To find these nerves, the surgeons insert a mini surgical camera, just a bit below the underarm. Unlike surgical removal of the sweat glands, sympathectomy is used in treating excessive sweating in the palms.
Side effects of surgery as a treatment option
- loss of feeling in the underarms
- sore and bruising
- skin infections may occur
- sympathectomy can cause damage to the nerves that run between the eyes and brain
- inability to tolerate heat
- low blood pressure
- In some cases, death may occur during surgical operations from sympathectomy. This is more likely to occur if adequate care is not taken during the process.
Not all hyperhidrosis may require surgical operations; ensure you visit ourdermatology clinic London so that our dermatologistwill find a treatment option that can effectively control your condition.