Frequently Asked Questions

What is hyperhidrosis?

Hyperhidrosis, or excessive sweating, is a common disorder which produces a lot of unhappiness. An estimated 2%-3% of Americans suffer from excessive sweating of the underarms (axillary hyperhidrosis) or of the palms and soles of the feet (palmoplantar hyperhidrosis). Underarm problems tend to start around puberty, while palm and sole sweating may begin earlier, often during childhood. Untreated, these problems may continue throughout life.

Sweating is embarrassing, it stains clothes, and it complicates business and social interactions. Severe cases can have serious practical consequences as well, making it hard for people who suffer from it to hold a pen, grip a steering wheel, or shake hands.

What is the cause of hyperhidrosis?

Although neurologic, metabolic, and other diseases can sometimes cause excessive sweating, most cases occur in people who are otherwise healthy. Heat and emotions may trigger hyperhidrosis in some, but many who suffer from hyperhidrosis sweat nearly all the time, regardless of their mood or the weather.

What is the treatment for hyperhidrosis?

Through a systematic evaluation of causes and triggers of excessive sweating, followed by a judicious, stepwise approach to treatment, many people with this annoying disorder can achieve good results and improved quality of life. Medical treatment can involve:

  • Antiperspirants: Home remedies like these are usually tried first because they are readily available. Antiperspirants containing aluminum chloride (for example, Certain-Dri) may be more effective when other antiperspirants have failed. So-called “natural” antiperspirants are often not very helpful.
  • Prescription-strength antiperspirants: those containing aluminum chloride hexahydrate
  • Iontophoresis: a device which passes direct electricity through the skin using tap water
  • Oral medications: from the group of medications known as anticholinergics, which reduce sweating
  • Botox (botulinum toxin): approved in the U.S. by the FDA for treating excessive axillary (underarm) sweating

Our suggested alternative, for those who have tried and failed medical therapy, or just desire a more definitive option, is to pursue laser hyperhidrosis reduction treatment. The procedure is done as an outpatient, takes about an hour, and stops or reduces armpit sweating in over 80% of patients treated. A special Nd-YAG laser is used to heat and ablate the sweat glands which lie directly under the skin, effectively reducing the amount of sweat and odor produced. Call us today or email to obtain more information on this cutting edge procedure!