Can Hyperhidrosis Be Cured?
We did a round up of all the available treatment options so you won’t have to…
If you’ve seen the movie My Big Fat Greek Wedding, you are undoubtedly aware of the father’s love of Windex. From pimples to burns, it’s his cure-all. There’s nothing his beloved cleaning spray cannot do. Sadly, there are currently no such cures for excessive sweating. No spray, deodorant, or even surgery can guarantee that it will be 100% effective in curing hyperhidrosis.
But never fear! While a cure eludes us, there are many ways to manage the symptoms and stresses of living with primary focal hyperhidrosis.
The first level of defense should always be a good antiperspirant. Unlike deodorants, which get rid of the smell, antiperspirants contain aluminum that can decrease sweat by blocking pores. While most commonly used in the underarm area, antiperspirants can actually be used on other parts of the body.
The downside to using antiperspirants is that they can sometime leave behind sticky residues or stain clothing. Unfortunately, this makes them a poor choice for use on hands or feet. In addition, antiperspirants may not block sweat completely so they may not be incredibly effective in managing excess sweat.
For something with a bit more prescription power, your doctor can prescribe anticholinergic medicines, often in the form of topical or oral medications. Some common anticholinergic drugs include Benedryl and Xanax, though glycopyrralate (Rubinol) is widely used to treat hyperhidrosis. It works by blocking the activation of sweat glands. If you’re a visual learner like me, it might help to imagine putting a large piece of tape over a light switch so that it can’t be turned on. In theory, no active sweat glands equals no sweat.
As with all prescription drugs, these medicines carry the risk of serious side effects such as heart palpitations or blurred vision. Recently. Anticholinergic drugs have been linked to dementia so while using them isn’t out of the questions, possible side effects should be given serious consideration before you spoon-full-of-sugar any of these bad boys down.
Botox. As I’ve been told it feels about as good as “the fury of a 1000 angry papercuts” but I hate pain so I’m biased. It basically works by blocking sweat from being released from the skin. Many have found it quite effective and hey, you’ll never have to worry about fine lines on your palms or soles or armpits again. On the downside, botulin poisoning is a thing-a really gnarly thing- and this treatment is administered by injecting botox under the skin, which is about as pleasant as being repeatedly stung by bees.
It should come as no surprise that our pick for most effective treatment of hyperhidrosis is Tap Water Iontophoresis. Iontophoresis is the use of electric current to deliver treatments to the skin. When combined with tapwater, the current transforms that the naturally-ocurring minerals in your water to create a plug in your pores. It’s natural, it’s non-invasive, and it’ll soften your cuticles while you treat your hyperhidrosis. I don’t really see a downside here, but I’ve already mentioned that I’m a little biased.