to Surgery for Excessive Sweating Treatment
Alternative Treatments Primary and secondary
hyperhidrosis patients experiencing moderate to severe sweating
should try these alternative treatment options before considering
surgery.If you have tried alternative options
to treat your excessive sweating and/or blushing and it doesn't
resolve, surgery may be
the next step. The following treatment options should be
discussed with your primary care physician.
Antiperspirants (ie, Drysol,
Certain Dri ) The
first therapeutic measure recommended. Aluminum Chloride
Hexahydrate (20-25%) in 70-90% alcohol applied in the evening 2-3
times per week. Less effective over time (within months). High
incidence of skin irritation. 10% Glutaraldehyde. Good clinical
result in 72 hours. Brown discoloration of the skin occurs. Effective
in individuals with light to moderate hyperhidrosis, but not always.
Must be repeated regularly for life.
Iontophoresis (Drionic, Hydrex) Tried, if antiperspirants not
effective. Used to treat palmar, axillary, and plantar hyperhidrosis.
Low intensity electric current (15-18 mA) applied to the palms
and/or soles immersed in an electrolyte solution.
Has to be repeated regularly, initially in 20 minute sessions several
times/week, gradually stretching out the interval between treatments
to 1-2 weeks. The results vary: many patients (70%), suffering
from light to moderate hyperhidrosis, are happy with the method,
some may consider it too time-consuming or inefficient and comparably
expensive. It is difficult to apply in axillary, and impossible
to use in diffuse hyperhidrosis of the face or the trunk/thigh
region. Side effects include: burning, electric shock, discomfort,
tingling, skin irritation (erythema and vesicle formation). Sweating
returns after cessation.
- Ditropan, Robinul, Propantheline) No specific
medication to treat hyperhidrosis. Sedative (psychotropic) and/or
anti-cholinergic drugs commonly used. Many side-effects. Dry mouth "cotton
tongue". Accomodation difficulties of the eyes (hard to focus
eyes). Many others. Not generally recommended for treating hyperhidrosis.
Low dose anti-cholinergic agents may decrease excess sweating without
causing incapacitating side-effects in those few individuals who
suffer only from profuse truncal sweating. A dosage necessary to
normalize the amount of sweating is rarely tolerated.
Botulinum toxin (Botulinum Toxin
by a bacteria known as Clostridium botulinum, this toxin is one
of the most lethal poisons known. This toxin interfers with the
neurotransmitter acethylcholine at the synapses (nerve junction
points). Progressive paralysis of all muscles in the body develops.
Botulinus toxin given in extremely low doses has been used to treat
localized muscle hyperactivity such as lid spasms and torticollis.
Side effects include: dry mouth, bladder paralysis, bowel inactivity,
and others. Repeat injections are frequently required every 1 to
Hypnosis Individuals who have tried hypnosis
for palmar hyperhidrosis have reported little improvement.
Lasertherapy Some desperate patients have tried
this technique. This technique involves direct irradiation of the
palms which results in 3rd degree burns of the hands without any
improvement in sweating.
Radiotherapy High-dose radiation to treat axillary
hyperhidrosis. Serious dermatitis and skin retraction develops.
Psychotherapy (Limited effect
in the majority of patientS)
Psychological problems commonly develop
as a consequence of hyperhidrosis, not the other way around. Psychiatric
or psychopharmacologic therapy may help an individual to cope with
hyperhidrosis condition, but certainly won't treat the disorder.
Additional Alternative Treatment Methods Alternative
Medicine, Homoeopathy, Massage, Acupuncture, Phytotherapeutic (Herbal)
drugs. These methods are hard to document improvement.
Axillary Sweat Gland Removal Z-plasty
excision of the axillary sweat glands. Hypertrophic and/or constrictive
scars may sometimes form restricting shoulder motion.