As summer in the city heats up, excessive sweating becomes a problem for many when forced out of their air conditioning and into the strong sun. Whether you’re in the subway, out for a walk, or working out, the body is constantly working to maintain ideal temperature. Part of this process is sweating.
When one in five Americans experience excessive sweating, dermatologists look for answers through technological advancements. These patients explain how disruptive sweating can be to their life. Instead of being a simple annoyance, it can become a serious issue: ruining clothing and creating awkward social interactions. The condition is called hyperhidrosis, and it occurs without heat or stress triggers but by over-activating sweat glands that lead to uncontrollable sweat.
Sweating is a natural cooling system, designed by the body’s gland system. When the brain senses increasing heat, it signals sweat glands throughout the body to release fluid, which evaporates off the skin and cools down the body. However, for many people, this process can be both embarrassing and troublesome.
For some, too much sweating will not only interfere with daily routines, but sabotage socializing and professional interactions. Prescription antiperspirants, Botox, and surgery have been the most widely used treatments for excessive sweating, but without surgery, no treatments have proven as long-lasting and effective. The body is covered in sweat glands and since only two percent of them are located in the armpit, blocking their connection or destroying them won’t inhibit your body from cooling itself off.
3 Treatment Options for Excessive Sweating:
- Deodorant does just that: deodorize. It doesn’t stop the sweat but instead simply tries to neutralize the scent. Antiperspirant helps some people but can’t stop the process entirely and also can contain products many consider to be toxic. Antiperspirants and prescriptions temporarily disable the glands for a limited time.
- Botox injections into the underarms is one way to treat hyperhidrosis, but it’s only temporary. Botox is a purified neurotoxin that simply immobilizes nerves, making it a non-permanent solution to excessive sweating. The injections are most commonly known for treating facial wrinkles but are also proven to be successful in blocking the chemical involved in sending contraction signals to the muscles that lead to sweating. Botox can block the connection and decrease sweating for up to five to nine months, depending on if the treatment area is in the hands, feet, or armpits.
- MiraDry is a non-invasive treatment used to eliminate underarm sweat glands to stop excessive sweating once and for all. It utilizes the same technology as a microwave and can provide patients with a reliable long-lasting solution, by vacuuming the skin and stabilizing it into place, which brings the sweat glands closer to the surface, and then it emits electromagnetic energy into the underarm treatment area through a hand piece. Clinical trials show an over 50 percent reduction in the severity of hyperhidrosis after one treatment and over 60 percent decrease in odor. A second treatment decreases severity by up to 95 percent. Sweat glands are non-regenerative, which means MiraDry results will last.
Excessive sweating can also be the result of a medical condition, which is called secondary hyperhidrosis. It can be caused by anxiety conditions, cancer, certain medications, substance abuse, glucose control disorders, heart disease, hyperthyroidism, cancers, and many others, according to the National Institutes of Health.