Hyperhidrosis, otherwise known as excessive sweating, affects a lot of people, nearly 3% of the American population.
Sometimes it can be an embarrassing topic to discuss. After all, sweating isn’t exactly seen as “decent” in our society. But the truth is that there’s nothing wrong with it, and there are methods to treat it.
Here to let us in on more details about hyperhidrosis is Dr. Nely Aldrich.
About Dr. Nely Aldrich
Dr. Aldrich graduated from Kent State University with an undergraduate degree in Integrated Life Sciences. She then attended medical school at Northeastern Ohio Medical University in Rootstown, Ohio where she was inducted into the medical honor society Alpha Omega Alpha.
During medical school, Dr. Aldrich developed an interest in dermatology and was accepted into University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center for residency where she published research on rosacea twin studies. Dr. Aldrich served as Chief Resident in the last year of training and worked as a dermatologist in Westlake for two years after graduating residency.
Dr. Aldrich specializes in general dermatology. She sees various conditions including acne, rosacea, skin cancer, eczema, psoriasis, and many others. Dr. Aldrich is Board Certified by the American Board of Dermatology.
What is hyperhidrosis?
Hyperhidrosis is defined as excessive sweating beyond what would be expected for the local environment and is needed by the body.
Is hyperhidrosis common?
Approximately 3% of the US population reports having hyperhidrosis, with 50% reporting axillary or underarm hyperhidrosis specifically.
How do you diagnose hyperhidrosis?
Usually, a clinical history is enough to diagnose hyperhidrosis.
“I ask patients how much they sweat and how often, or if there is any relation to triggers. I also like to ask patients how much their sweating affects their day to day activities.”
What areas of the body does hyperhidrosis affect?
It can affect localized areas of the body like underarms or hands and feet, or it can affect the entire body at once.
This varies from person to person, and not every case of hyperhidrosis is the same.
What is the cause of hyperhidrosis?
The cause is related to the type of hyperhidrosis the patient has. If it is localized primary hyperhidrosis involving the hands/feet/underarms, a lot of times it has a genetic component.
“Mom or dad may have the same condition. It is an overactivity of the nervous system that triggers the sweat glands. Secondary hyperhidrosis means that the sweating is caused by a condition triggering the sweating.”
Secondary hyperhidrosis can be localized or generalized as well.
Here are some conditions that can trigger secondary hyperhidrosis:
- hormonal disturbances
- neurologic disorders
- medication use
- substance abuse
- spinal cord injuries
- and several other conditions.
How is hyperhidrosis treated?
Treatment options for hyperhidrosis vary depending on where the excessive sweating is located on the body as well as the extent of the sweating.
“Local options include prescription-strength antiperspirants, topical or oral anticholinergic medication, iontophoresis machine use, and botulinum toxin (Botox, Dysport) injections.”
The device miraDry was approved in 2011 to treat underarm hyperhidrosis by using heat energy to permanently destroy the sweat glands. Most recently, the topical anticholinergic Qbrexza was approved as individually wrapped wipes that can be used at home to stop underarm sweating.
There are also surgical options for hyperhidrosis which are controversial and no longer commonly recommended because of the adverse effects.
For more information on hyperhidrosis from a trusted source, visit the International Hyperhidrosis Society. To come up with a treatment plan that is right for you, book an appointment with us to determine the best course of action for your hyperhidrosis specifically.