Have you noticed that you sweat more than those around you? Do you dread going to the gym because your excessive sweating embarrasses you? If so, you may be able to find relief with miraDry. If you’d like to take control of your excessive sweating, call Precision MD in Elk Grove, CA and speak with a medical professional about your options.
Dr. Khattab is a board-certified cosmetic surgeon and member of the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery who serves the entire Sacramento area. Excessive sweating can be difficult to deal with on your own, but Dr. Khattab can help.
What Is Hyperhydrosis?
Hyperhidrosis disorder is a condition that results in excessive sweating, often on the underarms, hands, and feet. However, it has been known to happen to other areas of the body as well. The excessive sweating associated with hyperhidrosis disorder can occur in unusual settings, including cool weather, or sometimes with nothing to trigger it at all. Hyperhidrosis is also sometimes caused by other medical conditions, including menopause and hyperthyroidism.
As many as 4.8% of Americans have hyperhidrosis, though it’s believed that number may be low due to under-reporting. Health professionals believe that people don’t seek treatment for it because they don’t realize they have a condition that can be treated in the first place.
What Are the Types and Causes of Hyperhidrosis?
Sweating is one of the ways in which your body self-regulates its temperature. It’s a normal response to certain stimuli, such as hot weather, exercise, stress, and emotions like fear and anger. People who suffer from hyperhidrosis sweat more than most people in these situations (and sometimes others), often for no apparent reason. The cause for it usually depends on what type of hyperhidrosis is present.
Primary Focal Hyperhidrosis
In this form of hyperhidrosis, excessive sweating typically happens on the feet, hands, face, head, and underarms, and starts most often in childhood. Anywhere from 30 to 50 percent of people with primary focal hyperhidrosis have a family history of excessive sweating, meaning that the cause could be genetic.
Secondary Generalized Hyperhidrosis
With secondary generalized hyperhidrosis, the cause of the sweating stems from a medical condition or a side effect of certain medications. Mostly starting in adulthood, people who suffer from this type may excessively sweat all over their body or in just one area. Sweating can also occur while asleep.
Some conditions that can cause secondary generalized hyperhidrosis include heart disease, cancer, adrenal gland disorders, stroke, menopause, hyperthyroidism, and more. Both prescription and over-the-counter medications can cause hyperhidrosis as well. Sweating is usually a rare side effect in medications and few people experience it, however, it can be caused by the following antidepressants: desipramine, nortriptyline, and protriptyline.
What Are the Symptoms of Excessive Sweating?
For most people, the amount of sweating they do depends primarily on what they’re doing. However, those who suffer from excessive sweating all tend to experience similar symptoms:
- Excessive sweating that’s occurred for at least six months with no apparent, obvious reason
- Sweating that occurs on both sides of the body in roughly the same amount
- Incidents where a person sweats excessively at least once a week
- Sweating that interferes with daily activities, including work or social relationships
- Excessive sweating that began when the person was younger than 25
- A family history of hyperhidrosis
- Sweating in your sleep
If one or more of these factors is present in your life, you may have primary focal hyperhidrosis that’s treatable with miraDry. To receive an accurate diagnosis, though, you’ll need to speak with a doctor. If you sweat excessively all over your body or in just one specific area, you may have secondary generalized hyperhidrosis. As mentioned, only a doctor can provide an official diagnosis and help you determine the underlying cause.
If you’re experiencing any other unusual symptoms along with your excessive sweating, make sure to let your doctor know. Some conditions associated with excessive sweating can be serious.
How Is Hyperhidrosis Diagnosed?
If you think you may have hyperhidrosis, the first thing to do is speak with a medical professional like Dr. Khattab. At your consultation, you will be asked a few questions about your sweating, such as where and when it happens. Blood and urine tests may also be performed to get a better idea about what’s going on. Often times, a doctor will diagnose primary hyperhidrosis based on the patient’s medical history and a physical examination, though there are other tests that can be sometimes performed.
What Are the Tests for Hyperhidrosis?
There are several tests doctors can perform that will help your doctor discover if you’re actually experiencing excessive sweating or not.
The first is a starch-iodine test. It involves putting iodine on the sweaty area of the patient’s clothing. Once the iodine dries, starch is sprinkled on the area. If it turns dark blue, then it’s likely the patient suffers from excessive sweating.
This test involves putting a special kind of paper on the sweaty area before the sweat dries. The paper will absorb the sweat and get weighed. If the weight is heavier than it would normally be, you may be sweating excessively.
A thermoregulatory test is similar to a starch test in that it uses a special powder sensitive to moisture. It’s sprinkled on the body and changes color in areas where there is excessive sweating.
Common Misconceptions About Women With Hyperhidrosis
Seeing someone who sweats a lot can cause one to jump to conclusions about the cause. The reality of the situation is that hyperhidrosis is a medical condition that can be treated, just like anything else. Still, sweating overmuch can cause a person a lot of unnecessary headaches.
Excessively Sweaty Women Are Nervous
On average, a person has 2 to 4 million sweat glands. The ability to sweat is essential to human survival because it serves as the body’s self-cooling ability, thereby protecting it from overheating. Women with hyperhidrosis will sweat excessively regardless of their mood, the weather, or level of activity. Up to 4 or 5 times the normal amount of sweat is often produced.
Women Who Sweat Excessively During Exercise Are Out of Shape
While the amount of sweating that occurs during exercise is often used as a fitness indicator, it shouldn’t be. Research has shown that fit women (and men) sweat more and start sweating sooner during exercise than those who are less fit. The reason for this is because those who are in good physical condition can exercise harder and increase their body temperature faster and higher than those who are out of shape.
Also, where you exercise can be just as big a determinant in how much you sweat as your exercise intensity. People who typically exercise outside in warm weather will sweat more (and faster) during exercise because the body has learned when it needs to activate its sweat response to cool down.
Night Sweats Are a Female Problem
Night sweats are typically experienced by menopausal women. However, they can be serious when they stem from something else, and if they happen to you, they should not be disregarded. Additionally, it isn’t just women who experience night sweats – men can, too, and should call a doctor if it happens frequently.
What Are the Treatment Options for Excessive Sweating?
There are a variety of treatment options available for excessive sweating.
Often, a doctor will prescribe an antiperspirant that contains aluminum chloride. These are much stronger antiperspirants than those available over the counter and can be effective at treating mild cases of hyperhidrosis.
Iontophoresis is a procedure that delivers low-level electrical currents while the patient is submerged in water. The currents are typically delivered to the hands, feet, or armpits and can temporarily block sweat glands from producing sweat.
Anticholinergic drugs can be effective at providing relief for people with generalized sweating. They work by preventing acetylcholine (a chemical in your body that helps stimulate sweat glands) from working.
Medications can take a few weeks to start working and sometimes have mild side effects like constipation or dizziness.
miraDry is an advanced, non-surgical and FDA-cleared, solution for treating excessive sweating of the underarms right away. The treatment is effective because it targets hyperhidrosis at the root cause. It directs specialized energy to effectively target and eliminate sweat and odor-causing glands so that they are permanently unable to produce sweat. Since your body has millions of sweat glands, disabling those under your arms will still allow sweat to be excreted through your remaining healthy glands.
miraDry is a safe and effective solution to excessive underarm sweating for women (and men) of all skin types who are struggling with the negative effects of hyperhidrosis.
How Does miraDry Work?
The first step in the treatment process is to numb the surface of the area that’s going to be treated to ensure optimal comfort levels for the patient. The handpiece used in the treatment is then held in direct contact with the skin and the energy is activated. The handpiece works to bring the glands closer to the surface of the skin through suction, thereby encouraging optimal results. The energy waves are delivered into the deeper layers of skin where sweat glands are located.
The handpiece also has a cooling function that will cool the surface of the skin while the heating energy works to destroy the excess sweat glands.
The results of treatment become noticeable as soon as the treatment has ended. Once the excess sweat glands are destroyed, you will be able to exercise, go on social outings, and enjoy other daily activities without worrying about embarrassing underarm sweat.
Who Makes a Good Candidate for miraDry?
To qualify as a candidate for treatment, you must first be experiencing the negative side effects of excessive sweating. If you find yourself avoiding certain activities or social situations because of your hyperhidrosis, you may find peace of mind with miraDry. To know for sure if you’re an ideal candidate for treatment, schedule an appointment with one of our medical professionals.
If you think you suffer from primary focal hyperhidrosis, know that your condition is treatable. The medical professionals on our staff can help you develop a treatment plan to manage or eliminate your symptoms.
Excessive sweating that stems from an underlying condition may go away when that condition is treated. Your treatment options will depend on the underlying condition causing the sweating. Speaking with a doctor can help you determine if your excessive sweating stems from primary or secondary hyperhidrosis.
Should your excessively sweaty underarms not respond to prescription deodorants or other treatment options, miraDry can help. It’s non-invasive, FDA-approved, and most of all, effective, at eliminating the excess sweat glands that are causing you distress. Contact us at Precision MD in Elk Grove, CA today and see what we can do for you!