Doctors have long tried to deal with this problem, but until recently no plan of action produced completely satisfactory results.
Solutions in the past have included everything from psychotherapy to heavy applications of antiperspirants. Psychotherapy usually did not help the medical condition, and proved to be a heavy burden. Antiperspirants caused similar hardship, and needed to be applied both regularly and liberally, making going through the average day quite a hassle. Drugs, such as psychotropic (sedative) and anticholinergic (Atropine, Robinul) medicines, presented risky and uncomfortable side effects, such as dry mouth, urinary problems and even increased risk of heat stroke.
Today, many treatment options have improved, and new approaches are being developed all the time. Most sufferers now find that, with perseverance, a treatment or combination of treatments can be found that will control their symptoms to an acceptable level and allow a better quality of life.
Diagram courtesy of Mr Mark Whiteley
The improved Aluminium Chloride antiperspirants alone help many people, and if this is not enough then Iontophoresis for hands, feet and underarms is widely available as an NHS treatment. Botox injections have helped many who had despaired of finding an effective treatment. Oral medications are not recommended long term due to the side effects, but nonetheless some people do find them helpful, especially those who suffer from hyperhidrosis all over their body or those who suffer with the side effects of ETS.
Surgical options should be considered only when all other options have been tried without success. Minimally invasive surgical procedures, such as Retrodemal Curettage or Laser Sweat Ablation, can permanently remove the sweat glands under the arms. Endoscopic Thoracic Sympathectomy (ETS) is major surgery with a high possibility of permanent damage and irreversible side effects. It should be considered only as a very last resort for the most extreme cases of palmar (hand) or axillae (armpits) hyperhidrosis. It is not recommended for plantar (feet) hyperhidrosis.
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