Non-Surgical Options for Hyperhidrosis

Patients with mild to moderate symptoms are usually the best candidates for non-surgical treatment options. Most of these treatments focus on controlling the symptoms of hyperhidrosis. Your doctor will discuss the benefits and any side effects of various treatment options.

Topical Medications

Available by prescription, these medicines work much like non-prescription antiperspirants, except that they are stronger. The patient applies the medicine to the effected area. Although the medication is left on for six to eight hours, the treatment may only be effective for a few hours. Side effects of this treatment may include skin irritation.

Oral Medications

There are a variety of oral medications that can be prescribed to control a patient's reaction to a certain situation. Anti-anxiety medications can help patients who have excessive sweating primarily due to stress-induced anxiety. Antidepressants also have helped patients cope with this condition. These medications often have side effects.

Iontophoresis

This electric unit is used primarily for hyperhidrosis of the hands and feet. The affected area is submerged in a pan of water while a mild electric current is applied. Frequent and lengthy treatments are necessary to control sweating. Skin irritation may occur.

Botox Injections

A doctor will inject a small amount of botulinum toxin (Botox) into the affected area--typically the underarm or hand. The treatment is usually effective for four to six months before excessive sweating starts to reoccur. In some patients, results may last up to a year. Treatments will need to be repeated and can be rather costly and painful. A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that Botox injections worked well for severe underarm hyperhidrosis.

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If you have additional questions regarding hyperhidrosis, please call the Section of Thoracic Surgery at (773) 702-3551.