What is Hyperhidrosis (Excessive Sweating) Treatment and Causes

Excessive sweating of the palms can not only be troublesome but also embarrassing. Sweating is a thermoregulatory mechanism where in your body tries to maintain the core temperature, hence is necessary. However, some people suffer from excessive sweating of palms and feet. Some students complain that they need to use a handkerchief or a napkin while writing their exams as their hands literally start dripping. Hyperhidrosis can be a menace for marketing professionals or persons in other fields who need to interact with people routinely and may find it extremely embarrassing to extend their sweaty hands forward for a cordial handshake.

What Causes Hyperhidrosis?
Hyperhidrosis can be due to various reasons. Environmental changes, exercise, nervousness or anxiety are some common conditions where palms are generally cold and sweaty, but it is a normal phenomenon. Thyroid disorder can cause excessively sweaty palms which are often warm to touch and would need medical attention. During injections associated with high fever, sweaty palms are common, but these subside with the infection.

However, in one per cent of adult population, excessive sweating of palms could be due to palmer hyperhidrosis. In this condition, the body is inherently tuned to produce excessive sweat in response to normal triggers. It is due to the over activity of the sympathetic nervous system associated with the sweat glands. It often coexists with excessive sweatiness of the feet as well and is called palmo-plantar hyperhidrosis. Sweaty feet for men can be a menace, as they amount to damp socks that tend to have an offensive odor.

What is Hyperhidrosis

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Do Over-the-counter Products Help?
Certain antiperspirant preparations that are available over-the-counter are beneficial, as these help to temporarily block the sweat pores. Solutions that contain aluminium chloride hex hydrate are effective only in mild cases. Application of these powders, over palms and soles before bedtime may help reduce sweating. Anti-cholinergic drugs are prescribed for severe cases. These, however, must be taken strictly under a dermatologist’s supervision.

What is the Clinic Based Treatment for Sweaty Palms?
Lontophoresis is a device that induces electric current on soles and palms to reduce the functioning of sweat glands. Various agents are used to bring about this effect, such as tap water, anti-cholinergic drugs etc. home units of lontophoresis are also available, however, these may not be as effective as clinic based ones. Botulinum toxin injection too provides great relief in severe cases.

Are Botulinum Toxin Injections for Sweaty Palms Safe?
Yes, botulinum injections for Hyperhidrosis are routinely done and are very safe if done by well-trained certified dermatologists. These are done with prior numbing cream application or sometimes even nerve blocks, to minimize the pain. It is an outpatient department (OPD) procedure and no admission is required. The biggest advantage is that if frees you of the excessive sweating problem for almost four to six months or sometimes.

Who would be the Ideal Candidate for Botulinum Toxin Injections?
All those professionals such as the cabin crew and marketing professionals, who could offend their customers with a sweaty handshake are people who generally approach us for this particular treatment. These are people who don’t want to be embarrassed with sweaty palms and it becomes of utmost importance when it seems to interfere with their daily life.

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