Sweating is an important bodily function that is performed to keep your body cool and prevent you from overheating. However, some people experience a condition called hyperhidrosis which is marked by an overactive sweat mechanism. This excessive sweating can occur at any time, even when your body doesn't need to cool off.
Excessive sweating can be a source of embarrassment for many people. Hyperhidrosis doesn't just result in wet or stained clothing, it disrupts both personal and professional interactions and can create an intense level of anxiety.
Is Hyperhidrosis Genetic?
It appears that one of the types of hyperhidrosis - primary hyperhidrosis - may be an inherited condition. You may have family members who suffer from the same excessive sweating. Secondary hyperhidrosis is the other type, and it is associated with an underlying condition, such as neurologic disorders and spine injuries.
Can Hyperhidrosis be Prevented?
Prevention of excessive sweating depends on the cause. You may be able to reduce episodes of hyperhidrosis if you can identify triggers, such as excessive caffeine consumption or untreated generalized anxiety. If the condition is caused by certain medications, you may want to talk to your doctor about finding an alternative medication to see if sweating is reduced.
For most people, hyperhidrosis cannot be prevented, but it can be managed, allowing you to lead a more comfortable, fulfilling life without the constant worry and inconvenience of being too sweaty. Primary care physicians and dermatologists can both offer prescription-level antiperspirants or Botox. Botox is very effective but can be expensive. Start with the simplest steps first.
Learning About Hyperhidrosis
The International Hyperhidrosis Society has a website dedicated to the issues surrounding excessive sweating. If you find typical drug store options are ineffective, then it's possible you have actual hyperhidrosis, which requires different avenues for control. Treatments range from clinical-strength antiperspirants to surgery. One effective and often-used form of control is Botox. But read about all the options on https://www.sweathelp.org.
What About Odor?
The deodorant business is huge. One only needs to look down the personal care aisle in a drugstore or big box store to understand this culture's desire to smell fresh. More often than not, deodorants are combined with antiperspirants. Because formulations are different from one manufacturer (or product) to another, it can be a process to find one that works for you.
Newer to the smell-good arena are deodorants that contain mandelic acid. For some people, these products are effective when "regular" deodorants aren't. They won't impact sweating, but they will impact the odor that develops when you sweat. And it's possible the reduced anxiety around odor will lessen the level of sweat produced by that anxiety. Some available products include Sweet Pitti by Drunk Elephant, Kosas Chemistry Deodorant and a few more. Look for mandelic acid in the formulation.
If I Have a BOTOX® Treatment for Hyperhidrosis, How Long Do Results Last?
BOTOX® will reduce hyperhidrosis for about 4-6 months, at which point re-treatment is necessary to maintain the effect. As you receive successive injections, you may find that the effects begin to last longer and that more time can pass between appointments.
How Many BOTOX® Sessions for Hyperhidrosis Will I Need?
Hyperhidrosis can be reduced with a single BOTOX® appointment at our practice. It takes about 5 days to see the initial results, with optimal results reached in 2 weeks.
Are Clinical Strength Antiperspirants Safe for Hyperhidrosis Treatments?
Most people experience minimal to no side effects or complications when using clinical-strength antiperspirants. Two of the most common side effects are irritation and a burning sensation where the antiperspirant is applied.
A key step is to be sure your skin is completely clean and dry before applying and apply at bedtime so the product has time to do what it's intended to do. Putting on your antiperspirant only in the morning, right before you rush out the door, almost guarantees it won't work as intended.
Some people are concerned that antiperspirants are linked to breast cancer or Alzheimer’s disease. To date, there is not any substantial evidence of such an association. Certain studies have shown there is not a link. If you are concerned, we encourage you to discuss the matter with Dr. Fitzgerald and your general doctor.
Contact Dr. Fitzgerald For Hyperhidrosis Treatment In Los Angeles
Please contact our office using the form on this page or call 323-464-8046 today to schedule your hyperhidrosis consultation. We serve patients in Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, and Larchmont, California.