Several treatment options are available for hyperhidrosis. Your doctor will work with you to find the least invasive treatment that relieves symptoms. Nonsurgical treatments for hyperhidrosis may include:
- Topical medications. These include over-the-counter and prescription antiperspirants.
- Iontophoresis. This procedure delivers a low current of electricity to the hands or feet, and sometimes to the armpits, while that part of the body is immersed in water.
- Oral medications. These may include medicines that block nerve impulses to sweat glands to reduce sweat output.
- Botulinum toxin injections. Commonly used to help smooth facial wrinkles, botulinum toxin (Botox, Myobloc, others) can also block the nerves that trigger sweat glands.
Surgery is generally reserved for severe cases of hyperhidrosis, when more-conservative treatments have failed. At Mayo Clinic, surgery is most successful in treating hand and underarm hyperhidrosis. If excessive sweating occurs just in your armpits, removing the sweat glands there may help. At Mayo Clinic, this can be accomplished via liposuction through very small incisions.
In severe cases of hand hyperhidrosis, your doctor might suggest a procedure that cuts, burns or clamps the nerves that control sweating in your hands. In some cases, this procedure triggers excessive sweating in other areas of your body. Mayo surgeons have developed surgical techniques that greatly reduce the occurrence of this bothersome side effect.
Many Mayo doctors perform hyperhidrosis nerve surgeries through just one small incision, typically measuring less than 1/2 inch (1 centimeter). This can shorten recovery time and reduce postoperative pain.
Sept. 21, 2012
- Kliegman RM, et al. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 19th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2011. http://www.mdconsult.com/das/book/body/208746819-6/0/1608/0.html. Accessed July 18, 2012.
- Smith CC, et al. Primary focal hyperhidrosis. http://www.uptodate.com/index. Accessed July 18, 2012.
- Cerfolio RJ, et al. The Society of Thoracic Surgeons expert consensus for the surgical treatment of hyperhidrosis. Annals of Thoracic Surgery. 2011;91:1642.
- Bradley WG, et al. Neurology in Clinical Practice. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Butterworth-Heinemann Elsevier; 2008. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/about.do?about=true&eid=4-u1.0-B978-0-7506-7525-3..X5001-8--TOP&isbn=978-0-7506-7525-3&uniqId=230100505-57. Accessed July 18, 2012.
- Solish N, et al. Evaluating the patient presenting with hyperhidrosis. Thoracic Surgical Clinics. 2008;18:133.
- Eisenach JH, et al. Hyperhidrosis: Evolving therapies for a well-established phenomenon. Mayo Clinic Proceedings. 2005;80:657.
- Barbara Woodward Lips Patient Education Center. Hyperhidrosis (Excessive sweating). Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2011.