Everyone sweats from time to time. It’s the body’s natural way of cooling itself off. But some people sweat a lot more than others, seemingly for no reason. While there are ways to try to manage the amount of sweat the body produces, such as wearing antiperspirants, some people find that those do pretty much nothing.
Excessive sweating can be a pretty embarrassing condition to have. It not only leaves you with soaking wet armpits, it can also change the way people perceive you. Even if you’re feeling fine, people might think you’re nervous. Or, they perceive the excessive sweating as a sign that your hygiene habits are lacking. To further complicate the problem, sweating a lot can mean your clothes end up stained or you end up with hefty dry cleaning bills.
Why Do People Sweat?
Ordinarily, people sweat to cool themselves off. The body produces sweat, which then evaporates in the air, helping you feel cooler and more comfortable. But, plenty of people notice sweating even when they aren’t warm or hot. If you have excessive sweating, or hyperhidrosis as it’s called, you might notice that your underarms, feet, palms or face sweat even when the temperature is comfortable.
Hyperhidrosis can be connected to another condition, such as diabetes or an overactive thyroid. It can also occur on its own. When a person has excessive sweating that’s not connected to a medical condition, the sweating is usually hereditary. That means if your mom or dad sweat a lot, you are more likely to deal with excessive sweating too.
Do You Need to Treat Your Sweating?
Whether you need to treat excessive sweating or not depends on a few factors. One is how much the sweat bothers you. Some people sweat a lot but find that using clothing guards or shields keeps the issue from being an embarrassing problem. Others are able to manage or control the sweat by switching to a stronger antiperspirant or by having their doctor prescribe a prescription strength product.
But if clothing shields and stronger antiperspirants aren’t doing it for you or if you find that your sweating is persisting no matter what, there are two somewhat surprising treatment options available.
Treatment Option 1: Lasers
One way to control excessive sweating is to get rid of the sweat glands responsible for the sweat. The glands don’t need to be surgically removed from the body. Instead, a surgeon can use a laser to destroy the gland. The heat produced by the laser causes the gland to vaporize, so that it’s gone for good.
Laser treatment for hyperhidrosis doesn’t require much downtime and it doesn’t hurt the skin in the treatment area. Before the treatment, the doctor will make a small incision in the area and place the laser inside the incision so that it doesn’t burn or destroy the skin. The procedure is usually performed with local anesthesia, so a patient is awake during it. Many people are able to go back to work or other regularly scheduled activities right after treatment.
The only big changes you’ll need to make after being treated with lasers is to avoid shaving under your arms or wearing antiperspirants for a few days after the treatment.
Treatment Option 2: Botox
Botox injections, the same injections that are used to reduce the appearance of crow’s feet and frown lines, can also be used to curb excessive sweating. Unlike laser treatments, the Botox injections won’t destroy the sweat glands responsible for the excess sweating.
Instead, the injection blocks a chemical response that triggers sweating, effectively switching off the sweat gland for the time being. While laser treatments get rid of the gland for good, Botox is a temporary solution for sweating. The treatment can last anywhere from a few months up to a full year. It typically takes a few days for results to appear as the injectable needs time to go to work and effectively block the nerve signals.
About Dr. Ran Rubinstein
Dr. Ran Y. Rubinstein, a board certified plastic surgeon, offers his patients Botox injections and laser treatments for sweating at his practice in Manhattan. He can guide you through the process of choosing the treatment that best meets your needs and fulfills your goals. Dr. Rubinstein offers patients a variety of procedures, from fillers to rhinoplasty, at Laser & Cosmetic Surgery Specialists, PC in Newburgh, New York. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Rubinstein, call 845-863-1772 today.