It may help to avoid certain triggers, such as:
- Hot sauce or spices, such as curry or cumin
Antiperspirants: Excessive sweating may be controlled with strong anti-perspirants, which plug the sweat ducts:
- Antiperspirants are not the same as deodorants. Deodorants do not prevent sweating, but they help to reduce body odor.
- Products containing 10% to 20% aluminum chloride hexahydrate are used first. Some patients may be prescribed a product with a higher dose of aluminum chloride.
- Dry the area well before using.
- Your health care provider may tell you to use them before bed for up to five days in a row, and then once or twice a week.
- These products can irritate your skin. Large doses can damage clothing.
Wear sandals if you can. When you wear shoes:
- Choose shoes that allow air to circulate, such as those made from leather or other natural materials.
- When possible, take your shoes off.
- Allow your shoes to dry before wearing them again. Try not to wear the same pair of shoes two days in a row.
Choose socks that draw (or wick) moisture away from the skin. Cotton socks do not do this. Often, the packaging will say whether socks wick moisture away skin. Wash and dry your socks before wearing them again.
Antiperspirants can also be used on your feet. Apply before bed and wash it off in the morning. After doing this for three or four nights in a row, use it on your feet one time a week. Sprays may work better on your feet.
Medication: Certain medicines may prevent excessive sweating:
- These are prescribed for certain types of hyperhidrosis, such as excessive sweating of the face.
- Medicines have side effects and are not right for everyone.
Iontophoresis: This is a simple office procedure that uses electricity to temporarily turn off the sweat gland. It works best for sweating of the hands and feet.
- The hands or feet are placed into water, and then a gentle current of electricity is passed through it. The electricity is slowly increased until the patient feels a light tingling sensation.
- The therapy lasts about 10 to 20 minutes. You will have 2 to 3 treatments a week for a while, then every week to month.
- If this treatment works, you can buy a device and use it at home.
- Side effects include skin cracking and blisters, although it is rare.
Botox: Botulinum toxin type A (Botox) is used to treat severe underarm sweating.
- Injections are used for the underarms, feet, hands, or face and head. They temporarily block the nerves that stimulate sweating.
- Side effects include injection-site pain and flu-like symptoms.
- Botox used for sweating of the palms can cause mild, but short-term weakness and intense pain.
Endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy (ETS): This is a procedure that is recommended for severe cases when other treatments do not work:
- During the procedure, a nerve is cut, turning off the signal that tells the body to sweat excessively.
- It is most often done on people whose palms sweat too much. It may also be used to treat extreme sweating of the face.
- ETS does not work as well for those with excessive underarm sweating.
Underarm surgery: This is surgery to remove the sweat glands in the armpits. Methods used include laser, curettage (scraping), excision (cutting), or liposuction. These procedures are done using local anesthesia.