Healthcare: Dermatology

Excessive Sweating Options

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Excessive Sweating: Overview

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Sweating is your body’s way of cooling down and getting rid of some chemicals. But some people have a condition that makes them sweat too much. It can affect any part of your body, especially the head, armpits, hands, and feet. Sometimes the sweat mixes with bacteria on your skin and causes armpits and feet to smell bad.

It can be upsetting to have sweat drip from your face and palms or to have smelly feet and shoes. Some people seem to be born with this condition, while some others may sweat too much because of anxiety.

Talk with your Baylor Medicine dermatologist about treatment options to help with excessive sweating. 

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Topical products Certain Dri and Maxim (OTC) or Drysol (Rx)

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Body location: Anywhere
Pro: Convenient and inexpensive
Con: May be irritating and often ineffective
Tip: Use at night when dry

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Anticholinergic pills Robinul 1 or 2 mg tablets (2-3 x per day)

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Body location: Anywhere
Pro: Fairly safe in young healthy people
Con: Generalized side effects
Common side effects: Constipation, dry mouth, drowsiness, blurred vision, urinary retention
Rare side effects: Cardiac arrest and arrhythmias, heat stroke due to decreased sweating
Tip: Start with lower dose and gradually increase.

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Botox injection in the office

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What is: Botox injection
Body location: Small areas. Underarms, hands, etc
Pro: Quick, safe, very effective, long-lasting (6-12 months)
Con: Expensive, multiple small intradermal injections
Tip: Insurance may cover if prior options failed

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Iontophoresis

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What is: Iontophoresis
Body location: Best for hands and feet
Pro: Safe, effective, home use
Con: Time consuming at first

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Sympathectomy surgery to cut / clip the sympathetic nerve in chest

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Body location: Underarms and hands
Pro: Very effective and permanent
Con: Compensatory hyperhidrosis and surgical complications
Tip: May not be covered unless Botox tried