Friday, June 22, 2012

Hyperhidrosis, or excessive sweating, is a common disorder which produces a lot of unhappiness. An estimated 2 to 3 percent of Americans suffer from excessive sweating. Dr. Edward Hill tells us more about this condition in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

Hyperhidrosis, or excessive sweating, is a condition that usually begins in either childhood or adolescence.

Underarm problems tend to start in late adolescence, while palm and sole sweating often begins earlier, around the age 13. Untreated, these problems may continue throughout life.

Sweating is embarrassing, can stain clothes, and complicate business and social interactions. Severe cases can have serious practical consequences as well, making it hard for people who suffer from it to hold a pen, grip a car steering wheel or shake hands.

Most cases occur in people who are otherwise healthy. Heat and emotions may trigger hyperhidrosis in some, but many who suffer from hyperhidrosis sweat nearly all their waking hours, regardless of their mood or the weather.

The approach to treating excessive sweating generally includes over-the-counter antiperspirants then prescription-strength antiperspirants, those containing aluminum chloride hexahydrate. Treatment can also include iontophoresis, a device which passes direct electricity through the skin using tap water; oral medications which reduce sweating and Botox. Surgery is used in rare cases.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.