Hyperhidrosis costs (robs) its sufferers in many ways, not the least of which is via financial burden. The treatment options available to those with primary focal hyperhidrosis can often be expensive, invasive and time consuming. It is important for patients to understand the financial costs of potential treatment options so they can make informed decisions about their health care. There is a cost to benefit analysis that each patient must make when deciding on a treatment plan of action. In order to do this they need access to information about the real-life cost of each treatment, and an understanding of how insurance will or will not cover it. Below is a break down of the most common treatment options for hyperhidrosis and the costs patients can expect when choosing to manage their hyperhidrosis with a doctor.

The type of treatment a particular patient needs depends on the body parts most affected by their specific case of hyperhidrosis. This article will discuss the costs of specific treatment options available to those who have craniofacial, palmar, plantar and axillary hyperhidrosis.

Each section below will list the body areas each treatment is available for, it’s monetary cost, whether it is covered by insurance, and the amount of time it will generally take.

Over-the-Counter Topical Treatments

Over-the-counter topical treatments for hyperhidrosis which typically contain the ingredient Aluminum Chloride are recommended as a first-line treatment for craniofacial, palmoplantar and axillary sweating. Regular antiperspirants, even when marketed for other areas of the body, are safe to use on the face and scalp, although they may cause minor irritation, and there are even antiperspirants for the face and groin that can be used on sensitive skin.[1][8] There are various types of topical treatments ranging from cremes to wipes. Here are some examples of the products available and their prices. None of these treatments are covered by insurance as they are over-the-counter treatments and do not require a doctor’s authorization to use.

Prescription Strength Topical Treatments

Most clinical strength OTC products have been found to be superior to prescription products. This section will specifically focus on one treatment, called topical glycopyrrolate, which is only available by prescription. It needs to be noted that this formulation in not commercially available in the US, but it can be made at a compounding pharmacy. [15] There is a new type of wipe which also uses topical glycopyrrolate, called Qbrexza, which was just approved by the FDA.[17]

Oral Medications

Several prescription oral medications can be used for hyperhidrosis and the management of its symptoms. This section will focus on the cost of the most common type of medication used to treat the condition. Theses medications are called Glycopyrrolate and Oxybutynin which are anticholinergics, and clonidine which is an alpha-adrenergic agonist.[15] These are considered to be second line treatment option for palmar and plantar hyperhidrosis and a third line treatment for axillary hyperhidrosis.[8]

Iontophoresis

Iontophoresis is a treatment that uses a machine to pass an electrical current through trays of water (electrodes) in which a patient places their hands or feet. The electrical current pushes an ionized medication into the skin to treat hyperhidrosis. Iontophoresis is used for palmar and plantar hyperhidrosis treatment. It is considered a third line treatment.[15]

Botox Injections

Botox injections use botulinum toxin to bind to a specific site within a cell which blocks the release of acetylcholine and therefore prevents the activation of sweat glands. Botox for axillary hyperhidrosis is FDA approved. Botox treatment for palmar and plantar hyperhidrosis is not currently FDA approved but it commonly used off-label as a successful treatment.[15]

Endoscopic Thoracic Sympathectomy

Endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy is a type of surgery used to treat primary focal hyperhidrosis. It involves a surgical technique in which a surgeon disconnects the nerves that communicate to sweat glands by either using endoscopic resection, ablation or clipping of the nerves. This is a risky procedure and can come with some common and uncomfortable side effects like compensatory sweating. However, it is highly effective in preventing sweat in the areas targeted.[15]

MiraDry

MiraDry is a new medical device that destroys sweat cells by using microwaves. It is FDA approved for the treatment of axillary hyperhidrosis. It is one of the local permanent treatment options available for axillary hyperhidrosis.[15]

It is important to understand the prices of treatment options so that money doesn’t cost someone their health in the long run. Besides just the prices of treatment, hyperhidrosis sufferers face the cost of buying specific types of clothes, the loss of opportunities at work and in their social life, and the loss of their mental health and time. This does not have to happen, as there are now adequate treatments options for this serious disorder. Hyperhidrosis is expensive but relief is worth it.

Sources
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  2. Certain Dri Inc. (n.d.). Certain Dri® is here for you. Retrieved August 30, 2018, from https://www.certaindri.com/
  3. Clonidine. (2018). Retrieved August 30, 2018, from https://www.goodrx.com/Clonidine?form=tablet&dosage=1mg&quantity=60&label_override=
  4. Clutch Inc. (n.d.). Antiperspirant for Sweaty Hands & Feet. Retrieved August 30, 2018, from https://www.mycarpe.com/
  5. Considering Endoscopic Thoracis Sympathectomy For Hyperhidrosis? (n.d.). Retrieved September 1, 2018, from https://hyperhidrosisnetwork.com/hyperhidrosis-surgery-cost/
  6. Endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy (ETS). (2003-2018). Retrieved September 1, 2018, from https://www.sweathelp.org/hyperhidrosis-treatments/ets-surgery
  7. Glycopyrrolate. (2018). Retrieved August 30, 2018, from https://www.goodrx.com/glycopyrrolate?form=tablet&dosage=1mg&quantity=60&label_override=
  8. Huddle, J. R. (2014). Hyperhidrosis: Causes, Treatment Options and Outcomes. New York, NY: Nova Science.
  9. Iontophoresis. (2015). Retrieved August 30, 2018, from https://www.hidrexusa.com/product-category/medical-devices/iontophoresis/
  10. Iontophoresis. (2003-2018). Retrieved August 30, 2018, from https://www.sweathelp.org/hyperhidrosis-treatments/iontophoresis
  11. Iontophoresis. (2018). Retrieved August 30, 2018, from https://www.sweating.com/iontophoresis
  12. MiraDry®. (2003-2018). Retrieved September 1, 2018, from https://www.sweathelp.org/hyperhidrosis-treatments/miradry.com
  13. Oxybutynin. (2018). Retrieved August 30, 2018, from https://www.goodrx.com/Oxybutynin?form=tablet&dosage=1mg&quantity=60&label_override=
  14. OnabotulinumtoxinA Injections (Botox®). (2003-2018). Retrieved August 30, 2018, from https://www.sweathelp.org/hyperhidrosis-treatments/botox
  15. Pariser, D. M. (2014). Hyperhidrosis (4th ed., Vol. 32). Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier.
  16. SweatBlock Inc. (n.d.). Stop Excessive Sweating and stay dry with Sweatblock! Retrieved August 30, 2018, from https://www.sweatblock.com/
  17. Sweaty Back, Groin, Etc. (2003-2018). Retrieved August 30, 2018, from https://www.sweathelp.org/where-do-you-sweat/other-sweating/back-groin-other