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Hyperhidrosis Treatments
Lifestyle
Treatments for Primary Focal Hyperhidrosis
Is There A Cure for Hyperhidrosis or Treatment?
Written by Katie Crissman
October 01 2020

So, you have a diagnosis of primary focal hyperhidrosis and you're wondering: is there a cure?

The short answer to this question is “no”. However, there are many hyperhidrosis treatments available today that make the condition manageable for almost everyone that has it. There is also a tremendous amount of research and future treatments for hyperhidrosis that are being developed in order to solve this problem.[1]

There are two main types of hyperhidrosis: primary focal hyperhidrosis and secondary generalized hyperhidrosis. Secondary hyperhidrosis typically has a sudden onset in adulthood, and there is usually a cause for the excessive sweating that doctors are able to ascertain. Unfortunately, doctors don’t fully understand what causes primary focal hyperhidrosis.[1]

Primary focal hyperhidrosis describes excessive sweating that occurs on specific parts of the body, specifically, the hands, feet, armpits, face, and groin. People usually begin to notice symptoms during adolescents and they continue throughout a person’s lifetime. If you are wondering what causes this to happen, you are not alone.[2]

It is interesting to note that people with primary focal hyperhidrosis have sweat glands that are anatomically the same as the average person. This just means that the sweat glands of someone with hyperhidrosis look the same as the average person. People with hyperhidrosis have the same sized sweat glands and the same number as anyone else. It has also been found that the sweat glands of people with hyperhidrosis function properly.[1]

The problem is that people with hyperhidrosis have overactive sweat glands. It is thought that an issue with the sympathetic nervous system, which the body uses to activate sweat glands, may be the cause of hyperhidrosis. This understanding is relatively new though, and more research needs to be done in order to confirm it. If this is the case, then a cure, or at least a very effective hyperhidrosis treatment option, could be found in the foreseeable future.[1]

Hyperhidrosis Treatments

While an exact cure is not currently on the table, there are many hyperhidrosis treatment options available for those with the condition. Some of them hyperhidrosis so effectively that patients only have mild symptoms or none at all! Regrettably, many of the most effective treatments are expensive and only covered by some insurance plans. The cost of hyperhidrosis treatment can be a concern for many people when they are choosing a treatment plan that is right for them.[1]

The type of hyperhidrosis treatment an individual needs is most often based on their specific problem areas. Most people with primary focal hyperhidrosis experience excessive sweating in the armpits, palms, soles, face, and occasionally, other parts of the body.[1] Patients might only experience excessive sweating in one location or they might have several problem areas. Below is a list of the treatments that are currently available to treat hyperhidrosis:

  • Over-the-counter topical treatments:Most topical treatments are antiperspirants, and there are many formulations available. Some antiperspirants are for areas like the face and groin which are sensitive. Other antiperspirants are stronger and intended for areas that are extremely sweat prone and have tougher skin, like the hands and soles.
  • Iontophoresis for palmar and plantar hyperhidrosis:This type of hyperhidrosis treatment is noninvasive and can be done at home. It does require patients to devote a large amount of time to consistently do the therapy, but it is a good choice for those with sweaty hands and feet.
  • BotoxBotox for axillary hyperhidrosis is approved by the FDA and is highly effective. It is also used to treat palmar and plantar hyperhidrosis. Treatments only need to be repeated every six to twelve months.
  • Oral medications for hyperhidrosis:Several types of oral medications are available to reduce excess sweating in hyperhidrosis patients. Unfortunately, many medicines cause side effects that may make them a less desirable option.
  • Local Permanent Treatment Options for Axillary Hyperhidrosis:There are a variety of procedures that can be done specifically to the armpit that enable a patient to experience permanent relief from excessive sweating in that area. These are a great option for someone with severe underarm sweating, but can be cost prohibitive.[2]
  • In the last few years hyperhidrosis treatment options have expanded. New and improved ingredients for antiperspirants have been discovered, many of the local procedures for the permanent treatment of axillary hyperhidrosis came out, and other new treatment options are just around the corner. In 2018, a company released a new product called Qbrexza that has improved the topical treatments available for hyperhidrosis.[3] There is hope for a cure, but until then, there is also hope for better hyperhidrosis treatments with less side effects.

    Research for the Future

    The pathophysiology (how it affects the body) of hyperhidrosis needs to be better understood in order for researchers to develop a cure. Specifically, research that looks into the relationship between the sympathetic nervous system and overactive sweat glands could be done.[1] However, it will likely be some time before this happens. There are hyperhidrosis treatments currently in development that will improve the outcomes for people who have it - if they are approved and able to infiltrate the market. Much of this future research involves treatments that aim to reduce sweating at specific sites on the body. These types of hyperhidrosis treatments are advantageous due to the fact that they do not cause systemic side effects and because they are often able to permanently stop sweating. Most of the treatment advances have been focused on using energy, in various forms, to disrupt sweat glands and prevent them from producing excess sweat. So far, these types of treatments have been most successful in treating axillary hyperhidrosis.[2]

    Hopefully, as time goes on and more research is done, hyperhidrosis will become a better recognized condition and a cure will be found. Currently, hyperhidrosis is under diagnosed and under reported due to stigma and a lack of understanding that permeates the medical community.[2] There are efforts underway to change this, and as medical professionals become better educated, hyperhidrosis will be better understood and more effective treatments will come about.

    Sources
    1. Huddle, J. R. (2014). Hyperhidrosis: Causes, Treatment Options and Outcomes. New York, NY: Nova Science. Retrieved from https://www.bookdepository.com/Hyperhidrosis-Janine-R-Huddle/9781633215160
    2. Pariser, D. M. (2014). Hyperhidrosis (4th ed., Vol. 32). Amsterdam: Elsevier Pub. Co., 2014. Retrieved from https://www.elsevier.com/books/hyperhidrosis-an-issue-of-dermatologic-clinics/pariser/978-0-323-32607-0
    3. Qbrexza. (2018). Retrieved September 20, 2018, Retrieved from https://dermira.com/our-medicines/
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    Antiperspirant

    What You Need to Know About Carpe Clinical Regimen

    By Katie Crissman /

    One of the newest clinical strength antiperspirants to hit the market is Carpe’s Clinical Grade Regimen - it combines several high performing products with a specific care routine to provide long term sweat reduction for even the heaviest sweaters. Read on to see if Carpe Clinical Regimen is right for you!

    Antiperspirant is great - for most people. You apply it once a day and it stops your sweat! It’s easy. But, what if that’s not what happened? You bought it, read the label, and used it exactly as directed and, unfortunately, you’re still sweating - excessively. If this is you, then you’ve come to the right place. There are products specifically made for heavy sweaters who haven’t had luck with traditional antiperspirants. These products typically include the words “extra strength”, “clinical strength” or “prescription strength” and they are, thankfully, available over the counter without a doctor’s prescription. 


    The difference between clinical strength products and their weaker counterparts are the active ingredients they use. Clinical strength lines typically use one of several newer types of metallic salt ingredients that are known to be both stronger and less irritating than aluminum chloride (which is the standard active ingredient in antiperspirants) [1]. While there are many clinical strength products on the market, we are going to focus on a new clinical strength regimen that combines a strong active ingredient with a specific care routine to get excessive sweating under control. 


    Carpe Clinical Regimen -  What It Is and How It’s Different

    One of the newest clinical strength antiperspirants to hit the market is Carpe’s Clinical Grade Regimen. It’s different from other prescription grade products because it combines several strong products with a specific care routine to ensure maximum product performance. It’s also different from Carpe’s other products because it uses a stronger active ingredient and delivery system. The system is geared toward people who experience intractable armpit sweating, but Carpe also makes products for people who struggle with other types of sweat. The Carpe Clinical Grade Underarm includes three specific products that, when used together, have been found to be highly effective at reducing sweat production. These products include:

    • Carpe Clinical Grade Underarm Antiperspirant 
    • Carpe Clinical Grade Exfoliating Wash
    • Carpe Clinical Grade Underarm Wipes[2]

    Carpe Clinical Grade Regimen uses an active ingredient called Aluminum Zirconium Tetrachlorohydrex GLY (20%) combined with other soothing inactive ingredients to effectively stop sweat in its tracks while reducing skin irritation.[3] Aluminum Zirconium Tetrachlorohydrex is a newer generation metallic salt that stops sweat production and is known to be more effective than other types of active ingredients antiperspirants typically use. One study mentioned in the journal Dermatologic Clinics found that antiperspirants using Aluminum Zirconium Tetrachlorohydrex were, on average, 34% more effective than antiperspirants that used aluminum chloride as an active ingredient.[1] Carpe’s traditional products use an active ingredient called Aluminum Sesquichlorohydrate at 15% which is effective, but less potent than Aluminum Zirconium Tetrachlorohydrex.[4]


    It’s important to note that Carpe’s Clinical Grade Regimen provides a long term impact on sweat reduction from making short term lifestyle changes. This is because the results build up over time and peak at about 4 weeks. It takes 4 weeks of using the Carpe clinical grade products once each morning and every other night to see the full effect of what they can do. This is typical of all antiperspirants as their effects tend to build up with consistent use. Consistently using antiperspirant products is especially important for those with hard to treat sweat problems because it can be the difference between treatment success or failure.[1][2] 


    If you’re frustrated with the way your current antiperspirant is working or how it isn’t working, then consider giving Carpe’s Clinical Grade Regimen a try! It’s active ingredient is comparable to other prescription strength products on the market but it’s multistep system with easy to use wipes is completely unique! Remember, an easy to use, consistent antiperspirant routine is going to give you long term sweat reduction so it’s important to find a system that works for your lifestyle. 


    Sources
    1. Pariser, D. M. (2014). Hyperhidrosis (4th ed., Vol. 32). Amsterdam: Elsevier Pub. Co., 2014. Retrieved from https://www.elsevier.com/books/hyperhidrosis-an-issue-of-dermatologic-clinics/pariser/978-0-323-32607-0>https://www.elsevier.com/books/hyperhidrosis-an-issue-of-dermatologic-clinics/pariser/978-0-323-32607-0
    2. How It Works (Clinical). Carpe. https://mycarpe.com/pages/how-it-works-clinical
    3. Clinical Underarm  PM Wipes. Carpe. https://mycarpe.com/products/clinical-grade-underarm-antiperspirant-wipes?variant=34814174724229
    4. Underarm Antiperspirant for Excessive Underarm Sweating. Carpe. https://mycarpe.com/products/underarm-antiperspirant-tube?variant=39247505358981
    Body Areas Affected by Hyperhidrosis

    9 Outrageous Things People Try to Avoid Excessive Armpit Sweating

    By Daniel McCarthy /

    9 Outrageous Things People Try to Avoid Excessive Armpit Sweating


    On my first day of work a few years ago, I got dressed to impress and walked the 20 minutes to my new office to meet my new colleagues for the first time. Having just moved to the southern US, I’d been getting used to the unbearable humidity and its effects on my excessive armpit sweating. Luckily (I thought), the sun wasn’t out and the temps dropped below 80, so maybe my sweat glands wouldn’t take center stage! Well...I arrived to meet my colleagues looking like a wet bass in business clothes. Thank goodness I arrived 15 minutes early, which brings me to the first outrageous thing people try to avoid armpit sweating. 

    1. The Hand Dryer 

    I anxiously scurried to the nearest bathroom, declothed, and put the hand dryer to good use on my shirt stains and sweat stains. More outrageously, I awkwardly hovered my sweaty extremities (including my sweaty underarms) over the hand dryer. Thankfully, I reapplied my antiperspirant and headed out to meet my colleagues a decently dry man. That was the day I knew I really needed clinical strength antiperspirant for my excessive armpit sweating (and a car). 


    1. Pantyliners


    Many with excessive underarm sweating already know that underarm pads are one way to help with sweating armpits. But if you find yourself sans pad and worried about your excessive armpit sweating, you would not be the first person to try pantyliners. That’s right, pantyliners have been used in a pinch to help keep sweat stains at bay. 

    1. Give a shirt

    In 2019, a reddit user posted that to combat his excessive armpit sweating, he skipped the typical clothing and made his own shirt. He posted asking others to try out his creation and received over 250 replies! By creating and giving others shirts, this innovative reddit user designed his way into the hearts of many with smelly armpits. 

    1. Get inked

    If you’ve been debating whether to get a tasteful tattoo and you have hyperhidrosis, this finding may just help you make your decision. A 2017 study found that getting inked helped reduce sweat [1]! Now, I don’t recommend choosing a tattoo as a means of treatment for excessive armpit sweating (and maybe don’t tattoo your armpit), but the connection is a fun little fact nonetheless. 

    1. Become a naked mole rat

    If you can’t pull the trigger on an armpit tattoo, another method some people have tried is hair removal. Yes, like Steve Carrell (who actually has hyperhidrosis himself) in the hit movie 40-year Old Virgin, removing hair can help reduce sweat buildup for you too. Many likely already “naturally” lose hair thanks to some sweat prevention products, but more natural hair removal may just be the trick to solving excessive sweating

    1. Armpit art

    Even though we know most sweaty armpit causes, like too much caffeine or spicy foods, it’s no fun to cut these out completely. A more outrageous approach to excessive underarm sweating is actually turning sweating armpits into art. Multiple users of the Reddit community r/Hyperhidrosis have created shirts, sweatshirts, and other clothing that includes beautiful tie-dye in the armpits. Creative, fun, and beautiful, and even better when combined with sweat prevention like antiperspirant or carpe underarm

    1. Vinegar your armpit

    You may already know how to get rid of pit stains with vinegar, but there are other interesting ways it can help with excessive armpit sweating. Splashing vinegar on your sweaty underarms  is one method many recommend. Those that swear by this method also recommend using deodorant or antiperspirant, too. 

    While we don’t know how this was discovered, I like to think someone accidentally splashed vinegar on their pits hundreds of years ago and voila! Too bad the first person to splash his pits with vinegar didn’t also have access to the best antiperspirant for his excessive armpit sweating. 

    1. Baking soda your sweaty underarms

    If you find deodorant or antiperspirant irritating, one creative way to help alleviate your excessive underarm sweating is baking soda. Many crafty people with hyperhidrosis swear that not only can baking soda help reduce sweat, but it can also help alleviate pesky underarm smell with some of the best sweat prevention. 

    1. Restart the plaid fad

    Black t-shirt, black sweatshirt, black button down, black tank top. If this sounds like your closet, you’re clearly an expert on the hyperhidrosis wardrobe. But if you want some variety as you fight excessive armpit sweating, add some plaid, a trick many with hyperhidrosis use that you may not know. Hey, you just may be starting the resurgence of the plaid fad, and at worst, you’ll add some fun, lumberjack variety to your dark closet. 


    Sources: 

    [1] Luetkemeier, M. J., Hanisko, J. M., & Aho, K. M. (2017). Skin Tattoos Alter Sweat Rate and Na+ Concentration. Medicine and science in sports and exercise, 49(7), 1432–1436. https://doi.org/10.1249/MSS.0000000000001244
    Body Areas Affected by Hyperhidrosis

    How to Cure Sweaty Hands Permanently at Home

    By Daniel McCarthy /

    How to Cure Sweaty Hands Permanently at Home 

    Scenario 1: You’re invited into the office, confident you will land the job. You’ve prepared, you’re highly qualified, you have absolutely nothing to worry about. You walk in and confidently reach out to shake the CEOs hand. But then, your confidence turns to dread as the CEO pulls her hand back, wet with your sweat. 

    Scenario 2: You’re at home, playing video games with your friends and absolutely dominating. They get so upset, they tell you to take a break to let another friend play. But there’s another problem... nobody wants to use your controller after you finish. Despite your domination, your palmar hyperhidrosis (excessively sweaty hands) has taken center stage. 

    Do these scenarios sound familiar? Wondering how to cure sweaty hands permanently? Although you may not have had these exact things happen to you, your sweaty hands likely have caused something similar and you’re looking for a home remedy. To stop sweating these situations, let’s talk about how to cure sweaty hands permanently at home. 

    One of the best ways to cure sweaty hands at home is actually not related to the hands at all. Instead, working on reducing anxiety can have immensely positive results on how to cure sweaty hands permanently naturally. There are many root causes of anxiety, and some or many may be related to your hyperhidrosis. Likewise, it is easier said than done to reduce anxiety. But there are also many ways to work on reducing anxiety that are worth a try. One interesting way to reduce anxiety, and in turn, sweaty hands, is to be grateful. Specifically, Petrocchi and Couyoumdjian found that “grateful people experience less anxiety mostly because they are able to encourage and be compassionate and reassuring toward themselves when things go wrong in life” [1]. Other ways include stepping outside for a walk, drinking tea, or even distracting yourself. In general, starting with anxiety reduction not only can help with how to cure sweaty hands, but also your wellbeing in general. 

    Another great way to cure sweaty hands at home permanently is to reduce consumption of coffee and alcohol. Now you may be reading this and thinking “Hey, those are all my favorite things! I’m done with this article!”. And while I wholeheartedly agree and enjoy coffee and alcohol myself, consumption in moderation is key, especially with hyperhidrosis. Caffeine, for example, activates part of the brain that is already a main part in causing hyperhidrosis symptoms. Instead of giving it up, try to reduce consumption to under 200 mg or add in decaf to your routine. Alcohol can affect hyperhidrosis in a similar manner, but like coffee, 1-2 glasses of alcohol may be okay. When figuring out how to cure sweaty hands permanently naturally, it is important to find a balance of coffee, alcohol, and managing your hyperhidrosis. And remember to always drink responsibly, in moderation. 

    Tackling how to cure sweaty hands permanently, naturally, and at home may require more than behavioral changes we’ve talked about so far. Luckily, there are other great remedies you can try at home! First, finding the right antiperspirant is of paramount importance, especially appropriate antiperspirant for hands. Another possible over the counter option is anti-sweat wipes. If neither of these work for you, another option to cure your sweaty hands permanently is to buy your very own iontophoresis machine for at-home use. This machine delivers mild electrical currents to your hands (or other affected body part) while submerged in water. A combination of these treatments may have your hands feeling less clammy in no time! 

    Ultimately, your palmar hyperhidrosis may not be treatable at home and permanently, but these recommendations may help alleviate some of your symptoms. If symptoms persist, consult a medical professional for further assistance with how to cure sweaty hands. 



    Sources

    Sources

    1. Nicola Petrocchi & Alessandro Couyoumdjian (2016) The impact of gratitude on depression and anxiety: the mediating role of criticizing, attacking, and reassuring the self, Self and Identity, 15:2, 191-205, DOI: 10.1080/15298868.2015.1095794

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