Sweating. There’s just no way around it. Unlike our canine friends, we have the ability to release a mixture of water, salts and wastes from the eccrine glands in our skin. This process, although it can be sometimes embarrassing or annoying, allows us to regulate our body temperature and keep it within the relatively small range required for the optimal functioning of our bodies! 

    It is estimated that around 3% of the population in the US is affected with the condition called Hyperhidrosis. It primarily affects areas with increased amounts of sweat glands, like the palms of the hands, underarm areas, groin and the soles of the feet! Sometimes this condition is genetic, but most often due to factors like excessive caffeine consumption, nervousness and wearing socks of materials that do not breathe well or absorb moisture. 

(Our feet have a large number of sweat glands! Wearing sandals and shoes that circulate air can help with keeping your toes dry.)

    Besides being uncomfortable and possibly making for a moist handshake, hyperhidrosis can make everyday tasks more difficult. (Gripping doorknobs, Typing an email, sorting mail, etc.) Due to the increased amount of moisture other issues like maceration, skin breakdown and fungal/bacterial infections can occur. 

    Fortunately, this condition can be treated with a simple product that most people have readily available. Anti-perspirant! By applying it to your feet or hands before bed and then washing it off in the morning, the Aluminum Chloride Hexahydrate dries up the sweat glands. For some cases, your doctor may have to prescribe a stronger solution in order to do the trick. There are also other types of oral medicines that may help with Hyperhidrosis, but these sometimes have adverse side effects and are not commonly used. Botox is even used sometimes to treat severe underarm sweating! 

 

 

(Spray on antiperspirants may be easier to apply if you have trouble reaching your feet!)

Another interesting treatment modality is a procedure called Iontophoresis. This involves immersing the hands or feet in water that has a small current of electricity passing through it. The sweat glands are temporarily inactive after the procedure and it can be done in the doctor’s office or even at home with the device. 

(The machines are used for 10-15 minutes per session and after an initial period of daily use, it can utilized as little as once a week to prevent sweating!)

If you have a problem with super sweaty feet or other issues let Dr. Garibaldi or Dr. Kurtz know and they can get you started on the treatment regimen right for you! 

For more information about Hyperhidrosis and support groups etc. visit http://www.sweathelp.org/en/