Ointments or antiperspirants
This is the initial treatment for moderate or light hyperhidrosis. A product such as Drysol® is recommended. Doctors generally recommend applying it to problem areas after drying the skin completely. Wearing it only at bedtime and then washing it off in the morning with plain water reduces the chance of skin irritation. It is somewhat irritating and will stain clothing. Do not use a regular deodorant afterwards. Repeat the treatment, nightly, until the sweating is under control. After it begins to work, use once or twice, weekly, to maintain the effect, and use a regular deodorant on the other days. The medication is less effective on the thick skin of the palms and soles.
Oral Anticholinergic Medication
Certain prescription oral medications can prevent the release of Acetylcholine, the neurotransmitter responsible for causing the eccrine sweat gland to go into overdrive. Robinul® is frequently recommended and easy to take, once per day. The negative side to this medicine is the list of potential side effects including dry mouth, blurred vision, constipation, urinary retention and palpitations.
This treatment consists of electrical stimulation of the affected areas. The site of choice is submerged in water and electricity is emitted by the device. The intensity is gradually increased until the patient notices a tingling feeling, which some people find unpleasant. After several uses, the person will sweat less for four to six weeks. To really get it to work, it needs to be used one half hour every night, per site. Treatment is repeated until sweating is under control. Drionic® is the product recommended. The results may vary: in cases of light hyperhidrosis, some patients are happy, but others may consider the treatment too time-consuming and expensive.
Another treatment is the injection of BOTOX® into the area of excessive sweating. People who find no relief from conventional drug treatment for the persistent problem of sweaty palms or underarms may get short-term improvement from injections of a potent bacterial toxin. Botulinum toxin type A is a powerful chemical that, in its diluted prescription form, BOTOX®, has been used safely in treating eye muscle disorders, wrinkles and other conditions. BOTOX® is nothing more than a protein that acts on the junction of the nerve and the muscle, making the muscle less active. It reduces sweating by blocking release of the chemical acetylcholine, which stimulates secretion of the sweat glands. When a small amount of BOTOX® is injected into the armpits or palms, it stops those areas from getting clammy and sweaty. BOTOX® injections, however, are only temporary and have to be repeated two to three times a year. In addition, they are painful and expensive. Some BOTOX® patients say the treatment has given them renewed self-confidence, while others think the whole process is not worth the trouble. Generally, BOTOX® injections are ineffective in cases of severe palmar or facial hyperhidrosis.