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Skin Treatments: Excessive Sweating

Heavy sweating (also known as hyperhidrosis) is a very real and embarrassing problem, but there are some effective ways to treat it. Before you hide under bulky sweaters or move to a chillier climate, you can try these proven techniques for combating excessive sweating.


First Step for Treating Heavy Sweating: Antiperspirants
The easiest way to tackle excessive sweating is with an antiperspirant, which most people already use on a daily basis. Antiperspirants contain aluminum salts. When you roll them onto your skin, antiperspirants form a plug that blocks perspiration.

You can buy an antiperspirant over the counter at your local supermarket or drug store, or your doctor can prescribe one for you. Over-the-counter antiperspirants may be less irritating than prescription antiperspirants. Start with an over-the-counter brand, and if that doesn't work, see your dermatologist for a prescription.

Many antiperspirants are sold combined with a deodorant, which won't stop you from sweating but will control the odor from your sweat.

Antiperspirants aren't only for your underarms. You can also apply them to other areas where you sweat, like your hands and feet. Some may even be applied to the hairline.

Don't just roll or spray on your antiperspirant/deodorant in the morning and forget about it. Also apply it at night before you go to bed -- it will help keep you drier.

Next Steps: 4 Medical Treatments for Heavy Sweating
If antiperspirants aren't stopping your hands and feet from sweating too much, your doctor may recommend one of these medical treatments:

1. Botulinum toxin: Another treatment option for heavy sweating is injections of botulinum toxin A (Botulinum Toxin), the same medicine used for wrinkles. Botulinum Toxin is FDA-approved for treating excessive sweating of the underarms, but some doctors may also use it on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet.

Botulinum Toxin works by preventing the release of a chemical that signals the sweat glands to activate. You may need to have several Botulinum Toxin injections, but the results can last for almost a year.