There are hundreds of thousands of people in the UK living with the excessive sweating condition known as hyperhidrosis. Whilst it doesn’t pose a serious threat to somebody’s health, hyperhidrosis can be distressing and embarrassing, and have a negative impact on one’s emotional wellbeing.
Historically, treatments to this condition have been fairly limited. Changing lifestyle habits, such as avoiding sweating ‘triggers’ like eating spicy food and drinking alcohol, is one so-called treatment.
Being prescribed a stronger antiperspirant that contains aluminium chloride is another method of treating hyperhidrosis. As is anticholinergics, types of medicine that work by eliminating the effects of the acetylcholine chemical, which is used by the nervous system to activate sweat glands.
However, treatments for hyperhidrosis are increasing, including a ‘next generation’ of antiperspirants which contains aluminium zirconium trichlorohydrex.
According to Dr. David Pariser, professor of dermatology at eastern Virginia Medical School, these ‘next gen’ antiperspirants are more effective and less irritating than other products previously on the market.
Speaking at the recent Caribbean Dermatology Symposium, Dr. Pariser spoke of other new topical products to treat hyperhidrosis in the pipeline, including glycopyrrolate gels and wipes and topical botulinum toxins.
However, despite the rise in treatments, many experts are calling on dermatologists, cosmetic surgeons and others to pay more attention to this condition and offer patients more ‘permanent’ options in terms of treatment.
Carolyn Jacob, M.D., director of the Chicago Cosmetic Surgery and Dermatology Centre is one expert urging for more to be done to help those suffering from hyperhidrosis.
In a recent presentation at the Annual Conference of the American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery in Boston, Dr. Jacob spoke of the embarrassment many patients feel about sweating excessively and how clinically significant sweating can impair the “quality of daily activities and work.”
Dr. Jacob presented an update on hyperhidrosis treatments, informing that a number of technologies are being researched for the treatment of hyperhidrosis, including microwave, ultrasound, laser and radiofrequency.
Speaking of the benefits of microwave technology, including hair and odour reduction, Dr Jacob said:
“Microwave technology shows an 89% typical reduction of sweat after two treatments, spaced two months apart. This technology has the most clinical patients studied to date.”
Dr. Pariser reiterates the benefits effective permanent treatments for the condition could have on hyperhidrosis sufferers. The doctor spoke of how effectively treating focal hyperhidrosis, whereby profuse or excessive sweating is confined to certain areas of the body, can lead to “greater improvement of a patient’s quality of life than treatment of any other dermatological disorder.”
Hyperhidrosis treatments are, according to Dr. Pariser, “easy to learn, economically viable, and easily incorporated into a routine office practice.”
If you have any queries or concerns about hyperhidrosis and other vascular conditions, get in touch with Daryll baker, a Consultant Vascular Surgeon. Daryll Baker runs a vascular practice in both the NHS and privately, helping patients with vascular conditions from across Europe and the Middle East.