If you tend to have sweaty hands, you know how much dread a simple handshake can produce. You can’t help but worry about how the other person will react when they realize your hand is soaked with perspiration.
You’re not alone though. Most people perspire more when they’re under stress. The causes of stress vary widely from hormones to spicy food, to anxiety. However, we don’t always notice because not everyone perspires in the same places or at the same rate when they’re under pressure.
What is Hyperhidrosis?
Not all sweaty hands are innocent responses to environmental triggers though. If you regularly experience sweaty hands, then you may have a condition called hyperhidrosis. It’s a medical term for excessive sweating. Hyperhidrosis refers to a level of perspiration that actually disrupts your daily activities.
As mild as it may sound, the peer-reviewed journal Dermatology published a paper that successfully argued that hyperhidrosis has a more significant impact on a patient’s everyday life than most dermatological conditions due to the stigma that can be associated with it, especially once you consider that the condition typically manifests at puberty. Sadly, the International Hyperhidrosis Society reports that approximately 15.3 million Americans struggle with hyperhidrosis.
Primary vs. Secondary
Primary hyperhidrosis is “idiopathic.” Essentially, it just means that your excessive sweating is not a symptom of another condition.
Secondary hyperhidrosis is a result of a number of existing conditions. This includes obesity, menopause, alcoholism, or even a tumor.
How to Treat Hyperhidrosis?
Believe it or not, your first step in treating your sweaty hands is already in your bathroom cabinet. As it turns out, antiperspirant is not just for your underarms, you can also use it on your hands. Bakersfield MedSpa, your skin specialist in Bakersfield, suggests using topical aluminum chloride, which is known by the brand names Drysol and Xerac.
Antiperspirant may not be enough by itself if you have a lot of excessive sweating. So it may be helpful to talk to your doctor about further treatment. There are two common medical procedures that doctors prescribe for hyperhidrosis.
- Iontophoresis: According to Medical News Today’s professionally reviewed article, this treatment involves submerging the patient’s hands in water and passing a painless electrical current through the water. Healthline explains that the process works by blocking the sweat glands temporarily so that perspiration is not expressed on the skin. It is a temporary fix, so those with hyperhidrosis typically engage in several sessions per week with each session lasting 20-30 minutes.
- Botox: It may seem strange, but botox is actually an effective treatment for hyperhidrosis. The injections can cause discomfort, but they block the nerve receptors that trigger the sweat glands. Results can last up to six months at a time.
Your doctor may also opt for a prescription approach. If anxiety is causing your excessive sweating, beta-blockers or nerve blocking agents prevent the physical manifestations of stress. If not, then it may be worth looking into oral glycopyrrolate according to the experts at Bakersfield MedSpa.
For Severe Cases
When nothing else works, there is a more invasive option that remains. Surgery to sever the connection between the sympathetic nerves and the sweat glands is a permanent solution. However, like any surgery, you should carefully consider the risks after speaking with a medical professional. With a condition that can cause so much social and emotional discomfort, it makes perfect sense that you may want to jump towards the most permanent solution, but make sure you feeling understand the process and trust your surgeon first.