Hyperhidrosis can be an embarrassing condition but it is in no way serious. That doesnt come as much consolation for individuals who suffer from this particular form of excess sweating. Fortunately, though, there are treatments available that can help to control and even completely eliminate symptoms.

The release of sweat is the body’s way of cooling itself down so that you don’t become overheated. When temperatures rise or you raise your body temperature through increased physical activity, or even at times when you are extremely nervous, your body will respond by sweating. In Hyperhidrosis, that sweat response is exaggerated, leading to excess sweating in the armpits and on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet.

What causes excessive sweating?

Excess sweating is caused by a malfunction of the nervous system that causes the nerves that trigger sweating to be overly active. In cases where only the palms and soles are affected, that malfunction may be genetic, as this form of the condition tends to run in families.

Excessive sweating all over the body can have many different triggers including menopause, low blood sugar, thyroid disorders, heart attack, certain types of cancer and taking certain medications.

What can I do to treat hyperhidrosis?

When the problem area is just your armpits, you can try a product called Certain Dri, which is available without a prescription. You can find Certain Dri online at leading health stores. It should be applied to dry arm pits before bed.

The best control method is 20% aluminum chloride hexahydrate alcoholic solution (Drysol). It is available with a prescription. When using the medication, follow these directions:

1. Apply the medicine at bedtime to your dry armpits (or other areas). To prevent irritation, wash it off in the morning with plain water. Do not use your regular daytime deodorant. Repeat the treatment nightly until the sweating is under control.

2. Aluminum chloride may irritate your skin; if your armpits become sore or itchy, contact a dermatologist for advice. Until your excessive armpit sweating is controlled, apply aluminum chloride medicine and water to your armpits. Later, when the sweating is under control, you may try your daytime deodorant.

3. The thick skin of the palms and soles is more resistant to aluminum chloride’s effect. At first, apply the medicine at bedtime to your dry palms or soles, and in the morning wash it off with plain water. If, in 10-14 days, you do not see a decrease in sweating, cover your hands and feet overnight with plastic film. For your hands, use the thin, pliable plastic disposable gloves available at most drugstores.

4. After applying the medicine, allow it to dry and then put on the plastic gloves. Remove the gloves in the morning and wash your hands with plain water. For the feet, use plastic bags held in place with socks. Cut the plastic bags to size so that they cover only your feet and not your legs. In the morning, remove the plastic bags and wash your feet with plain water. Repeat the aluminum chloride applications and plastic covering nightly for one to two weeks until you get the desired effect, then do it less often.

5. Usually, local applications of aluminum chloride hexahydrate provide satisfactory sweat control; when they fail, you can try internal medicines or electrophoresis. For almost everyone troubled by excessive perspiration, there is a treatment to control the problem.