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Hyperhidrosis, Facts & Treatment

Throughout the average day, our bodies naturally perspire as a way to regulate heat. In some people, natural perspiration is excessive in the face and hands. This condition is known as hyperhidrosis (Sometimes misspelled as hyperhydrosis) and is defined as the production of perspiration beyond what is necessary to cool the body.

The process of sweating is controlled by the Sympathetic Nervous System. This involuntary nervous system maintains the five million or so sweat glands throughout the body. In fact, about two-thirds of our body's sweat glands are located in the hands alone. The answer to the problem of hyperhidrosis lies within these nerves. Doctors have found that "supercharged" nerves cause excessive sweating.

With regard to the cause of hyperhidrosis, a definite answer cannot be given. There seems to be a genetic correlation with hyperhidrosis. In Dr.Reisfeld's studies, he found that 50% of his patients have some sort of genetic pattern. Another study showed an even higher percentage of genetic origin to this problem. Dr. Reisfeld, and other researchers around the globe, are constantly making progress in the field of medicine.

Recent Asian Study

In a recent Asian study they were able to locate the exact location on the gene that is responsible for excessive hand sweating. The exact practical value of that finding is yet to be determined and it will be quite a long time before a genetic solution to the problem could be found.

Hyperhidrosis Treatment

Over the past years, several different approaches have been taken to cure this socially and functionally embarrassing problem. Patients have tried herbal medications, lotions, and oral medications to end excessive sweating. None of those methods have proved to be of any lasting value. The surgical approach to this problem started about 60 years ago but, due to the location of the sympathetic nerve chain in the body, medical procedures at that time necessitated a very invasive surgery. The operation used to be done either through the neck, chest cavity, or through the back. Those invasive methods made it an unpopular operation for patients and the medical community at large. Since the introduction of minimally invasive surgery about 20 years ago, methods were developed to access the sympathetic nerve chain with minimally invasive surgery. Over the last 10 years, the endoscopic approach was finely tuned and enabled the surgeon to perform the operation on an outpatient basis (the patient returns home the same day of the procedure). The operation is very precise and the complication rate is very low. Click here to learn more about the procedure and see our slideshow presentation.

Continuing Improvements

Improvements are constantly being sought. The most recent improvements are the clamping method versus the cutting method as well as a change in the level of the sympathectomy from the classical T2 location (second rib level) to the 3rd and 4th levels. By making these improvements, we hope to further reduce the amount of compensatory sweating, especially with respect to severe cases.

Another statistical improvement that was noted after the sympathectomy being done at the level T3 to T4 is the improvement with regard to heart rate. Previously when the T2 level was done Dr. Reisfeld used to not recommend this operation for patients who were engaged in heavy athletic activity such as competitive triatheles etc. What we found was that after performing on level T3 to T4 there was less influence on heart rate reduction and patients were still able to raise their heart rate to around 160 beats per minute. Gustatory sweating which was more common after performing the T2 sympathectomy became quite rare after performing the T3-T4 sympathectomy. Again Dr. Reisfeld believes that a major breakthrough may arrive once genetical manipulation is a common treatment modality.

Dr. Reisfeld has authored several studies on the topic of hyperhidrosis in medical journals, reviewed by other experts in the field, and has been interviewed by several TV programs (CBS, FOX, 48 Hours, Life Moments). In addition, Dr. Reisfeld has contributed material in many publications (Newsweek, Heart & Soul). Dr. Reisfeld has exceedingly improved upon the clamping method by creating an even safer and more effective surgical procedure to treat this ailment. Learn more about Doctor Reisfeld's Hyperhidrosis research.

Do you have any questions that were not answered here? Would you like to speak with Dr. Reisfeld to answer those questions? To learn more about what we can do for you, contact The Center for Hyperhidrosis by clicking here.



Jackie said...

Great article. Thanks.
Reminds me of some of the tips I learned at

Jackie said...

Hyperhidrosis is a fairly common disorder shared by millions across the world.

By definition, Hyperhidrosis is the excessive sweating of the head, face, hands, feet and armpits no matter the temperature or conditions.

The sweating is erratic, unpredictable and uncontrollable. You do have some options.

To stop the excessive sweating try:

1. Drysol

Drysol is a prescription deodorant that works wonders for underarm, hand and foot sweating.

Apply it to your hands, feet, armpits or anywhere else you sweat at night before bed. You only need to apply it once a day - it's not like regular deodorant. This stuff is Clinical

Strenghth. Beware of irritation with Drysol. You may have to take a day or two off from this treatment if your skin gets too dry, sensative or red with a rash.

2. Drink more water to lower your body temperature.

A lot of people are confused by this solution. They think if they drink more water, it will give them that much more fluid to sweat out. This is totally incorrect.

Drinking more water cools your core temperature and will alleviate some of the excessive sweating.

Of course now you'll need to worry about all those bathroom breaks. :)

3. Drink Green Tea or Sage Tea at night

Tea contains an astringent property which will dry out oils and prevent excess moister from escaping the skin. It essentially drys you from the inside out.

In addition to helping your complexion, green tea will neutralize many of the toxins that create the pungent odor in sweat. By the way, that odor is caused by bacteria that treats your sweat as a breeding ground. Gross!

4. Try Certain Dri (non-prescription deodorant)

You can buy this one at most pharmacies. Certain dry is a little less abrasive than Drysol so you won't need to worry as much about irritation. It is however a little less strong.

You'll want to gauge your level of Hyperhidrosis by first trying Certain Dri. If your sweating continues, upgrade to Drysol and that should do the trick.

5. Avoid spicy foods, alcohol and caffeine

Don't underestimate the power of your diet. Onions, Garlic, Curry, Coffee and a whole host of other ingredients are powerful triggers for hyperhidrosis sweating.

Cut out some of these cultprits and see gradual but noticeable results. Add leafy greens and tea into your diet for a positive effect on sweating. Changing your diet will really cut out the spontaneous sweating from your daily lunch breaks.

6. Try Iontophoresis treatments.

This is more of a phase 3 solution. Try the clinical deodorants and diet fixes first.

However, there is a treatment called Iontophoresis where you place your hands and feet into bowls or plates. The plates are filled with mineral water.

Connected to the plates is an Iontophoresis electromagnetic device. Gentle electic pulses are distributed through mineral
water. The minerals bond and temporarily change the nature of your sweat pores to block the sweat.

This treatment works well. You can learn about it through the Source link I've provided below.

7. Try a Sage Tea Soak

There's something called a Sage Tea solution what you do is...
a. Buy Sage Tea from your supermarket
b. Fill a large bowl with room temperature water
c. Put the sage tea bags in the bowl
d. Let the tea dissolve a bit.
e. soak your hands or feet for 15 minutes.

Sage Tea will act as an astringent to dry the skin and prevent excessive sweating for many days to follow.

Don't just do this soak one day. Do it everyday for 5 days straight (15 minutes at a time) and you'll see great results.

If your hands tan from the tea, just wash them in the sink with antibacterial soap. The residue will come off easily.

8. ETS (Endoscopic Thorasic Surgery)

If the sweating is bad enough, some people will opt towards ETS (Endoscopic Thorasic Surgery).

This is, however, a LAST resort. I recommend you try everything else possible before opting towards surgery. You can speak with your Dermatologist to find out more.


Mia said...

Sympathectomy is a surgery that destroys part of the ANS, disabling more than sweating. Intact autonomic nervous system is necessary for the body to be able to function and to respond to internal and external stimuli. Sympathectomy disconnects the main sympathetic chain - ofter surgeons use euphemism like "manipulating the nerve" or cutting a "Nerve". Not so, they cut the main sympathetic chain, and thus disrupt signals going from the body to the brain and back. People have autonomic deficit, a dysregulated nervous system.
If you want to learn more, bisit this blog, that contains collected articles from the medical journals from the medical professionals who DO NOT offer this procedure. They have quite a lot to say about it.
Sympathectomy was banned in Sweden, where it was originally developed, 300 people (population?) formed an action group and took the matter to court.

Marcacia said...

Very amazing and useful ideas here, which is really helpful for everyone.
Yes, Mega dry Antiperspirant has active ingredients for excessive sweating.
I appreciate your post. Keep going on..

Davis said...

Stop Sweating Start Living secrets book is really the single biggest change in my life that has ever taken place!!!!I am a guitarist and now I don't even have to wipe my strings down anymore.

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