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Medical Infomation

Excessive Sweating

Excessive Sweating

Get the support you need in managing your excessive sweating

Hyperhidrosis, also known as excessive sweating, is defined as sweating more than needed to regulate body temperature. Hyperhidrosis can be caused by underlying medical conditions, but true (idiopatic) hyperhidrosis occurs for unknown reasons; somewhere between 1 and 3% of the world’s population suffers from this disorder. Onset typically occurs at or near the age of puberty and can persist as a life-long condition. Hyperhidrosis severity can range from mildly bothersome sweating to severely problematic, and is usually identified as a condition based on how troublesome it is to an individual rather than on laboratory tests or measurements It is experienced at about the same rate in males and females. Even though hyperhidrosis does not cause any physical damage to the body, it can cause extreme social and emotional discomfort, negatively impacting daily activities and reducing levels of confidence. While no permanent cure exists, there are management and therapeutic options that can greatly help sufferers lead otherwise normal lives.

Common Questions about Hyperhydrosis

  • Underarms
  • Face
  • Hands
  • Feet
  • Scalp
  • Neck
  • Groin
  • Chest
  • Back

  • Noticeable and bothersome sweating
  • Clammy or wet palms and or soles
  • Clammy neck or forehead
  • Frequent visible sweating
  • Sweating that soaks through clothing

The biggest factor to consider is the location(s) of involvement (underarms, hands, feet, etc., or generalized). Additional factors to be considered are a patient’s goals, available treatment options, comfort, efficacy and cost.

Treatment Options

This is the first line recommendation, meaning that a high-strength aluminum antiperspirant is usually used before other options are tried (unless the sweating is generalized all over the body) How it works: High strength aluminum antiperspirants physically block sweat glands. Antiperspirant is applied on the skin at the specific point of sweating (most frequently the armpits); the aluminum in the antiperspirant then reacts with sweat to form a physical plug over the sweat gland.


  • It is both affordable and widely available
  • It is generally effective, especially on certain sites like the armpits
  • It may also be used on hands, feet, or hairline with some difficulty


  • It may sting on application, and some people can develop burning or irritated skin at the site of application
  • It cannot be used all over the body, or on the face
  • It often leaves a residue
  • It may stain clothes

Anticholinergics can be used to help control hyperhidrosis. The oral versions of these medicines work throughout the body. Glycopyrrolate and oxybutynin are the two most commonly used anticholinergics for excessive sweating. How it works: These medicines prevent the nerve transmitter (acetylcholine) from triggering sweat glands to start sweating.


  • This solution can be good for generalized sweating because it manages excessive sweating all over the body


  • Anticholinergics, especially if taken at higher doses, may cause dry mouth, dry eyes, or blurry vision

Topical anticholinergics can also be used to help control hyperhidrosis. They work locally at the point of application making them ideal when treating only one or two sites of excessive sweating. Glycopyrrolate is the most commonly used topical anticholinergic for excessive sweating.

How it works: These medicines penetrate the skin and prevent the nerve transmitter (acetylcholine) from triggering local sweat glands to start sweating.


  • Good for focal sweating because they act at the site of application
  • Simple to administer, just wipe on
  • Convenient, as once daily application is usually sufficient
  • There is no residue, so it can be used even on highly visible sites (such as the face)


  • At high doses it can cause dry mouth or dry eyes but less commonly than with oral anticholinergic use

This treatment requires you to immerse your hands or feet in a shallow pan of tap water. While immersed, a medical device sends a low-voltage current through the water. How it works: The electric current prevents the functioning of the treated sweat glands temporarily. Most people need about 6 to 10 treatments to shut down the sweat glands. A treatment session usually takes 20 to 40 minutes.


  • Can only be used on hands and feet
  • Can be used at home


  • Some people develop dry skin, irritated skin, discomfort during treatment
  • Iontophoresis can be time consuming
  • Iontophoresis can not be used all over the body

Very tiny amounts of the botulinum toxin are injected into the problematic sweat gland area through a large number of injections How it works: The injections temporarily block a chemical in the body that stimulates the sweat glands to produce sweat. Most patients notice results 4 to 5 days after receiving treatment.


  • This approach is good for treating focal sweating, and can be used on underarms, palms, soles, scalp, forehead
  • Reduced sweating effects can last as long as 4 to 6 months


  • Botulinum toxin can be costly
  • Some patients find injections painful
  • Some patients may experience temporary muscle weakness

Often the last resort for patients whose sweating is severely problematic and for whom other treatment options have failed. How it works: There are two types of surgery used to address hyperhidrosis: one that physically removes sweat glands from the underarms, and another that clips or cuts a thoracic nerve to permanently disable the nerve signal that elicits sweating in the hands or feet (ETS – Endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy).


  • Sweating in the targeted area is usually completely or almost completely stopped


  • There is a high likelihood of new, compensatory hyperhidrosis (new problematic sweating in other body areas where there are sweat glands)
  • Once you’ve had the surgery, it is irreversible, so the compensatory sweating may be permanent and bothersome
  • There is always a risk of infection, as with any surgery

Services We Offer

We offer a range of services and products to help you to manage your hyperhidrosis.

  • We provide free consultations with one of our experienced and friendly pharmacists. Our pharmacists provide advice and education about prescription and over the counter products available for hyperhidrosis
  • We offer ongoing dialogue and advice to our patients suffering from excessive sweating to help them choose and optimize their therapy
  • We compound a variety of prescription and non-prescription medications for excessive sweating, including topicals and oral medications
  • We carry many high strength aluminum antiperspirants designed to prevent excessive sweating, including
    • Certain Dri Antiperspirant
    • Drysol
    • Hydrosal Gel
  • We offer delivery of products right to your door

If you have any questions or would like help, please call us at 1-800-727-5048 or contact us.

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