Sweaty Questions: Should You See a Hyperhidrosis Doctor?
There’s a lot of misinformation about hyperhidrosis.
It has no definitive cure. There are many types, causes and reasons for excessive sweating — not all treatments work for everyone. So how do you find the right hyperhidrosis doctor to help you navigate your sweaty predicament?
Seeking Medical Help For Heavy Sweating
First, let’s address the stigma. Hyperhidrosis is more common than you think, and many people don’t know they have hyperhidrosis or sweat excessively.
A new estimate published in the Archives of Dermatological Research revealed that more than 15 million people in the U.S suffer from severe sweating — nearly double the previous estimate.
But people aren’t seeking help. According to the study, 49 percent haven’t talked to a doctor about their sweating because they believe it isn’t a medical condition or that no treatment options exist.
You can't cure hyperhidrosis, but you can manage it so it doesn’t interfere with your life. Even if you just sweat more in high-stress situations, talking with a doctor about your symptoms can help you find treatment options to manage your stress.
When You Should See a Doctor For Sweating
It’s normal to sweat when you’re hot or nervous. But if you’re sweating through your shirt on a regular basis, it could indicate that something is off.
Hyperhidrosis isn’t life-threatening. However, if it isn’t managed properly, extreme sweating can have detrimental effects on your quality of life.
Here are a few clues you may need to talk with your doctor about hyperhidrosis:
- You sweat through your clothing often and change them throughout the day.
- Sweat interferes with daily activities, from holding a pencil to gripping a steering wheel.
- You sweat even when it’s cold outside.
- You don't have any other symptoms, including chest pain, heart palpitations, shortness of breath or unintentional weight loss.
- You sweat excessively for no reason, especially in the head, hands, feet or underarms.
There’s no exact formula for when you should see a doctor for sweating. Everyone’s body is different, and there isn’t a convenient way to measure how much you sweat.
If you’re avoiding social situations, struggling with anxiety or just annoyed by how much you sweat, it may be time to see a doctor for hyperhidrosis.
Types of Hyperhidrosis Doctors
Few doctors specialize in hyperhidrosis, so you'll have to look for a generalist with experience in this area.
When it comes to excessive sweating, not all doctors are created equal. Some continue to prescribe outdated solutions, so it's important to know the differences to select the right one for you.
Here are the different types of hyperhidrosis doctors:
Professional hyperhidrosis treatment starts with your primary care physician. They’re a great resource to discuss your symptoms and can help you decide the best course of treatment.
Commonly prescribed treatments: prescription antiperspirant, miraDry
If over-the-counter and prescription options don’t work, your doctor may refer you to a dermatologist.
Dermatologists are trained to diagnose and alleviate skin problems. Because hyperhidrosis deals with the skin, dermatologists are typically more familiar with sweating conditions and the most effective treatments.
Commonly prescribed treatments: prescription antiperspirant, medication, iontophoresis, MiraDry, Botox
Neurologists specialize in treating the brain and nervous system. Because these systems also control your sweat glands — hyperhidrosis falls under the realm of conditions that a neurologist may treat. Some neurologists even specialize in neurophysiology, management and treatment of hyperhidrosis.
Commonly prescribed treatments: Botox, medication
The final type of hyperhidrosis doctor is surgeons.
Surgery should be a last resort. The results aren’t guaranteed, and many people who get surgery for hyperhidrosis experience side effects and sweating elsewhere.
Commonly prescribed treatments: ETS surgery
What to Expect During Your Visit
To find the right treatment, your doctor will ask for details about your sweating.
Be prepared to discuss how often you sweat, what triggers it, your medical history and medications you're taking. Depending on the severity of your sweating, they may also perform tests.
Common Sweat Tests:
- Starch-iodine test: When sweat reaches your skin’s surface, the starch and iodine react, turning from yellow to dark blue. A starch-iodine test is a diagnostic test that evaluates the volume of sweat your body produces. It may also be used to identify overproductive sweat areas when performing Botox treatments.
- Thermoregulatory sweat test: This test measures your ability to sweat in a specialized laboratory with controlled temperature, air flow regulation and humidity. It’s used to diagnoses autonomic and neurological disorders.
- Lab test: Your doctor may also order lab or blood tests, to check for conditions that could cause hyperhidrosis.
Stop Your Sweat With a Thompson Tee
In addition to hyperhidrosis doctors, there are many natural ways to help manage your sweating.
Thompson Tee’s sweat proof undershirt absorbs sweat and releases it as vapor. By arming yourself with a Thompson Tee in the morning, you'll save yourself from embarrassing sweat marks and stains — guaranteed.