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Hyperhidrosis / Sweaty Palms and Feet

Hyperhidrosis / Sweaty Palms and Feet - How to prevent?

Hyperhidrosis / Sweaty Palms and Feet - Causes and Risk Factors

Hyperhidrosis / Sweaty Palms and Feet - Diagnosis

Hyperhidrosis / Sweaty Palms and Feet - Treatments

Topical antiperspirants:
  • Aluminum chloride is the usual active ingredient in antiperspirants.
  • These are usually applied at nights over affected sites (e.g. soles, feet, armpits)
  • It is recommended to apply every night until sweating is controlled. The frequency of application is then reduced to control sweating of affected areas.
  • Irritation and redness can occur as a side effect. If this occurs, the frequency of treatment can be reduced, or mild topical steroid creams may be applied.
  • Treatment has to be continued in order to maintain dryness. Sweating will recur weeks to months after stopping treatment.

Iontophoresis:
  • This is a method of passing a small electric current through areas of skin immersed in a dish of water.
  • It can be used for the treatment of hyperhidrosis of the palms, soles and armpits.
  • Treatment needs to be done regularly (several times a week) and lasts for 10-20 minutes each.
  • Iontophoresis can cause a tingling sensation. If this occurs, the current can be reduced. Small, superficial burns can rarely occur.
  • Treatment has to be continued in order to maintain dryness. Sweating will recur weeks to months after stopping treatment.

Botulinum toxin ("Botox"):
  • Derived from bacteria, it can be injected into the skin in very small doses to block the action of the nerves that activate the sweat glands.
  • The effects can last from 3 to 12 months.
  • It is most commonly used for treatment of the armpits but can also be injected into the palms and soles.
  • An anaesthetic cream (EMLA) can be applied before injections to minimise the pain.

Oral medications:
  • Medicines that can help to control hyperhidrosis include propantheline, oxybutynin and glycopyrrolate.
  • These medications block the chemical signal between the nerves and the sweat glands.
  • Side effects of the medications include dry mouth, blurred vision, tummy cramps, constipation and less commonly, difficulty in passing urine.
  • A smaller dose is given initially and this is gradually increased.
  • Sweating will recur after the medications are stopped.
Sympathectomy:
  • This is the only method of treatment to cure hyperhidrosis.
  • It is most useful for the treatment of hyperhidrosisof the hands and face, especially after other treatments have failed.
  • Sympathectomy is a major surgical operation, performed under general anaesthesia, which carries a number of risks.
  • Some patients may develop compensatory sweating at other body sites, and for a proportion of patients, this can be more severe than the original problem.
  • The operation is performed by neurosurgeons or cardiothoracic surgeons.
The information above is also available for download in pdf format.

Hyperhidrosis / Sweaty Palms and Feet - Preparing for surgery

Hyperhidrosis / Sweaty Palms and Feet - Post-surgery care

Hyperhidrosis / Sweaty Palms and Feet - Other Information

The information provided is not intended as medical advice. Terms of use. Information provided by SingHealth

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