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Scott asked...

I need advice on hyperhidrosis, in particular the different methods of curing/controlling it. I need the advice based on an adult and 7 year old. I have heard and read about iontophoresis but would like your thoughts on it and how to go about using it for an adult and a child.

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The Answer

Hyperhidrosis/excessive sweating is a condition that is becoming more and more treatable. More recently Botox in particular has been found to be effective in treating and helping people suffering from this.

Iontophoresis therapy is thought to be useful if excessive sweating is being experienced in the hands and feet but is not thought to be as effective in treating the underarms. For people suffering from excessive sweating in their hands and feet however improvement is found in 80-90% of cases. Treatment consists of a small weak electrical current being passed through while the feet are placed in water. It does initially require treatment of 2-4 sessions a week and then regular maintenance sessions afterwards which are usually monthly. If you feel this is the right therapy for you then you can talk with your Gp about this with a view to a dermatology referral.

In terms of your son it would be prudent to ask the GP to assess him with a view to a dermatology assessment for him also. This would allow him to provide the most appropriate treatment for his age and presentation. In the meantime there are some self-help tips below which you may find might help your symptoms.

  • Avoid known triggers that make your sweating worse, such as spicy foods and alcohol.
  • Use antiperspirant spray frequently, rather than deodorants.
  • Avoid wearing tight, restrictive clothing and man-made fibres, such as nylon.
  • Wearing black or white clothing can help to minimise the signs of sweating.
  • Armpit shields can help to absorb excessive sweat and protect your clothes.
  • Wear socks that absorb moisture, such as thick, soft socks that are made of natural fibres, or sports socks that are designed to absorb moisture. Avoid wearing socks that are made out of man-made materials and change your socks at least twice a day.
  • Buy shoes that are made of leather, canvas or mesh, rather than synthetic material.

Answered by Health at Hand nurses.

 

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