An estimated 1-2 percent of the population suffers from excessive and unpredictable sweating, referred to in medical terms as hyperhidrosis. Individuals with hyperhidrosis typically realize during the adolescent years that they sweat much more than usual, often in difficult-to-conceal body parts such as the hands, feet, or armpits.
Though the physical symptoms of hyperhidrosis can be discomforting, the psychological consequences of excessive sweating are often the most debilitating. Hyperhidrosis can negatively impact one’s social life, personal relationships, and even career selection. Fortunately, excessive sweating is a treatable condition and can be greatly reduced and even permanently cured.
West Coast Thoracic Surgery is directed by Ali Mahtabifard, MD and Clark Fuller, MD, renowned thoracic surgeons with expertise in the comprehensive treatment of hyperhidrosis. Having combined over 25 years of experience in minimally invasive thoracic surgery, Dr. Mahtabifard and Dr. Fuller are highly skilled in the most advanced therapies and offer a variety of treatment options tailored to each patient’s specific condition.
Types of Hyperhidrosis
Sweating is the body’s natural response to a variety of stressful situations, and is controlled by a group of nerves that run down the back of the chest cavity, known as the sympathetic nerve chain. In individuals with hyperhidrosis, a specific segment of these nerves is overactive, signaling the body to sweat much more than usual. Common forms of hyperhidrosis include:
- Sweaty Palms (Palmar hyperhidrosis)
- Sweaty Feet (Plantar hyperhidrosis)
- Sweaty Armpits (Axillary hyperhidrosis)
Some individuals have profuse sweating localized only to the hands, feet, underarms, or face, while others can have excessive sweating over multiple regions of the body.
Hyperhidrosis Treatment Options
Since the underlying cause of excessive sweating stems from nerves within the chest cavity, hyperhidrosis is best managed by an experienced thoracic surgeon. Whether you suffer from sweaty palms, feet, underarms, or a combination, our doctors are committed to providing long-term relief for your hyperhidrosis. We offer a variety of effective solutions:
- Hyperhidrosis medications. Prescription medications, both oral and topical, are typically the first line of treatment to reduce sweating. However, these medications may only be effective for patients with mild symptoms and are generally not considered a long-term solution.
- Botox for hyperhidrosis. Botox injections in the hands, feet, or underarms can block sweat secretion and provide effective relief for hyperhidrosis. A single treatment may last up to six months, after which repeat injections are required.
- Iontophoresis for palmar/plantar hyperhidrosis. This treatment involves placing the hands or feet in a tray of water while an iontophoresis device delivers ionized minerals through the skin’s surface to block sweat secretion. Iontophoresis can be set up at home and requires several treatments each week to maintain efficacy.
- miraDry for axillary hyperhidrosis. The miraDry device is a relatively new technology used to treat excessive underarm sweating. The two-step treatment involves permanently destroying the sweat glands in the upper layer of skin in the armpit with electromagnetic energy, and can reduce sweating by up to 80 percent.
- Minimally invasive hyperhidrosis surgery. Also known as thoracic sympathectomy, hyperhidrosis surgery is the most effective treatment for severe hyperhidrosis, especially of the hands (palmar hyperhidrosis). This outpatient procedure involves permanently disrupting the sympathetic nerves fibers that are responsible for excessive sweating.
Contact a Los Angeles Hyperhidrosis Specialist
At the West Coast Associates for Minimally Invasive Thoracic Surgery is directed by renowned thoracic surgeons and leading experts in minimally invasive thoracic surgery, Ali Mahtabifard, MD and Clark Fuller, MD. Our top priority is to provide high quality, effective, and patient-centered care for hyperhidrosis and other thoracic conditions.
To learn more about hyperhidrosis or our comprehensive treatment approach, contact a Los Angeles thoracic surgeon at 310.854.0909 or fill out our online contact form to schedule your initial consultation.
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