Managing Hyperhidrosis at Home

For years, treatment required people to manage hyperhidrosis with a doctor. Fortunately, there are two effective medical methods to manage your hyperhidrosis at home: iontophoresis treatments for palmar and plantar hyperhidrosis and OTC treatments.
Managing Hyperhidrosis at Home

For years, hyperhidrosis treatment required multiple visits to a doctor or dermatologist. Individuals often had little choice but to dedicate ample amounts of time and money to hyperhidrosis treatment at a medical facility. However, an increased focus in hyperhidrosis research and product development has produced methods to treat hyperhidrosis in the comfort of your own home. Fortunately, there are two effective medical methods to manage your hyperhidrosis at home: iontophoresis treatments and OTC treatments. Additionally, there are non-medical and behavioral approaches to manage your hyperhidrosis via alternative methods.

Method 1: Iontophoresis Sessions with a Personal Iontophoresis Machine

Iontophoresis is a treatment for palmar and plantar hyperhidrosis. It is a method that utilizes mild electrical currents to restrict the activity of the sweat glands in the human body, is a popular choice for many individuals seeking a non-invasive solution to hyperhidrosis. The shock the iontophoresis machine delivers is neither harmful or painful, and iontophoresis has been used for years by trained medical professionals.

Historically, iontophoresis has been administered by professionals at a doctor’s office or a sports therapy center; however, many individuals are now choosing to conduct iontophoresis treatments in their own residences. Similar to iontophoresis sessions at a doctor’s office, more and more individuals are choosing to purchase their own iontophoresis machines and conduct these iontophoresis treatment sessions in their homes . [1],[2]

Advantages and Disadvantages of Iontophoresis at Home:

Advantages to this method of iontophoresis include the convenience of doing treatments in your own home, as well as an eventual decrease in cost from avoiding the pay-per-session model of iontophoresis at a doctor’s office. When managing iontophoresis with a doctor, the session can only occur during the hours that the doctor’s office is open. Since many individuals would have to alter their work schedules several times a month to make an iontophoresis appointment during regular business hours, the cost of spending your valuable time in a doctor’s office can be quite high. Additionally, iontophoresis sessions can be quite expensive when done with a doctor. If you have attempted iontophoresis before and are confident it will work for you, investing in an iontophoresis machine could save you hundreds of dollars over time. [2],[3]

However, this upfront cost of a personal iontophoresis machine can be quite expensive. Typically, a complete iontophoresis kit can cost anywhere from $300-800 dollars, depending on the brand and the level of care the machine will provide. Before purchasing an iontophoresis machine, be sure to understand your potential purchase.

Method 2: Over-the-Counter Topical Treatments

Before seeking a prescription medicine to help stop hyperhidrosis, trying an "over-the-counter" topical solution for hyperhidrosis may be a sound decision.

Currently, there are several topical treatments and solutions that contain lower percentages of the same aluminum compounds found in prescription creams that can be purchased in both online and retail settings. [1]

The difference between Over-the-Counter and Prescription Strength Topical Treatments

When determining whether or not a solution will be considered clinical strength (no prescription needed) or prescription strength, the deciding factor is the amount of the active aluminum ingredient in the treatment. Most prescription strength treatments use the same chemicals and formulas found in clinical strength treatments, just in higher percentages. Typically, a treatment requires a prescription if the active ingredient makes up more than 25% of the formula. However, this number can fluctuate a few percentage points depending on what specific active ingredient is being used to stop the sweat. Before trying a prescription strength solution, trying a clinical solution is often a good step. In case you are worried, it has been found that aluminum in antiperspirants does not cause cancer, as a viral email in the late 2000's once claimed. [1]

Specific Over the Counter Solutions to stop Hyperhidrosis

In addition to larger brands such as Dove and Degree that provide various kinds of general sweat support, there are several solutions created specifically to deal with excessive sweating and hyperhidrosis. Solutions such as Sweatblock, Carpe, and ZeroSweat, Certain Dri, and Duradry may be worth trying before attaining a prescription.

Method 3: Make Your Home Work for You

In general, if you are already sweating, it is a good idea to stay in a cool place. Keeping your thermostat a little lower than average may help prevent some extra sweating and keep you more comfortable. You may also want to consider keeping small hand towels strategically placed around your house for those times that your hands are sweaty and you need a quick wipe down. Also, when you are at home wear comfortable, lightweight clothing to reduce excessive sweating and to keep yourself feeling fresh.

You want to be comfortable at night, so if night sweating is an issue for you, create an environment that suits your circumstances. Keep your room cool and dark and do your best to avoid stressful triggers before bedtime. Also, choose bedding that works for you. There are several types of sheets that may help from smart microfiber sheets to light cotton. Avoid heavy comforters that can suffocate skin.

Sources
  1. Pariser, D. M. (2014). Hyperhidrosis (4th ed., Vol. 32). Amsterdam: Elsevier Pub. Co., 2014. Retrieved
  2. Scifers, James R, DScPT, PT, SCS,L.A.T., A.T.C., Lewandowski, Jeff, DPT, PT, SCS,A.T.C., M.T.C., O'Brien, Matthew, PhD, LAT, ATC, & Watts, Jay, RPh,F.A.C.A., F.A.C.V.P. (2013). Iontophoresis. Athletic Training & Sports Health Care, 5(3), 103-105. doi:http://dx.doi.org.proxy.lib.duke.edu/10.3928/19425864-20130509-03
  3. Nordqvist, C. (2017, December 21). Hyperhidrosis: Symptoms, causes, diagnosis, and treatment. Retrieved May 14, 2018,
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