Home Skin Care Heavy sweating: That helps against it!

Heavy sweating: That helps against it!

by Josephine Andrews
Published: Last Updated on 258 views

Damp hands, wet armpits, sweaty feet? Anyone who suffers from heavy sweating knows this all too well. Just like the associated, unpleasant situations, such as at the job interview or the first date. Excessive sweating is often not only annoying, but also reduces the quality of life. Here’s what you can do to calm overactive sweat glands.

What helps against heavy sweating?

Heavy sweating, medically known as hyperhidrosis, occurs when the body produces more sweat than is necessary for natural temperature regulation.

Hyperhidrosis symptoms are particularly evident where there are many sweat glands. An overview of the most common forms:

  • Hyperhidrosis of the hands
  • Hyperhidrosis of the feet
  • Hyperhidrosis of the axilla
  • Hyperhidrosis of the face

Sometimes no cause at all for the increased sweat production can be identified. Then medical professionals use the term primary hyperhidrosis .

Some diseases, such as certain tumor diseases or an overactive thyroid gland, are often associated with heavy sweating. Doctors then speak of secondary hyperhidrosis . Hyperhidrosis treatment is aimed at the underlying disease.

There are several options for treating the primary form of hyperhidrosis. Depending on whether your hands, feet or armpits sweat a lot, some methods are more suitable than others.


If you sweat a lot under your armpits, special antiperspirant deodorants may help. The aluminum salts it contains narrow the ducts of the sweat glands so that less sweat is produced.

Since hyperhidrosis therapy with antiperspirant deodorants usually only works after a few weeks, you need a little patience.

Aluminum salts are suspected of being carcinogenic. However, according to the current hyperhidrosis guideline released by the German Dermatological Society (DDG), this suspicion is unfounded.

Accordingly, there are currently no studies that scientifically prove a connection between deodorants containing aluminum salt and cancer. However, it is advisable to use aluminum deodorants sparingly.

Read more about deodorants with aluminum here .

Tap Water Iontophoresis

This treatment is good for heavily sweating hands or feet. It works with weak electrical direct current. This is conducted through the skin into the body via electrodes.

Water is used as the conduction element : hands or feet are immersed in a tub of tap water , in which the electrodes are attached. It is also possible to attach wet electrodes directly to the skin instead. This also becomes the armpits and the face.

The success rate of iontophoresis is around 80 percent. However, it is not known exactly how the method works. What is certain, however, is that the direct current process is not dangerous. Iontophoresis is one of the recognized standard procedures in hyperhidrosis treatment.

It is also possible to use the procedure at home. A good alternative, since the therapy sessions are usually three times a week at the beginning. The corresponding devices are available, for example, in medical supply stores.

Tap water iontophoresis is not suitable for pregnant women and people with electronic implants such as a pacemaker.

Injection therapy with botulinum toxin A

Botulinum toxin, or Botox for short, not only works against wrinkles . The neurotoxin produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinumaus is also approved for hyperhidrosis therapy in the armpits.

Botox is injected under the skin in several places. In the body, the substance paralyzes certain synapses that are important for sweat production.

Treatment with Botox is considered the most effective anti-hyperhidrosis therapy after surgical procedures. However, it is sometimes painful and also quite expensive. In addition, the effect wears off after four to seven months, so that the treatment has to be repeated continuously.

Since the neurotoxin sometimes paralyzes uninvolved nerves and muscles in the treated area, it is not approved for the treatment of hyperhidrosis on the hands and feet.

radio frequency, microwave or ultrasonic

These methods damage the sweat glands thermally, i.e. with the help of heat. As with Botox therapy, only the armpits are treated because radiofrequency, microwaves, and ultrasound can damage other skin or nerve structures.

Operational Procedures

If the conservative procedures described do not help, it is possible to surgically remove the overactive sweat glands in the armpits. In the past, this was usually done as part of a radical excision – the surgeon cut out the tissue under the armpit skin including the sweat glands.

Gentler procedures are common today:

  • Subcutaneous curettage : The armpit sweat glands are removed through two small skin incisions using a curette or a so-called “sharp curette”.
  • Subcutaneous suction curettage : First, the fatty tissue under the skin is loosened. The sweat glands are then curetted and suctioned out.
  • Laser-assisted suction curettage : In addition to curettage, the sweat glands are thermally damaged with a laser fiber guided under the skin.

Endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy is suitable for treating hyperhidrosis in the armpits, face or hands and feet. The surgeon cuts through the vegetative nerves in the chest that control sweat production.


Medicines are also sometimes used in the treatment of hyperhidrosis:

  • Anticholinergics act on the autonomic nervous system. Smaller studies have confirmed that they stop heavy sweating for several hours depending on the situation. However, long-term treatment of chronic hyperhidrosis is not possible with it.
  • Psychotropic drugs , tranquilizers , and beta-blockers are effective in mental illness. A few studies suggest that they also help against excessive sweating. Their use in hyperhidrosis is only advisable if the hyperhidrosis is psychological.

You can do this yourself against heavy sweating

Clothing, food, weight – all of these affect how much we sweat. Hyperhidrosis usually has to be treated medically. However, you can also do something yourself to avoid stimulating sweating.

Examples of anti-hyperhidrosis tips include:

  • wear loose clothing and cotton underwear
  • walk barefoot more often
  • shaving armpit hair
  • go to the sauna regularly
  • Use relaxation techniques, such as yoga or autogenic training
  • Avoid high-fat, spicy foods
  • reduce obesity

Important: The amount of sweat we produce does not depend on the amount we drink. So there’s no point in drinking less. On the contrary: If you drink too little, you will permanently damage important bodily functions and organs.

Hyperhidrosis: Which doctor is the right one?

If you suffer from heavy sweating, it is best to consult your family doctor or dermatologist. Doctors may refer you to a special hyperhidrosis center during the course of treatment.

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