Other Methods of Treatment
The methods of treatment of excessive sweating can be divided into two main categories. They are invasive (surgical) and non-invasive methods, i.e. methods that do not violate the integrity of the human skin. The invasive methods of removing the causes of excessive sweating include the so-called thoracic and lumbar sympathectomy or surgical removal of sweat glands. In thoracic sympathectomy, patients are under general anesthesia and their nerves near the spine that are responsible for sweating are disconnected. After the surgery, sweating stops in 90% of cases. However, within one year after the surgery, it comes back in full force and in another part of the body! Lumbar sympathectomy is not performed very often as there is a risk of damage to the genital tract. Surgical removal of sweat glands – including the skin – is applied only in case of excessive of the armpits. These methods are not always effective (sympathectomy in particular). Moreover, patients need to undergo a surgery and go through post-operation recovery.
Non-invasive methods of treating excessive sweating include aluminum chloride-rich antiperspirants (only for armpits), various cosmetics, ointments, and anti-sweating teas. Compared to the above treatments, the effectiveness of these products is, however, very low or none.
Prof. Petr Arenberger, M.D., DrSc., MBA.
Head of the Department of Dermatovenerology
Third Faculty of Medicine, Charles University in Prague
and Kralovske Vinohrady Teaching Hospital
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