I. Definition:

Hyperhidrosis is the medical term for excessive sweating. The problem may be limited to the armpits, but often the palms and soles sweat excessively also. Excessive sweating becomes noticeable after puberty. Stressful situations such as examinations, job interviews, or an important date will aggravate the sweating. Most over-the-counter antiperspirants do not control hyperhidrosis.

Certain Dri

II. Treatment:

Certain Dri is available without a prescription. You can find out where Certain Dri is sold by calling 800-338-8079. Certain Dri should be applied to dry arm pits before bed.

The best control method is 20% aluminum chloride hexahydrate alcoholic solution (Drysol). It is available with a prescription. When using the medication, follow these directions:

* Apply the medicine at bedtime to your dry armpits. To prevent irritation, wash it off in the morning with plain water. Do not use your regular daytime deodorant. Repeat the treatment nightly until the sweating is under control.
* Aluminum chloride may irritate your skin; if your armpits become sore or itchy, contact the office for advice. Until your excessive armpit sweating is controlled, apply aluminum chloride medicine and water to your armpits. Later, when the sweating is under control, you may try your daytime deodorant.
* The thick skin of the palms and soles is more resistant to aluminum chloride's effect. At first, apply the medicine at bedtime to your dry palms or soles, and in the morning wash it off with plain water. If, in 10-14 days, you do not see a decrease in sweating, cover your hands and feet overnight with plastic film. For your hands, use the thin, pliable plastic disposable gloves available at most drugstores.
* After applying the medicine, allow it to dry and then put on the plastic gloves. Remove the gloves in the morning and wash your hands with plain water. For the feet, use plastic bags held in place with socks. Cut the plastic bags to size so that they cover only your feet and not your legs. In the morning, remove the plastic bags and wash your feet with plain water. Repeat the aluminum chloride applications and plastic covering nightly for one to two weeks until you get the desired effect, then do it less often.
* Usually, local applications of aluminum chloride hexahydrate provide satisfactory sweat control; when they fail, we can try internal medicines or electrophoresis. For almost everyone troubled by excessive perspiration, there is a treatment to control the problem.

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