Excessive sweating, also known as hyperhidrosis, usually affects specific areas such as the armpits, palms, and soles of the feet. This condition is due to overactive sweat glands and is usually prevalent in both men and women. The idiopathic variety, in which there is no known cause, is usually bilateral, and present in affected individuals from their early teens. Secondary hyperhidrosis may present as unilateral sweating in one limb, and is usually due to trauma, neurological disorders, or metabolic disorders causing a dysfunction of the sympathetic nerves supplying specific areas of the body. Though not a serious medical condition, hyperhidrosis can be extremely distressing and socially embarrassing for affected individuals. About one in every three individuals is reportedly affected with this condition, though the severity of symptoms may vary considerably.
Conservative treatment for hyperhidrosis is usually in the form of local applications, medications, local injections, or surgery. Local antiperspirants usually form the first line of treatment in the management of this condition. Oral medications are not usually used since the benefit observed varies considerably. Local injections like Botulinum toxin bring about temporary relief for a few months and can be quite costly.
Thoracoscopic sympathetectomy is an established treatment in several countries and can bring about substantial relief from excessive sweating in the palms; however, surgical options have their own known side-effects. Laser ablation is used for treating excessive sweating from the armpits.
Overall, the current management of hyperhidrosis is therefore quite unsatisfactory. Ayurvedic herbal treatment can be judiciously used to completely control and treat hyperhidrosis in affected individuals. Medicines are given in the form of herbal extract tablets which can be taken orally, and are usually quite safe for long-term use. The aim of Ayurvedic treatment is to reduce stress, treat the overactive sweat glands, and also treat any known causes or associated causes of the condition. A majority of affected individuals usually have associated hyperacidity which needs to be treated along with hyperhidrosis.
Treatment is usually given for about six months; however, most individuals report improvement within the first month of treatment. Depending upon individual patient response, medicines are continued till a complete remission from symptoms is obtained. After this, medicines are gradually tapered over the next few months and then stopped altogether. This treatment has several advantages over conservative treatment in that the medicines are completely safe for long-term use and relapses are usually not seen.
Regular treatment with Ayurvedic herbal medicines usually modulates the overactive sweat glands so that affected individuals can cope with stressful situations with optimum comfort and carry on their day-to-day activities without any hindrance. While sweating is a normal and physiological action on the part of the body for heat and water regulation as well as for keeping the skin soft and smooth, the excessive sweating – which is an undesirable symptom – can be gradually phased out both on the physical and psychological levels in affected individuals. Ayurvedic herbal treatment can thus not only help cure the physical problem but also helps affected individuals improve quality of life as well as confidently move ahead in their professional carriers.