Do you suffer from palms or feet that are always moist? Do you have to throw away shirts because of excessive underarm sweat? If the answer to either of these questions is yes, you may have a condition known as hyperhidrosis. Since many cases of hyperhidrosis can be successfully treated by dermatologists, it's important to see one as soon as possible. Here are some things you should know first:
Talk to your insurance company before making plans: If you've only ever visited your regular doctor, contact your insurance company before setting up a visit with any local dermatologists. Some insurance plans require that you get a referral from your usual doctor before they'll pay for a visit to a specialist. Finding out if a referral is needed before you go can help save you the surprise, time and expense of unpaid medical bills.
Try to find a dermatologist who specializes in hyperhidrosis: Just as there are specialists in general medicine, such as cardiologists or pulmonologists, there are still more specialties within these fields. For example, some dermatologists may specialize in treating skin cancer patients. While they can still help you with your hyperhidrosis, they won't be as up to date on the latest treatment options as a dermatologist who focuses on this condition.
You may need to try several treatment options: With a bacterial infection, doctors generally know which antibiotic will work best to treat the disease. Unfortunately, with hyperhidrosis, it can take a lot of trial and error for dermatologists to find a treatment that will work for a particular person. Some people may respond well to a prescription antiperspirant and need no further treatment, while people with a more serious issue may require Botox injections every 4-6 months. Although it can be discouraging to try various treatments and see very few results, it's important to stay positive and keep looking. Because no two people respond exactly the same way to a particular treatment, it could be a few weeks or a few months before your condition improves.
Although you may be "used to" your condition by now, there's no reason why you need to continue to deal with excessive sweating. Not only can a dermatologist like one from Billings Clinic help you find a treatment that will reduce or eliminate the excessive sweat, they can provide you with interim coping solutions that you may not have previously considered. So even if it takes a few months to find a treatment strategy that works for you, you may have some success after just one office visit.