Can Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine help Excessive Sweating?

July 21, 2016 by admin

Chances are you’ve never heard the term palmar hyperhidrosis.  That is, unless you have been diagnosed with the condition.  Some might be surprised to know that having sweaty hands is actually a medically diagnosed condition.  Most would associate clammy or sweaty hands with feeling nervous or stressed, but there are individuals who suffer from sweaty hands on a daily basis due to overactive sweat glands in their palms.  Hyperhidrosis refers to excessive sweating, so palmar hyperhidrosis refers specifically to sweaty palms.  While this condition is not life threatening or dangerous, you might imagine that it can be inconvenient and embarrassing (emphasis on the embarrassing).  Having constantly sweaty palms can definitely take a toll on a person’s social and personal life.  Some of the most common situations that make individuals with this condition self-conscious are extremely normal things like shaking hands with others and/or holding hands with a significant other.  However, those are the obvious uncomfortable situations.  Individuals with this condition have to constantly be drying their palms to avoid too much sweat accumulation, because in some severe cases the sweat might drip from their hands as if they just washed them.  Now that is embarrassing.  Other awkward (more detailed) situations include leaving a visible sweaty palm print on black surfaces, such as a science lab table, or having to really concentrate on not ruining the delicate Scantron for the test you are taking by touching it with your sweaty palm while you are bubbling in your answers.  Yes, those are sweaty palm problems.

You might be wondering if there are any treatments or cures for this.  It does sound extremely inconvenient after all, so someone must have come up with something by now.   A doctor can prescribe a topical medication, typically alcohol based, to dry out the palms. Unfortunately, this is like putting a band aid on the issue, which by the way doesn’t stick to sweaty palms, and hardly a permanent solution.  Another option a doctor might suggest is Botox, which would require an excessive (and painful) amount of Botox injections in your palms to reduce sweating, and typically must be repeated every 6 months to maintain results.  Surgery may also be suggested.  However, there is no guarantee that surgery will permanently resolve the issue, and it comes with possible side effects; including sweating in other areas such as your back instead of your hands (most would probably opt for the sweaty palms). Consequently, none of the conventional medical “solutions” are truly solutions, and a truly effective remedy or cure is still much desired by those plagued with this condition.

Eastern medicine: acupuncture and Chinese Herbal medicine present a solution for excessive sweating by treating the patient’s constitution, this is treatment directed at the source of the condition, not just a band aid.  First the doctor will perform a compressive evaluation and make a diagnosis.  Treatment will be custom developed for each patient and may consist of acupuncture and herbal treatment, or herbal treatment alone.  Expect to stick with the treatment for at least 3-6 months.  Results will vary, but many will experience at least a reduction in symptoms.

If you have questions about your condition, give us a call.

Ann & Emily

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