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Suffering from hyperhidrosis. Cervical sympathectomy done. Sweating in groin area. Looking for advice

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I have been researching hyperhidrosis, a problem from which I have suffered all my life. I am 63 years old, and 35 years or so ago, I underwent a cervical sympathectomy, which was 100% successful in alleviating the problem with my hands and underarms. Over the last few years, they have gradually started to sweat again, and I wonder if there is any natural or non-surgical procedure that can be done. I also sweat in the groin area, the feet (very badly) and if I get cold, I have a cold sweat on the back of my neck. Since the operation, spicy food, even salt will make my face sweat. The main trigger for me is humid weather, in which I am absolutely miserable. I was brought up in Hong Kong, where the humidity is in the 80s or 90s all year, and experienced some relief when moving to the UK 18 years ago. However, the problem seems to be worse in some respects when it is humid here, and I also travel back to HK twice a year to visit my mother. I barely went out of air-conditioning last visit, as it was so unpleasant for me. I have another trip coming up in October and am not looking forward to it. I have started researching the machine that passes an electricic current through the affected areas, but do not know if this makes other areas worse, as the operation did.
I have seen no reference to a connection to one's body temperature-regulator, as I do not seem to have one. I am usually either very cold or very hot and have very bad circulation.
Any advice would be most appreciated.
Posted Sat, 18 Aug 2012 in Brain and Spine
Answered by Dr. Pratap Sanchetee 4 hours later

Thanks for the query.

You are really suffering from an illness which is not only annoying but unfortunately has few effective treatment options. The recurrence of hyperhidrosis after sympathectomy is possibly due to regeneration of nerve fibers. Few treatment options that can be considered in your case are:

1. Topical treatment with 20% aluminium chloride
2. Oral medications such as Oxybutynin, Glycopyrrolate, propantheline bromide and benztropine may useful.
3. Antidepressants and anxiolytics can be tried for anxious personality style.
4. Injections of botulinum toxin type 'A' are used to block neural control of sweat glands. The effect can last from 3–9 months.
5. Iontophoresis (passing a direct current across the skin) and microwave energy have been used to destroy sweat gland with partial improvement in some cases.
6. Subcutaneous liposuction, retrodermal curettage and Laser Sweat Ablation are few other options.

All these treatment can be discussed with your current doctor and tried under his/her guidance. Since the effectiveness of each of these options varies individually, we cannot predict its effectiveness at the beginning of treatment. I hope you find these useful.

Let me know if you need further assistance.

All the best

Dr. Pratap
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Suffering from hyperhidrosis. Cervical sympathectomy done. Sweating in groin area. Looking for advice 18 hours later

Thank you for your response to my question. The possible options for treatment that you have mentioned were those that I had already found by researching. I realised my options were limited, as I will not use anything containing aluminium or botox chemicals. I was hoping for some complementary medical suggestions. Perhaps you have some knowledge of ayurvedic medicine - I know it is highly thought of in your culture. Whilst you are a scientifically-trained doctor, I believe that the natural and scientific methods can work very well together. Are you able to answer my last question about the body thermostat? This is, I feel, a possible key to my particular problem. Does it involve the endocrine system and could a possible correction be made there?

Any further input would be most appreciated. I am willing to try anything that doesn't involve drugs.

With thanks

Answered by Dr. Pratap Sanchetee 6 hours later

Acupuncture, behavioural treatment, hypnosis and biofeedback have been used by some patients with variable success. Try to identify trigger factor if any by careful analysis of your life style.

Altered temperature regulation has been thought to be one of the causes for hyperhidrosis. Even if it is so, no definite drug treatment is available for the same.

As far as ayurvedic treatment is concerned, my expertise is limited in that field. Perhaps you may seek the help of customer support team of XXXXXXX to obtain an opinion from one of the ayurveda experts. If you wish you may write a mail to them ( YYYY@YYYY )

Hope I have answered your query.

Dr. Pratap
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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