Excessive sweating (hyperhidrosis)

Common questions

We use telemedicine technology to connect you with a U.S. licensed healthcare professional to provide hyperhidrosis treatment conveniently and affordably.

It starts with your online visit. Your doctor or nurse practitioner needs to know about your general health and how excessive sweating affects you.

They also need an unedited photo of you and your ID (that shows your picture and birthdate) so they know who they will be helping, as well as a photo of the affected area(s) to confirm the diagnosis. They review everything, determine if you’re a candidate for telemedicine and whether treatment is right for you, and if so, they will send you a personalized treatment plan. Their treatment plan will include a great deal of information about hyperhidrosis. It is important that you take the time to read it all to be informed and better prepared to manage your condition.

If you qualify, your doctor or nurse practitioner will prescribe the right course of treatment to help you take control of your hyperhidrosis.

Sweating is controlled by the central nervous system, which sends signals to sweat glands on the skin. Sweating is normal when it happens in response to physical exertion, or if your body senses a threat and goes into “fight or flight” mode. However, the kind of excessive sweating seen in hyperhidrosis is much more than usual, and can be very disruptive to everyday life. The sweat glands are normal in hyperhidrosis, but the signalling from the central nervous system is abnormal. There may be some influence from genetics which is not very well understood.

If a prescription is appropriate, Ro-affiliated physicians may prescribe 20% aluminum chloride hexahydrate (Drysol), a prescription antiperspirant that works by blocking the sweat glands. Aluminum-containing antiperspirants are recommended for hyperhidrosis by the American Academy of Dermatology.

Not everyone should use Drysol. To learn more about side effects and contraindications, see “What are the side effects of hyperhidrosis treatment” below and read Important Safety Information for aluminum antiperspirant.

Many people don’t realize that hyperhidrosis is a treatable condition, so it’s okay if you haven’t previously seen a doctor or healthcare provider for your excessive sweating before. Your Ro-affiliated healthcare professional will collect information about your medical history and your excessive sweating symptoms via telemedicine. If hyperhidrosis is diagnosed and treatment is appropriate for you, your doctor or nurse practitioner will make a recommendation and prescribe the treatment.

Aluminum antiperspirant is considered the standard prescription treatment for hyperhidrosis for people who have tried over-the-counter antiperspirants. If you’ve been using prescription antiperspirant as directed and aren’t satisfied with the results, you can reach out to your Ro-affiliated healthcare professional at any time to discuss.

Not everyone should use Drysol. To learn more about side effects and contraindications, see “What are the side effects of hyperhidrosis treatment” below and read Important Safety Information for aluminum chloride hexahydrate.

Although the term “deodorant” is often used interchangeably with “antiperspirant” when talking about products applied to the armpits, antiperspirants are intended for directly stopping or reducing sweating, whereas deodorants are intended for reducing the odor associated with sweating. It’s important to understand that you can use your regular deodorant with the prescription antiperspirant (use antiperspirant at night as directed, and your regular deodorant in the morning).

Most people see an improvement in sweating within a week or so of using the antiperspirant as directed. If you feel your sweating isn’t getting better, or isn’t improving as much as you’d expect, contact your Ro-affiliated doctor at any time, who can advise on potential changes to your treatment plan.

Aluminum antiperspirant commonly causes itching and burning at sites where it is applied. There are a number of ways to help lessen the severity of these effects, including applying the antiperspirant less frequently, avoiding applying to recently shaved areas, and avoiding applying to areas with broken skin. You can also try applying over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream to help relieve the symptoms. And, you can always reach out to your doctor and nurse practitioner at any time to report side effects and discuss potentially changing or stopping your treatment plan.

There is no definitive link between aluminum-containing antiperspirants and cancer. An internet rumor from the late 1990s claimed a possible link between antiperspirants and breast cancer, because of a theoretical idea that toxins from antiperspirants could be absorbed and cause cancerous mutations. This has not been conclusively supported by evidence and is not considered a concern in the medical and scientific community.

  1. Jones, J. Can rumors cause cancer?. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2000;92(18):1469-71.

  2. http://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancer-causes/antiperspirants-and-breast-cancer-risk.html

  3. http://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/causes-prevention/risk/myths/antiperspirants-fact-sheet

If you feel your sweating is not significantly improving, reach out to your Ro-affiliated physician at any time to talk about potential changes to your treatment plan.

Important safety information

What you should know before using Drysol.