Know Sweat?

With the summer months approaching we see an influx of patients for specific conditions at Skin Solutions Dermatology, one of which is hyperhidrosis, or excessive sweating.  

For this reason I have focused both of my April blogs on hyperhidrosis.  

My goal is to help educate people, bring more understanding to what can be considered a taboo health issue, as well as highlight new research and potential treatment options.

It is true that sweating is healthy for the human body.  

Sweat helps us detox and regulate our body temperatures – two very important things!  

Therefore, I want to differentiate between a healthy amount of sweat and that which is considered to be excessive sweating, known as hyperhidrosis.  

Excessive sweating occurs when the body does not need to self-regulate its temperature but instead produces a lot of sweat for no apparent reason, and produces so much sweat that it can interfere with simple daily activities like turning a doorknob, or typing on a computer.  

To make matters even more challenging for individuals with this frustrating condition, the localized area affected stays frequently wet, which can easily lead to skin infections and other irritating ailments.


There are two kinds of hyperhidrosis. Primary focal hyperhidrosis is excessive sweating that is not a side effect of medication, nor a symptom of another medical issue, it IS the medical issue itself.  

This type of hyperhidrosis can affect different areas and is usually symmetric, affecting both sides of the body evenly and in the localized areas.  

Common areas affected are underarms, hands, feet, and the face or head.  

Primary hyperhidrosis usually begins in childhood and is often hereditary, especially cases of excessive sweating of the hands and feet (as mentioned in our previous post here).  

In contrast, secondary hyperhidrosis is just that, secondary, and a result of a medication or a symptom of another medical condition.  

For this post we will focus on primary hyperhidrosis.

The Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology recently published the results of two separate studies that tested the effects of glycopyrronium tosylate in treating primary axillary hyperhidrosis (or excessive sweating of the armpits).  

Glycopyrronim tosylate (GT) belongs to the class of drugs known as anticholinergics, a substance that blocks the neurotransmitter acetylcholine in the peripheral and central nervous system.  

In the studies conducted, GT was applied topically once a day to the underarm area to test its capacity to reduce sweating severity, and sweat production.  

After only four weeks into the trial the investigators found significant improvements.  

Patients showed a reduced production of sweat (-107.6 mg/5 minutes vs -92.1 mg/5 minutes) and any adverse events reported were very minimal. 

The results of these two studies are exciting because they can positively impact many people living with primary axillary hyperhidrosis.  

The use of glycopyrronium tosylate as a topical treatment will provide patients with a once-daily, non-invasive, treatment option that has proven to be effective for most of the participants involved in the studies.

If you or a family member have this condition and are interested in learning more, schedule an appointment in any of our 8 middle Tennessee offices.  Nashville, Brentwood, Franklin, Columbia, Hendersonville, Smyrna, Mt. Juliet, and Pulaski.                  

Source: Dermatology Advisor 

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Dr Pena

About The Author

Dr. Pena is a Board-Certified Medical Dermatologist, Mohs skin cancer surgeon, and cosmetic dermatologist. Her mission is to educate the diverse patient populations she serves, and their communities, on the importance of skin care in decreasing the risk of skin cancer and minimizing the early signs of aging. She founded Skin Solutions Dermatology with numerous clinics in Nashville, Tennessee and surrounding Middle Tennessee.

Dr. Julia Pena, MD

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