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Doctors at Hopkins Develop Procedure to Cure Excessive Sweating
Updated: Wednesday, February 19 2014, 04:22 PM EST
Imagine having sweat constantly dripping off your hands, feet, or your underarms as a routine part of your daily life.
Hyperhidrosis is a condition that causes excessive sweating, especially of the hands and feet and affects at least 211 million people in the world.
For 17-year-old Kayla Marks, a high school student in Pennsylvania, and 28-year-old Candis Hart, a D.C. Police Officer, Hyperhidrosis controls every aspect of their lives and takes a toll physically, emotionally and socially.
"It's very hard. If I am in class and I do a homework assignment and I have to turn it in, then it's usually drenched in sweat," said Marks. "First thing in the morning, when I wake up,…my hands and feet are sweating," added Hart.
Up until recently there has been no true treatment for hyperhidrosis. Twenty injections of Botox on each palm and a topical treatment called Drysol were only temporary.
But now there is new hope with a simple procedure called Thoracic Sympathectomy developed by a medical team at Johns Hopkins
The sympathico nerve under each arm is clipped with immediate results and very little recovery.
Dr. Malcom Brock is a Thoracic surgeon and leads the team at the newly established 'Center for Sweat Disorders' at John Hopkins. During their research, they have also made a connection between Hyperhidrosis and depression and anxiety.
"We're starting to see that a lot of what we thought was primary anxiety, primary depression actually has a lot to do with hyperhidrosis," said Dr. Brock.
Dr. Brock says in many cases, successful treatment of the Hyperhidrosis has ended a patient's need for anti-depressants or anti-anxiety medication altogether and significantly changed their life.
"Life changing for me, significant difference in everything. Everything that I am able to do - daily interactions, daily activities, just a whole new world for me," said Hart.