I Have an Anxiety Disorder but I Have Also Been Diagnosed with Hyperhidrosis. Are the Two Related?

I'm a college student and I can't afford treatments with botox. But, if it is related to my disorder then it should clear up as my Zoloft kicks in, correct?

Doctor Answers 5

Anxiety,, the Sympathetic Nervous System and Hyperhidrosis are Related - Anxiety causes hyperhidrosis

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Hyperhidrosis is definitely exacerbated by anxiety and stress. Simply stated, sweating is a response to activation of the sympathetic nervous system, the "fight or flight response". This is well known and well described. Unfortunately, getting treated with anxiolytics (valium, xanax) will rarely get rid of the excessive sweating. People like you develop cold and clammy hands, sweating from the underarms and sweaty palms. Rarely, they can have facial blushing and dripping sweat from the face and scalp.

Don't get hooked on prescription anxiolytics and seek treatment from a hyperhidrosis expert. There are hyperhidrosis experts, dermatologists or plastic surgeons who have expertise to help you with your problem.

Stress and Hyperhydrosis treatment options:

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Clearly stress adds to the amount of sweat you would produce, however antidepressants would probably not be the answer for you.
After you have been on them a while and if you still have a problem, then time to seek out some other options as noted below.

miraDry is a clinically proven and safe FDA-approved solution for significantly reducing underarm sweat. It’s an outpatient procedure performed in your physician’s office. It is not surgery so doesn’t involve surgical incisions. miraDry delivers controlled electromagnetic energy to the arm pit, eliminating the underarm sweat (eccrine) glands. It does not penetrate enough to cause significant fat reduction and if anything might tighten, not loosen skin.Two procedures are typically recommended. Each occurs approximately three months apart for best results.

Other options include: antiperspirants, Botox or Dysport with off label usage toxins temporarily prevents the sweat glands from working for varying lengths of time. This requires repeat treatments to maintain results. Other options involve superficial liposuction or excision of sweat gland skin poses additional risks and leave scars.

Anxiety disorder and hyperhidrosis

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The two issues are related - anxiety triggers your sympathetic nervous system to act, causing issues as such including sweating.  While anti-anxiety medications may work to decrease your problems, it will not take it completely away.  I would see how things work for you.  Otherwise, things such as BoTox or surgical procedures such as liposuction or subdermal shaving of the underarms obtain excellent results for treatment of hyperhidrosis of the axillary areas. Hope that this helps!  Good luck!

Lewis Albert Andres, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Stress, anxiety, hyperhydrosis

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Attempts at making one's live more peaceful and stress free are usually safer than taking medications or injections. Peace and love usually bring happiness.

Luis A. Cenedese, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon

I Have an Anxiety Disorder but I Have Also Been Diagnosed with Hyperhidrosis. Are the Two Related?

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The interplay between your emotional state and sweating is complex. It is possible that anxiety treatment might improve your hyperhidrosis but only indirectly. I would suggest that you stick with the anxiety treatment for several months. Time will tell and hopefully you will see improvement. If not, prescription grade anti-perspirants or Botox are both good options. Best wishes.

Stephen Weber MD, FACS

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.