Preparing for Your Appointment
People with hyperhidrosis
sometimes find it difficult to talk about the condition and its potentially devastating effects on daily life. Even when they do talk about it, people suffering from excessive sweating
often feel like no one is listening. By doing a little preparation, however, you can help ensure that your doctor will listen to you, will understand how the condition affects you, and will help you find the hyperhidrosis treatment option
that’s best for you.
One way to prepare for your doctor’s visit is to do as much research about hyperhidrosis and the available treatments as you can. You can start by reading this entire site. It’s full of in-depth, reliable, and balanced information. We even have an online Library with published medical and clinical studies about hyperhidrosis and hyperhidrosis treatments. We encourage you to dive into these articles when doing your research so you can feel empowered to manage your health. You may also want to consider speaking with a dermatologist (a physician who is specially trained to diagnose and treat skin conditions). In general, dermatologists are among the physicians most educated about hyperhidrosis. Their knowledge of excessive sweating is due, in part, to American Academy of Dermatology educational programs on the subject and International Hyperhidrosis Society symposia, which many dermatologists participate in. To help you find a dermatologist or another type of physician who is familiar with hyperhidrosis, we've created a unique, hyperhidrosis-focused Physician Finder. Our Physician Finder is your source for information on physicians who treat hyperhidrosis.
To help make your doctor's visit more productive, we've compiled a list of things to think about and do before you go.
- First, gather information on all the treatments you use or have used. These treatments may include antiperspirants, deodorants, and powders, as well as herbal or “alternative” remedies. Think about how these products have worked, or not worked, for you. Make a list of these treatments along with information about their level of effectiveness.
- When evaluating your excessive sweating problem, your doctor will probably have questions about when you developed the condition. Think back: how old were you when you first noticed your excessive sweating?
- Your doctor will also want to know how much you sweat and how it affects your daily activities. It’s important for your doctor to know if you believe that your excessive sweating requires treatment beyond the antiperspirants you can buy at the drugstore.
- Visit our Diagnosing Hyperhidrosis page. Print the worksheet provided and write down your answers to its questions. Bring the worksheet to your doctor appointment and use it to help explain how hyperhidrosis impacts your life.
- To help your doctor determine your health risks, your genetic tendency toward hyperhidrosis, or whether you have any medical conditions that can cause secondary hyperhidrosis, note whether you or anyone in your family suffers from diabetes, anxiety disorders, or excessive sweating. Also, note the areas of your body affected by excessive sweating, such as hands, feet, underarms, head, or face. If you experience excessive sweating of any of these areas, you may have focal hyperhidrosis. The treatments described on this site are for focal hyperhidrosis. If you sweat excessively over much or all of your body, you may have generalized hyperhidrosis, which requires different types of treatment. Your doctor will determine which type of excessive sweating you have and how to proceed.
- Plan ahead and maximize your chances of receiving reimbursement or insurance coverage for hyperhidrosis treatments by reading our Insurance Tools section. Be sure to print out and bring along our Sample Letter of Medical Necessity. Your physician can use this document to inform your insurance company of your need for hyperhidrosis treatment, of the treatments that you've already tried, and of the treatment that he or she is recommending.
- Ask a friend or loved one to come with you to your doctor appointment. They can help you remember to ask all of your questions, take notes, and request that the doctor explain confusing information. And, of course, they can offer support and understanding in a situation that can sometimes feel overwhelming.