Southern Oklahoma Women’s Health offers treatment for overactive sweat glands

Sierra Rains /

Nearly everyone has the ability to sweat as a part of the human body’s natural cooling system, but some people sweat excessively, barring those with rare medical conditions.

“People that sweat excessively know, there’s no question about it. They’re dripping off their feet, their shoes, their hands are staying sweaty at all times no matter if it’s hot or cold,” said Southern Oklahoma Women’s Health OBGYN Dr. Henry Ramirez.

Around five to six percent of the population suffers from a condition called hyperhidrosis, which doesn’t require any blood tests to diagnose, Ramirez said. “It’s just the fact of a patient coming in and saying ‘Listen, I’m tired of sweating too much, I’m tired of having to buy new shirts’.”

Large amounts of sweat may not appear to be a big deal, but excessive sweating effects individuals in more ways than one. Many people struggle with maintaining self-esteem, Ramirez said.

“Some people really are upset about their feet smelling or their hands being sweaty to where they regress, they don’t even like to be in public because they don’t want people to shake their clammy hands,” Ramirez said. “And a clammy hand is a sign of weakness in our culture sometimes — or fear.”  

Excessively sweaty palms and feet can also impact individual’s daily lives and activities. One individual, whom Ramirez said he treated, kept ruining his golf gloves over and over again.

“He got one treatment and he’s about to come back for a second but his golf gloves are basically normal— sweat, doesn’t ruin them, they’re not drenched at the end, so that’s been awesome,” Ramirez said.

Another patient, whom Ramirez said is a hairstylist, also underwent treatment for her sweaty palms. As her profession requires the constant use of her hands, Ramirez said the patient told him it had changed her life.

Southern Oklahoma Women’s Health is one of the only clinics that offers treatment for hyperhidrosis, or excessive sweating, in the area. The next closest clinic is in Tulsa, Ramirez said.

With the use of several micro needles, physicians are able to run radio frequency energy through the body that spikes temperatures up to 50 degrees Celsius to destroy the sweat glands in certain areas.

“When we destroy that gland in those areas— hands, underarms, feet— then they decrease,” Ramirez said.

Ramirez said it takes about two to three different visits for the treatment to be sufficient, however, patients often see a noticeable difference after the first treatment.

“One young lady with very, very sweaty feet, the day we treated her it was dripping and by the time we were done, you could run your hand through it and it was dry,” Ramirez said.

Around 20 patients have been treated for the condition so far, with primary candidates being anyone from 13 up into adulthood, Ramirez said. Patients don’t necessarily have to have hyperhidrosis either.

“It could be excessive or it could be ‘I just have my underarm sweat’,” Ramirez said. “Not everyone that has sweaty underarms has hyperhidrosis, but they still want to be treated and that’s okay, too.”

With the recent addition of a new instrument that targets sweat glands through radio-frequency energy in the body’s tissue and stays in the tissue, rather than having to travel through the body, Ramirez said the practice is becoming more efficient and safe, as well.

“We take pride in that here in Ardmore,” Ramirez said. “I mean, we’ve come up with some state-of-the-art, ahead of the curve things that you really can’t find anywhere else.”