The actual cost of living with hyperhidrosis – excessive sweating -- can be staggering. When living with this condition, many people spend copious amounts of money trying to manage – and hide – the embarrassing outcomes of excessive sweating.
When you consider how much money you spend managing excessive sweating, it might make sense to invest in treatments. Insurance may not cover hyperhidrosis treatment in all cases, so many who suffer from hyperhidrosis weigh out-of-pocket costs against the costs of living with the condition.
Here is a look at the most common costs associated with hyperhidrosis.
Costs of Living with Hyperhidrosis
Excessive sweating costs more money than you might imagine. Consider these common, and sometimes hidden, expenses:
- Dry cleaning fees and/or laundering products to remove sweat stains from clothing.
- Replacement clothing, shoes and accessories damaged by sweat stains and odor. This may include shirts, pants, undergarments, shoes, socks, uniforms, hats, scarves, etc.
- Over-the-counter treatments such as extra strength antiperspirants, antifungal products, and deodorant powders.
- Prescription antiperspirants when over-the-counter products are no longer effective.
- Specialized clothing, pads, shields, towels, etc., to control, absorb or hide sweat.
- Replacement of damaged goods such as smartphones, computer keyboards, mouse, tablets, musical instruments, leather goods, furniture... just to name a few.
- Loss of income due to job loss or limited job prospects.
- Lost wages to go to medical appointments and/or treatments.
Average Cost of Hyperhidrosis Treatments
There are many products and treatments available to help combat sweating. We’ve compiled a list of the most common hyperhidrosis solutions and the average U.S. costs for each.
Over-the-Counter Topical Treatments
Most over-the-counter treatments for excessive sweating come in the form of antiperspirants containing aluminum chloride to block sweat. Besides the underarms, these products can be applied to many areas of the body. Results vary from person to person. In general, these treatments range in price from $8 to $20 depending on the size and strength of the product. They are not covered by health insurance.
Prescription Strength Topical Treatments
Topical glycopyrrolate requires a prescription, which must be filled at a compounding pharmacy. It can be used on the face, hands, feet, and underarms. The cost of glycopyrrolate cream is $15-$65, and it is usually covered by health insurance.
Glycopyrrolate and oxybutynin are the most common oral medications for hyperhidrosis. They are typically used to treat excessive sweating of the hands, feet and underarms. The cost of glycopyrrolate and oxybutynin range from $4 to $20, and health insurance coverage varies.
Botox injections can prevent the activation of sweat glands on the hands, feet and underarms. The treatment is not permanent and may require additional injections as the efficacy diminishes. Botox treatment for excessive sweating costs approximately $1,000 for both underarms, and it is often covered by health insurance.
Endoscopic Thoracic Sympathectomy
Endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy (ETS) is a permanent, yet risky surgery to treat excessive sweating. It is usually performed on the hands, feet, head, and underarms. While the procedure ends perspiration in key areas, it may result in compensatory sweating to other areas of the body. ETS surgery costs range between $10,000-$20,000 (excluding anesthesia and medications). Endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy is covered by health insurance if other treatments have failed.
MiraDry is a nonsurgical hyperhidrosis treatment that permanently destroys sweat cells using microwave technology. It is FDA-cleared to treat underarm sweating and odor, and usually only requires one treatment. The cost of MiraDry treatment is between $2,000-$3,000, on average. At this time, the MiraDry procedure is not covered by health insurance in most cases.
Sweat Blocking Undergarments
Specialized undergarments, such as Ejis sweat proof basics, are designed to keep sweat from reaching clothing and shoes. Some products also contain embedded silver to fight odor-causing bacteria. Sweat proof apparel allows you to dress with confidence without worrying about staining, wet marks, or odor. Sweat proof undershirt prices vary depending on the brand, ranging from $15-$36.Is Hyperhidrosis Treatment Covered by Insurance?
As we’ve discussed, hyperhidrosis treatments are covered by insurance in many cases, but not all. It depends on your insurance provider, of course, so you’ll want to discuss treatment options with your physician and your healthcare plan provider.
The International Hyperhidrosis Society keeps a list of insurance companies that cover hyperhidrosis treatments.
Your physician may be able to help get your insurance provider to cover hyperhidrosis treatments by submitting a hyperhidrosis pre-authorization request and a letter of medical necessity. Talk to your doctor about these options when considering treatment.
Finding the most effective ways to live with and treat hyperhidrosis is a process that requires patience and ingenuity. It’s an individualized journey for each person with overzealous sweat glands. Fortunately, there are ways to prevent the appearance of excessive sweating without breaking the bank, or requiring invasive medical treatments. Read our blog articles to learn more about laundering sweat-stained clothes, how to properly apply antiperspirant, and more.