Dr. Carl Swartling, dermatologist and sweating specialist, recently was a guest on the podcast “Sick Facts” where he had the chance to talk about excessive sweating, hyperhidrosis and foul-smelling sweating, bromhidrosis.
He talked about how he was involved in developing botox as a treatment for hyperhidrosis. Before that, mostly iontophoresis was used, but also the operation called sympathectomy where you cut or put clips on nerves that are connected to the sweat glands. However, sympathectomies were associated with several serious side effects and risks such as severe compensatory sweating and they are no longer performed in Sweden.
Dr. Carl Swartling has been helping patients with hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating) for years
Dr. Swartling, or Calle as those who know him say, is a very experienced and knowledgeable physician with great empathy for his patients. He has been involved in training the staff at, among other places, the Sweat Clinic at the Karolinska Hospital in Stockholm. He has in many ways contributed to research on hyperhidrosis and can be considered a leading when it comes to the treatment of, for example, multifocal hyperhidrosis.
Listening to Calle as he, with passion, talks about his patients and possible treatments is a joy. However, it strikes me after a while that I still today have such a hard time understanding why it is so difficult to raise awareness about sweat problems and to reach out to the general public and healthcare professionals with this information.
We at Hidroxa often receive emails from people around the world who have just realized that hyperhidrosis or other sweating problems are medical conditions that can be treated. We also get a lot of emails where people write that they are skeptical towards iontophoresis or botox as treatment methods. They have tested “everything” so why would this work? Finally, we also receive many emails from people who have tested iontophoresis and who are shocked that it actually works. “Why did I not know this 10 years ago?”
It is so difficult to understand that despite the internet and all the knowledge that is there a google search away, the knowledge about sweat problems among the general public, patients and healthcare professionals is still very low.
I guess it’s an element of healthy skepticism and source criticism. We are constantly fed with lots of ads that promise us miracles, that cost the shirt and that do not make anyone happier. When you are a company that sells a machine “that uses electricity and water to get rid of sweating”, it is perhaps not so strange that you quickly become lumped together with TV shop and other dubious information channels.
It is sometimes very frustrating to know that you have knowledge and a form of treatment that can help many, but the information does not reach them or it does reach but appears so unserious and unbelievable that it is dismissed.
This is something that we at Hidroxa work with all the time.
Thank you Calle for being such a great doctor, who cares about your patients. Thank you for everything you have done for hyperhidrosis healthcare. We at Hidroxa continue to struggle with spread knowledge about hyperhidrosis and iontophoresis.