In Conversation with Dermatologist Dr. Robert Strimling, MD
We spoke with Dr. Robert Strimling, MD FAAD, a board-certified dermatologist and fellowship-trained in Mohs skin cancer surgery, dermatologic plastic surgery, and cosmetic laser surgery. He specializes in Medical, Surgical, Cosmetic & Laser Dermatology at Strimling Dermatology, Laser & Vein Institute of Summerlin, Las Vegas.
Delve into our Q&A below with Dr. Strimling to learn about his motivations for entering the field of dermatology, his 30+ year career in treating and diagnosing patients, with a particular focus on his experience with hyperhidrosis patients in light of Hyperhidrosis Awareness Month.
Read on to hear his thoughts about hyperhidrosis treatment options, his recommendation for craniofacial hyperhidrosis, and what he hopes to see in the future in terms of research and development.
How did you first become interested in the field of dermatology?
I first became interested in dermatology in medical school during classroom lectures. The skin is the largest organ of the human body and our first wave of defense against the environment and pathogens. I think it’s pretty fascinating.
Could you tell us about your experience as a dermatologist in the last 30 years, especially your experience with hyperhidrosis diagnosis and treatment?
Dermatology has been a very rewarding profession and career for me over the years that has allowed me to help patients with serious medical problems, like skin cancer. It has also allowed me to help patients with various aesthetic concerns to both look and feel better about themselves. Hyperhidrosis is one of those problems that some may think is solely an aesthetic concern, but in reality, it can be quite emotionally devastating, draining, and damaging to those who suffer from this condition.
Hyperhidrosis, depending upon which areas of the body are affected, may have a variety of causes that are best diagnosed by an experienced dermatologist. Treatment of hyperhidrosis has come a long way in the past 30 years since I began my career in the field of dermatology. Many additional treatment options are now available, including topical and oral medications, botulinum toxin injections, surgery, and iontophoresis, among others.
We founded Dermadry because of our desire to help people. What was your motivation to enter the field dermatology?
Similarly to Dermadry, my motivation for entering the field of dermatology was to help people defeat their dermatologic problems and improve their health and well-being to the best of my abilities. It’s a great pleasure and motivation to be able to help people every day—it’s a very fulfilling career.
What was your first experience with hyperhidrosis (learning about it and/or diagnosing your first patient)?
My first experience with hyperhidrosis was learning about it during my dermatology training, where I met a young man who was just beginning his professional career and suffered from idiopathic palmar hyperhidrosis and extreme social anxiety, due to his affliction. Since then, I have always been motivated to seek out the best possible solutions for this not-so-uncommon problem.
What are your thoughts on tap water iontophoresis (such as Dermadry) as a treatment option for hyperhidrosis?
Learning about tap water iontophoresis even back during my early days as a dermatologist, I have always found this treatment to be highly successful for most patients. However, in those early years, quality-made and cost-effective devices were not easily found. Thankfully, now iontophoresis is more accessible, with quality devices on the market like Dermadry, which I recommend to my patients looking for a cost-effective treatment that can be done at home.
During COVID-19, many individuals who suffer craniofacial hyperhidrosis may have a difficult time with the mask. What would you recommend to those patients?
Sufferers of idiopathic craniofacial hyperhidrosis (that can be brought on or made worse from mask-wearing during COVID-19) may find topical antiperspirants and/or intralesional botulinum injections helpful.
Excessive sweating is regarded as a taboo subject, because people do not feel comfortable talking about it, even with their doctors. How does a patient usually approach you about this topic?
Although many patients initially consult with us for other reasons and/or feel uneasy initiating discussion about their excessive sweating problems, we have visible hyperhidrosis information, such as brochures and posters, in our waiting room and throughout our office for patients to peruse at their leisure and convenience. This literature encourages our patients to feel comfortable initiating conversations with us about these problems and reinforces the basic message that we are here to help in a warm and friendly environment.
November is Hyperhidrosis Awareness Month. How do you think hyperhidrosis research and understanding evolved since you first started treating patients? What would you like to see in the future?
Hyperhidrosis understanding and research have come a long way. It starts with a proper evaluation and diagnosis from an experienced and caring hyperhidrosis dermatologist. We now have a myriad of over-the-counter and prescription medications, treatments and procedures available to satisfactorily and successfully treat nearly all cases of hyperhidrosis. It all starts with a consultation—we encourage those suffering from hyperhidrosis to open up to their primary care physician or seek out an experienced dermatologist who specializes in hyperhidrosis treatment.