Excessive sweating or hyperhidrosis is a condition where one sweats more than is required physiologically by the body. Sweating is used to regulate the body’s temperature. Sweating cools the body down. Sweat is produced by sweat glands which are located in the skin.
Hyperhidrosis or excessive sweating is very common. Sweating is often involuntary and causes embarrassment to the person sweating excessively. People dont get used to excessive sweating but they continue to suffer from it and it can affect them for the rest of their lives. Hyperhidrosis can cause psychological problems and impact on quality of life.
Excessive sweating sufferers are constantly aware of their sweating and try to compensate in their lifestyle to hide their sweating. This can be very disabling for their work, their social life, family life, and can cause a great emotional drain on them.
Excessive sweating not only can cause emotional issues but it can cause physical problems. Excessive sweating can cause cold, clammy hands, dehydration, skin infections due to repeated rubbing of the skin in an attempt to remove the excessive sweat.
Hyperhidrosis has some treatment options available now.
Causes of hyperhidrosis:
1. Generalized sweating – excessive sweating that affects the whole body. Generalized excessive sweating may be due to exercise, alcohol etc or generalized excessive sweating may be due to various medical conditions.
Examples of medical conditions that can cause generalized excessive sweating or hyperhidrosis are:
- Hormone imbalances such as hyperthyroidism
- Autoimmune disorders
It is advisable to consult your doctor to investigate generalized hyperhidrosis.
2. Focal excessive sweating – excessive sweating affecting one or few areas only
The most common cause of focal hyperhidrosis is primary idiopathic hyperhidrosis. Excessive sweating in primary idiopathic hyperhidrosis has no known cause. Focal hyperhidrosis rarely has other more uncommon causes such as certain neurological conditions.
Excessive sweating in primary idiopathic hyperhidrosis (i.e. excessive sweating of unknown cause) may be stimulated by emotional stress, heat, thoughts. Primary hyperhidrosis is common to run in families. Primary hyperhidrosis doesn’t occur during sleep.
Excessive sweating in primary hyperhidrosis can affect:
- Armpits – axillary hyperhidrosis
- Palms – palmar hyperhidrosis
- Feet – plantar hyperhidrosis
- Face – facial hyperhidrosis
However any area of the body could be affected by primary hyperhidrosis. Excessive sweating of the palms, feet and armpits often occurs together in primary hyperhidrosis.
Hyperhidrosis (primary) Treatment options:
- Antiperspirants e.g., aluminium chloride such as Driclor
- Tablets such as Probanthine
- Anti wrinkle injections
- Liposuction of the armpits
- Surgery – transthoracic sympathectomy but has a high rate of compensatory sweating
Excessive sweating of the armpits with antiperspirants is the mainstay of treatment as is the antiperspirant with deodorant.
Antiperspirants decrease sweating while deodorants improve odour.
Anti Wrinkle injections in the treatment of hyperhidrosis – excessive sweating
Excessive sweating can be treated with the same anti wrinkle injections that are used for cosmetic wrinkle treatments.
The most common areas that can be treated are the:
- Arm pits
- Sole of feet
However almost any area can be treated.
Hyperhidrosis – Treatment with Antiwrinkle injections – How does it work?
The anti wrinkle injections work by blocking the release of the neurotransmitter, i.e., acetylcholine, from the nerve endings, that causes the glands to produce sweat. The anti wrinkle injections are injected in to the skin to treat hyperhidrosis. Anti wrinkle injections work well for axillary hyperhidrosis. Excessive sweating is reduced within days.
This product has been used for well over 30 years. Its safety has been proven long term. Any potential side effect is almost always temporary.
The treatment of excessive sweating in the arm pit takes 20-30 minutes to perform. Treatment of other areas may take shorter or longer to perform depending on the area. It is injected with very fine needles into the area with excessive sweating or hyperhidrosis. Local or topical anaesthetic may be used. Usually no anaesthetic is required for the arm pits as there is minimal discomfort. This usually results in a dramatic reduction or total elimination of sweating in the area treated for approximately 6-12 months.
Following The Procedure
Following the procedure there is no discomfort. The area may be red or bruised. Any bruising can take a week to settle. Patients can resume normal activity straight after the procedure. The excessive sweating normally begins to reduce by the following day and works fully by 1-2 weeks.
There are a few possible side effects however they do not happen very often. Bruising and tenderness at the injection site may occur however this normally resolves after a week. Very rarely there can be an allergic reaction that can cause a flu like illness. Compensatory hyperhidrosis (increased sweating in other areas) is rare with this treatment using anti wrinkle injections and is mild and temporary if it occurs.
It should not be used in pregnancy or in people with certain neuromuscular disorders.
Filler And Wrinkle Treatment
Due to Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) laws about advertising trade names in Australia over the internet, I am unable to use the brand names of products. For more information please contact me .