Hyperhydrosis

What is Hyperhydrosis?

Hyperhidrosis means “excessive sweating”. Sweating is one of the most important ways in which the body loses heat, however, people with hyperhidrosis produce sweat in amounts far greater than needed to control their temperature.

There are two main types of Hyperhidrosis:
Focal Hyperhidrosis: is the more common type involving excessive sweating in the armpits/ underarms and on the feet & hands.
Generalized Hyperhidrosis: affects the whole body. It is much less common and is usually caused by another illness such as an infection, diabetes or when the thyroid gland is overactive. The excessive sweating usually stops when the illness is treated.

What factors make the sweating worse?

  • Anxiety – can exacerbate the situation for many sufferers. A common complaint of patients is that they sweat because they get nervous.
  • Certain foods & drinks
  • Nicotine
  • Caffeine
  • Smells can trigger a response too.

What are the social effects of Hyperhydrosis?

Excessive sweating impedes the performance of many routine activities. Things like driving, taking tests and simply grasping objects are severely hampered by sweaty hands. In addition, many careers present challenges for hyperhidrosis sufferers, such as for cook/chefs, doctors, and people working with computers. However, it is the social embarrassment that most hyperhidrosis sufferers find most troubling.

Some people also suffer from excessive sweating from the forehead/ face. This makes them look and appear nervous, gives away their anxiety when they meet someone new or have to make a presentation.

What are the treatment options available?

  • Topical agents such as aluminum chloride in ethyl alcohol may be indicated for axillary sweating.
  • Short-term courses of Anticholinergic drugs are also useful in severely afflicted patients but the side effects of dry mouth, drowsiness and constipation may frequently occur.
  • Super-antiperspirants may be of some help. These are essentially super strength formulas of regular underarm antiperspirants. The active ingredient, aluminium chloride, actually reduces the sweat output (unlike deodorants, which just deal with odour).
  • Relaxation: Relaxation techniques have been tried with limited success.
  • Percutaneous Sympathectomy: A minimally invasive procedure in which the sympathectomy nerve is blocked by an injection of phenol.
  • Talc/Baby Powder: After a while the powder may become a messy white coating on the place of application.
  • Acupuncture

Treatment options at Kosmoderma?

  • Iontophoresis – The affected area is placed in a device that has two pails of water with a conductor in each one. The hand or foot acts like a conductor between the positively- and negatively-charged pails. As the low current passes through the area, the minerals in the water clog the sweat glands, limiting the amount of sweat released.
  • Botox – Today, there’s a safe, effective treatment that has very little risk or any significant side effects. This treatment uses muscle-relaxing injections.

How does Botox work?

The treatment involves the injection of tiny amounts of muscle relaxant / Botox in a grid pattern over the affected skin. There is a small amount of discomfort during the treatment, but no anaesthetic is required. The effect lasts from 4-9 months depending on the site of injections.

What are the benefits of Botox?

  • The treatment becomes effective within several days, leading to a significant reduction in the amount of sweating – Underarms, Palms & Soles
  • The improvement can last around four to nine months.
  • The treatment can be repeated as often as necessary.
  • There is no downtime
  • Easily accessible

There are many simple options available today to control excessive sweating.

Consult our dermatologist and have your condition evaluated. Ask the dermatologist about the use of Botox if you are not already using it for facial, underarm & palmar sweating.