Hyperhidrosis means excessive sweating. It is a condition in which the body sweats excessively in areas where there is a high concentration of sweat glands such as the hands, feet, armpits and the groin area.
Excessive sweating can occur when temperatures are cooler or at rest, but is typically worsened in the summer when the temperature rises slightly or by periods of activity and exercise.
Sweating is an important biological function, which enables the body to lose 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 on the feet, hands and, in about 30–40% of cases, the armpits. Botox® is recommended for the treatment of focal hyperhidrosis affecting the armpits (axillary hyperhidrosis) when other treatments have not worked.
Generalised hyperhidrosis affects the whole body. This 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.
To help manage hyperhidrosis, the first agents to try are topical products that can help to absorb the excess sweat, such as talcum powder and cornstarch powder (e.g. Zeasorb®). These are usually only helpful in mild cases.
Stronger antiperspirants containing aluminium chloride e.g. Driclor ® and AnHydrolForte® can be used for armpits, hands and feet.
They are applied 2-3 times a week at night and washed off in the morning to avoid damage to clothes.
Application can be effective especially for underarm sweating. However, they can cause the skin to become irritated over time.
BOTULINUM TOXIN INJECTIONS
Botulinum toxin injections provide an effective treatment for hyperhidrosis in many people.
Treatment involves injecting small doses of the same agents used to aid skin wrinkles into the skin of the affected areas.
They work by blocking the action of nerves that supply the eccrine (sweat) glands. This stops the glands from producing sweat.
Treatment totally blocks the nerve ending for about 6-12 weeks, but then new nerve endings start to form.
This means the effects of the treatment of hyperhidrosis lasts for several months but will eventually wear off.
It is estimated that 2 - 3% of the population suffers from hyperhidrosis (roughly 1 million people), with less than 40% of those affected seeking medical advice.
Excessive sweating is a common problem that can be solved easily, leaving you with dry, soft skin regardless of the heat.
Many things can trigger normal sweating and this is also true for hyperhidrosis – it’s just the amount of sweating that varies.
Examples of triggers include:
Exercise/heat or cold/ alcohol,/coffee or tea/smoking/hot or spicy food
Stress/ anxiety or strong emotions/ certain times of the day
If you have hyperhidrosis, you may produce a large volume of sweat. This means that your hands, feet, chest or armpits (depending on which part of the body is affected) may be constantly damp. This can make normal everyday activities more difficult to carry out and it may be causing you embarrassment at work or socially.
It is not true that hyperhidrosis causes body odour – the smell that some people think is due to sweating is in fact caused by bacteria if sweat remains on the skin for a long time.
Find the answers to your questions about excessive sweating treatments with Hampstead Aesthetics.
If you would like to find out more, simply contact us for further information.
What is Botox® and how does it work?
What happens during treatment?
How long does the treatment take?
A course of treatment takes about 30 minutes.
How quickly does it work and how long will the effects last?
You should notice some change for the better within a week of your treatment.
How much does Botox® treatment for hyperhidrosis cost?
Are there any side effects?
How long does it take to work?
Most patients notice some positive changes within the first week after treatment. The effects usually last between 4-7 months.
What will your Hyperhidrosis Treatment consist of at Hampstead Aesthetics?
What can I do about hyperhidrosis?
There are several simple self-help measures that may make a difference to your hyperhidrosis. These are: