Hyperhidrosis / Excessive Sweating
Hyperhidrosis, or excessive sweating, is a common condition affecting 1-2% of the population. There are two types of Hyperhidrosis. Primary Hyperhidrosis typically starts in childhood or early teens and no cause is found for it. Secondary Hyperhidrosis usually begins later in life and is due to an underlying health condition such as diabetes, thyroid disease, menopause, anxiety, gout, rheumatoid arthritis and some medications. Identifying and treating the underlying cause in Secondary Hyperhidrosis often improves the sweating.
Treatments for Hyperhidrosis will depend on whether the sweating is localised to a few areas - such as underarms, face, palms, soles - or whether it is more generalised, affecting most of the body.
Treatments for excessive sweating include:
Anti-cholinergic medications (available as tablets in the UK, and as a skin wipe in the USA)
Iontophoresis (a low intensity electrical current treatment)
Anti-anxiety medications to manage stress that may cause sweating
Botox injections for underarm and face / scalp sweating
Surgery to remove the sweat glands under the arms, or a thoracic sympathectomy (cutting the main nerve to the underarm sweat glands)
Stafford Skincare - Lichfield offers two options when attending the Clinic. If this is the first time that you have sought help for excess sweating - it is best to arrange a Dermatology Consultation. A Dermatology Consultation will help decide if you have Primary or Secondary Hyperhidrosis, and to arrange tests if necessary. Please click here to arrange a Dermatology Consultation.
Alternatively, if you have previously had a consultation with another dermatologist or your GP and have already been diagnosed with Primary Hyperhidrosis (no underlying cause identified for the excessive sweating), the second option is to book an appointment to discuss the treatment options for Hyperhidrosis. The discussion will provide more information about all the above treatments, including Botox injections.
Treatment with Botox is very simple. An anaesthetic cream is applied to numb the skin, following which Botox is injected in to the skin using very fine needles. It is relatively painless. It normally takes about 1 - 2 weeks for the full effects to kick in. For most people, the reduction in sweating lasts between 6 - 12 months. Occasionally people may develop a tiny bruise after treatment, or the area may feel itchy. A rare complication is "Compensatory Hyperhidrosis". This is where the palms of the hands become sweatier after treating the armpits. It is advised to avoid strenuous exercise or excessive alcohol for 24 hours after treatment. Exclusions for Botox treatment include pregnancy and breast feeding, certain diseases of the nerves and muscles and a few drugs. These will all be discussed at the first visit. Botox treatments are only available for people aged 18 years and over.