HYPERHIDROSIS (EXCESS SWEATING)
What is hyperhidrosis?
Hyperhidrosis is excessive sweating secondary to overactive sweat glands and primarily occurs in the axilla (underarms), palms of the hands and soles of the feet but can also affect the whole body. In affected individuals increased sweating occurs without the normal stimuli such as exercise, anxiety or rise in body temperature and occurs in abnormally high amounts throughout the day.
Hyperhidrosis can be caused by a number of medical conditions including thyroid disease, medications, diabetes, infections and menopause.
It is important to exclude an underlying cause for hyperhidrosis prior to embarking on any treatment regime, Dr Kate is trained in the assessment and treatment of this condition and will determine the need for further investigation on an individual basis.
Primary hyperhidrosis for which there is no underlying medical cause affects a significant number of the population. This condition is embarrassing, uncomfortable and socially limiting to those who are affected. Primary hyperhidrosis can be effectively treated in a number of ways with the injection of muscle relaxants being a safe, effective and non-surgical option.
The use of muscle relaxing injections, which are the same as those used as wrinkle relaxers, actually work to block the excretion of sweat from the sweat glands and hence relieve the distress of hyperhidrosis.
What is involved in the procedure?
Prior to performing treatment the area is covered with iodine and a corn starch powder which shows up the exact area where the excess sweat glands are located. This area is then marked and cleaned and a topical numbing cream is applied to the treatment area. The use of the anaesthetic cream results in a virtually painless procedure.
The treatment involves the injection of small amounts of muscle relaxant (Botulinim toxin) to the affected site, usually 15-20 injections, with the entire procedure taking approximately 30 to 45 minutes. There is no associated down time and people can return to their normal activities. It is advised to avoid any strenuous or heat inducing activities immediately after and to avoid the use of topical antiperspirant products.
Are there any side effects?
Side effects are minimal and may include mild pain or stinging during and after the procedure. Some people may feel a subjective increase in sweating from other areas in the first few days following treatment.
Treatment with muscle relaxant injections for hyperhidrosis is not a suitable treatment for those with particular allergies, neuromuscular disorders and pregnant/breastfeeding women.
How long does the treatment last?
Depending on client's response to the injections, the treatment may last anywhere between 6 to 12 months. You will start to notice a reduction in sweating within two weeks of treatment with the maximal result after about 4 weeks.