We all sweat – it’s a natural bodily function and actually a very important one: we need to sweat to regulate body temperature. Sweat glands are concentrated in the palms, soles of your feet and under the armpits. Sweating is how the body cools itself when it gets too hot; for example, when you’re exercising, sick or really nervous. However, some of us sweat much more than is needed…
Hyperhidrosis refers to abnormally excessive sweating. In people with Hyperhidrosis, the nerves that signal the sweat glands are overactive, producing sweat that you don’t need, at times and places where other people wouldn’t. Research shows that nearly 5% of the world’s population suffer from Hyperhidrosis – that’s 365 MILLION people!!!
For many people with Hyperhidrosis, controlling symptoms can be a constant challenge; symptoms also range widely in their severity and can have a huge impact on your life! “Excessive sweating can significantly affect a person’s life”, says Dermatologist Lori Fiessinger, MD. “It can be embarrassing and socially isolating, and many people find the condition quite upsetting”. You may sweat so much that it soaks through your clothes or drips off your hands. Excessive sweating may also lead to:
- Chaffing, itching, dermatitis and inflammation, when sweat irritates the affected area;
- Body odour, when bacteria on the skin mixes with sweat particles;
- Stains and marks on clothing from the residue of sweat, bacteria and deodorants;
- Skin changes, such as paleness or other discolouration, cracks and wrinkles;
- Maceration (unusually soft or disintegrating skin) on the soles of your feet.
A long time ago, Hyperhidrosis was typically treated with surgery, which involved cutting the nerves that trigger sweating. Nowadays, however, Botulinumtoxin A (more typically known as Anti-Wrinkle Injections) is used to treat excessive sweating.
Botulinumtoxin A injections can be very effective in treating underarm sweating by blocking the nerves responsible for activating your sweat glands. When the sweat glands don’t receive the chemical signals, the severe sweating stops. One study found a 90% decrease in sweat production 2 weeks after the procedure!
The treatment starts with a ‘starch-iodine test’, where your practitioner applies an iodine solution to the sweaty area and sprinkles starch over the iodine solution. Where you have excessive sweating, the solution turns black. This allows the practitioner to target the sweat glands. The Botulinumtoxin A is then injected in the skin of the armpit superficially.
Although the injections may be moderately uncomfortable, no local anaesthesia is needed. There is no downtime after the treatment and the effects can last up to 7 months!
So don’t sweat over this problem – come and see us today!