Overview of Excess Underarm Sweating (Hyperhydrosis)
Hyperhidrosis means excessive sweating. It can be localized or affect the whole body.
Sweating is controlled by parts of the brain, which send signals along nerves to the small sweat glands in the skin. These nerves are part of the “autonomic nervous system” which controls many unconscious body functions.
Increased sweating is a normal response to a rise in body temperature due to exercise or fever, and to emotions like anxiety. However, in certain individuals the production of sweat is abnormally high and is not associated with exercise or anxiety.
Localized Hyperhydrosis: Localized hyperhidrosis is the commonest type of hyperhidrosis. This affects certain body sites including palms, soles, armpits, face and scalp. A combination of these sites can also be affected. This type of hyperhidrosis is also called focal or primary hyperhidrosis.
Frequently Asked Questions
The cause of this type of hyperhidrosis is not known. However, there may be a genetic predisposition in certain individuals. It often begins in the teens, and tends to improve slowly as you get older.
Generalized Hyperhidrosis: Generalised hyperhidrosis (affecting the whole body) can be caused by some illnesses including infections, and by some hormonal conditions including the menopause, diabetes and an overactive thyroid gland. This type of hyperhidrosis is called secondary hyperhidrosis. Some medicines can also cause excessive sweating, including antidepressants. Sometimes no cause can be found.
Disease or irritation of part of the sympathetic nerve pathway is a rare cause of increased sweating, either generally or in localized areas (usually on one side rather than both).
Anxiety can trigger or worsen hyperhidrosis, but this does not necessarily mean that the affected person is unusually anxious or stressed.
Visible sweat, wet clothes and a clammy handshake can be embarrassing, and can interfere with work and personal relationships.
Most people suffering from Localized Hyperhidrosis are aware of their ordeal. However certain laboratory tests can be ordered by your doctor to assess which kind of hyperhidrosis you have.
Hyperhydrosis can be challenging to treat and it may take a while to find a treatment right for you.
Doctors usually recommend starting with the least invasive treatment, such as anti-perspirc ants and iontophresis If this doesn’t work, you’ll move on to treatments such as medication to block the sweat glands and surgery.
At Medaesthetics® we offer specialized treatment with Anti-wrinkle injections for people with hyperhidrosis. Around 12-20 tiny Anti-wrinkle injections are given in the affected areas of the body, such as the armpits, hands, feet or face.
The procedure takes about 30-45 minutes.
The Anti-wrinkle toxin works by blocking the signals from the brain to the sweat glands, reducing the amount of sweat that is produced. The effects of treatment usually last from six to eight months, after which time further treatment will be needed.
At Medaesthetics, we use specialized pain block modalities such as numbing cream, ice and vibrational anaesthesia device to make this procedure virtually pain free. Our patients, who have received their treatment elsewhere previously are often pleasantly surprised after having their treatment at our clinic.