Excessive Sweating – ‘Hyperhidrosis’
No more worrying about staining your clothes and body odour. No more restrictions on which colors and materials you can wear.
This is a surprisingly common problem yet it is undertreated because of lack of awareness and its embarrassing nature. Even simply shaking hands can become uncomfortable, making business and day-to-day life a problem.
- From £400 to £450
What is hyperhidrosis?
Hyperhidrosis means excess sweating. There are 2 main types of hyperhidrosis:
- Focal hyperhidrosis is the more common type (millions of people suffer from this) involving excessive sweating on the feet, hands, armpits and occasionally the face.
- Generalised hyperhidrosis is less common.
Is it painful?
The needles used are very fine so most people experience only mild discomfort. It is uncommon for pain relief to be required. A local anaesthetic may be used when treating the palms however as they are much more sensitive: this usually wears off in less than an hour.
How quickly will I notice an effect?
You should notice some change for the better within a week of your treatment. Different people have different responses to treatment. In a clinical trial, sweat production was reduced by 83% one week after treatment.
How long will the treatment last?
Usually between 4-7 months.
What are the possible side-effects?
Side-effects are rare, but a small number of patients experience an increase in sweating in another part of the body. This can also be controlled. Since the injection is made only into the skin, the effects of Botox will be limited to the nerves supplying the sweat glands. Occasionally, a very small amount of Botox may spread out from the injection site and affect a nearby nerve that supplies a muscle. Mild weakness of the arms may be experienced if this happens, but this does not last and gets better quickly without any treatment.
What will happen during a treatment with Botox®?
Using a very fine needle, your doctor will inject a small amount (1-2mls per armpit) of a solution of Botox into 10-15 place spread evenly in each armpit. Sometimes a dye is used to show up the areas where sweating is greatest and where the injections should be placed.
How long does the treatment take?
Treatment time is approximately 30 minutes
How many treatments will I need?
Usually just one session is required. All patients are invited to return for a follow-up appointment 2 weeks after their treatment. Very occasionally a ‘touch-up’ treatment is required: you will not be charged for this.
What happens if I decide to stop treatment?
The effects of Botox are completely reversible. if you decide not to have any further treatment there will be no lasting change in the areas treated. Sweating will gradually return to the level it was before you started treatment.
What are the other treatments for hyperhidrosis?
- Aluminium chloride (‘Driclor’) is the active ingredient of some anti-perspirants. It is used in stronger solutions to treat hyperhidrosis. treatment consists of applying the medication overnight using a roller-ball applicator and then washing it off in the morning. The effect lasts approximately 48 hours.
- Iontophoresis is the passage of a weak electrical current through a water bath (or ‘electrogalvanic’ bath). The area affected by sweating is immersed in water and electrically charged particles (ions) block the activity of sweat glands. The effects can last for up to 12 weeks, though this is highly variable and some patients report results lasting just a few days.
- Antimuscarinic drugs reduce the activity of the nerves supplying the sweat glands. As these drugs affect the entire nervous system, side effects such as dry mouth, drowsiness and constipation can be troublesome.
- Beta-blocker drugs or anxiolytics (tranquilisers) may help if sweating is made worse by stress and feelings of anxiety.
- Relaxation, psychotherapy or acupuncture
- Surgery is usually only considered when other methods of treatment have not worked. The results are permanent but there are always risks associated with surgery and the use of general anaesthesia. A ‘sympathectomy’ means blocking or cutting the nerve supply to the sweat glands. Blocking the nerve supply lasts 1-2 years; cutting the nerve supply last is permanent.