Excessive sweating (Hyperhidrosis)
Hyperhidrosis is the medical name given to excessive sweating affecting 2 – 3 % of the population. Whilst sweating is essential to protect our bodies from overheating, hyperhidrosis causes you to sweat much more than your body requires. At The Skin Hospital we are committed to helping you manage and then maintain this problem, understanding the self confidence issues this condition can cause.
Usually, hyperhidrosis occurs in people who are otherwise medically fit, but sometimes it can be linked to an underlying medical condition.
There are two main types of sweat glands in the body – eccrine glands (found mostly on the palms, soles, face and armpits), and apocrine glands (found mostly in the armpit and genital regions). Hyperhidrosis tends to occur in body areas with the highest concentration of eccrine sweat glands, but can affect any part of the body.
Treatments at The Skin Hospital
Unfortunately, there are no cures for hyperhidrosis, but there are a number of different treatment options which may help to control excessive sweating. These include:
- Avoid triggers that may start sweating; such as spicy food or caffeine.
- Wash daily.
- Wear clothing and footwear made of natural materials that can breathe, e.g. cotton.
- For foot sweating, change socks often and rotate your shoes so you don’t wear the same pair twice in a row
- Antiperspirants: these often contain the ingredient aluminium chloride hexahydrate and can be used on parts of the body other than the armpits such as the hands and feet.
- Iontophoresis: this process uses electricity to treat the sweat glands, which is usually used to treat the palms and soles. The patient places their hands or feet into a solution which has a small electric current passed through it.
- Anticholinergic tablets (glycopyrrolate): These tablets can help to reduce excess sweating, however they may have side-effects such as a dry mouth.
- Botulinum toxin (Botox): This procedure, of multiple injections of Botox uner the skin,can be particularly useful for treatment of the underarms. This treatment usually lasts several months before needing to be repeated.
- As a last resort, a surgical procedure can be performed. This surgery cuts the nerves that stimulate the sweat glands. After discussing this procedure with your doctor and it is thought that this is the most appropriate way forward, then a referral to a specialist surgeon can be made.
The Skin Hospital runs a speciality clinic dedicated to the treatment of acne at Darlinghurst run by Dr Elizabeth Willsteed. If you would like to find out more about this speciality clinic please contact us.
|Dr Elizabeth Willsteed|
If you would like further information on hyperhidrosis the below sites provide more in-depth descriptions of this skin condition:
Additionally, there are also patient support groups, which may be helpful for sufferers and their families: