Excessive sweating, or hyperhidrosis, is characterised by abnormally increased sweating, in excess of what is required to regulate body temperature. The most common areas of the body that are affected by hyperhidrosis are the hands, feet, underarms, scalp and groin due to a higher concentration of sweat glands in these areas. There are 2 types of hyperhidrosis; Primary hyperhidrosis, which is not due to any underlying medical issue and secondary hyperhidrosis, where there is an underlying medical condition causing increased sweating that needs to be investigated by a doctor. It is estimated that about 3% of the population is affected.
Effects of Excessive Sweating:
Hyperhidrosis can be socially embarrassing. Sweating stains clothing, results in foot odour and makes for a cold, wet handshake. Excessive sweating also predisposes your skin to infections, such as warts and tinea, and skin conditions, for example, eczema and skin rashes.
Lifestyle factors can help to reduce sweating and the associated odour:
- Regular bathing
- Avoiding triggers (such as spicy foods)
- Changing socks often
- Wearing clothing and footwear made of natural materials
Topical antiperspirants containing aluminium may help some people in reducing sweating. They may also assist in disguising any odours.
Iontophoresis treatment may be useful for the feet and palms. It involves using a specialised machine that passes a low-voltage current through the skin. Treatment is initially required every day and reduced over time. Iontophoresis treatment is not available at Main Street Cosmetic & Skin.
Anticholinergic medication is sometimes prescribed for those with excessive sweating; however it can have side effects such as blurred vision and dry mouth. This medication can also be delivered via iontophoresis. A script can be obtained for this medication by one of our doctors.
Injections (also used as anti-wrinkle injections) have been found to be very effective in the treatment of excessive sweating, especially for the underarms, palms and feet. The effects of these small injections usually last from 4 – 12 months. Generally minimal side effects are experienced, but may include pain at the injection site and compensatory sweating in other areas. Topical local anaesthetic or ice can be applied to the area before the procedure for the patients comfort. This is the most commonly performed treatment for hyperhidrosis at our Skin Centre.
Surgical intervention for hyperhidrosis can be considered for those who had little or no relief from other treatments. It involves the total surgical removal of the sweat glands from the area. Some of the risks include compensatory sweating and relapse.
HOW DO I GET EXPERT ADVICE AND GUIDANCE?
Book a consultation with our Cosmetic Nurse online, or call us direct on 9739 3837.