Botox > Excessive Sweating


 
Excessive Sweating Treatment (Hyperhidrosis):

This page is intended for patients who have been recommended or prescribed BOTOX® and explains what BOTOX® is and how it is used for treating axillary hyperhidrosis. If you have any questions or are not sure about any part of this treatment, please contact Dr Julie.

What is hyperhidrosis?
Hyperhidrosis means excessive sweating. Sweating is one of the most important ways in which the body looses heat; however, people with hyperhidrosis produce sweat in amounts far greater than needed to control their temperature.  

There are two main types of hyperhidrosis:

  1. Focal hyperhidrosis is the more common type involving excessive sweating on the feet, hands, and, in about 30-40% of cases, the armpits. The face may also be affected, but less often. Even less common is gustatory hyperhidrosis, when sweating on the face is triggered by hot or spicy food. BOTOX® is recommended for the treatment of focal hyperhidrosis affecting the armpits (axillary hyperhidrosis) when other treatments have not worked.
  2. Generalised hyperhydrosis affects the whole body. It is much less common and is usually caused by another illness such as an infection, diabetes or when the thyroid gland is overactive. The excessive sweating usually stops when the illness is treated.


How common is hyperhidrosis?
It has been estimated that up to 1% of the population has some form of hyperhidrosis. It usually starts during the teens and twenties.

What are the causes of hyperhidrosis?
It is not known why some people are affected and others are not. About 1/3 to 1/2 of people with hyperhidrosis have a relative with a similar problem, suggesting that there may be a genetic cause. Hyperhidrosis is caused by overactivity of one type of sweat gland, the eccrine gland. These glands are found virtually all over the body surface but they are concentrated on the palms of the hands, the soles of the feet and in the armpits.

Many things can trigger normal sweating and this is also true for hyperhidrosis- it is just the amount of sweating that is excessive in hyperhidrosis:
- exercise
- heat or cold
- alcohol, coffee or tea, smoking, hot or spicy food
- stress, anxiety or strong emotions
- certain times of day

People with hyperhidrosis can produce large volumes of sweat. This means that the hands, feet, chest or armpits, depending on which part of the body has been affected may be constantly damp. This may make normal everyday activities more difficult to carry out and it can cause embarrassment at work or socially. However, it is not true that hyperhidrosis causes body odour: the smell that some people think is due to sweating is in fact caused by bacteria if sweat remains there for a long time.


What can I do about hyperhidrosis? 
Simple self-help measures you can take include:

  • Choose clothing that will keep you cool. Natural fibres are cool but they absorb sweat and can remain damp; some synthetic fibres are warm but they draw sweat away from the body and feel dry. Consider having a change of clothing available during the day.
  • Keep your work environment cool and well aired.
  • Avoid the food and drinks that trigger sweating. These will be different for everyone but you will probably know what causes problems for you.
  • Reduce stress, tension and anxiety. These are common problems for everyone, though people with hyperhidrosis have the extra difficulties of coping with sweating. Think about how you can reduce stress during the day, plan your activities carefully and make time to relax.
  • Pay attention to personal hygiene. Odour can be reduced by taking frequent showers. Although this will not be convenient for people who constantly sweat it is an effective and simple measure to take.

 


 
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