Excessive Sweating


Hyperhidrosis may be defined as excessive sweating, beyond a level required to maintain normal body temperature in response to heat exposure or exercise. Hyperhidrosis can be classified as either primary or secondary. Primary hyperhidrosis is idiopathic in nature, typically involving the hands (palmar), feet (plantar), or axillae. Secondary hyperhidrosis can result from a variety of drugs, such as tricyclic antidepressants, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), or underlying diseases/conditions, such as febrile diseases, diabetes mellitus, anxiety or menopause. Gustatory hyperhidrosis is an unusual iatrogenic cause of facial hyperhidrosis in response to hot or spicy foods, resulting from surgery to the parotid gland and subsequent aberrant regenerating parasympathetic fibers.

The consequences of hyperhidrosis are primarily psychosocial in nature. Excessive sweating may be socially embarrassing or may interfere with certain professions. For example, palmar hyperhidrosis may preclude art work, working with electrical components, or playing certain musical instruments. In addition, hyperhidrosis may lead to a need for several changes of clothing a day; excessive sweating may also result in staining of clothing or shoes.

Plan your treatment

The consultation

The Surgeon will help the patient to reach a decision re: treatment. The options are:

1 – Armpit skin resection and gland debulking. also known as open adenectomy:

It is a surgical procedure that is often done under local anaesthetic and sedation, involves removal of an ellipse of skin and sweat gland from the armpit. It produces a 4cm scar in the hair bearing skin in the axilla and gives a long lasting result

2 – Antiwrinkle Injections:

Sweat glands require a nerve impulse to activate. Without this stimulation, they won’t secrete. By applying antiwrinkle injections to problem areas such as underarms, hands and feet, the related nerve impulse is temporarily relaxed and prevented from reaching the sweat gland. This, in turn, stops sweat production in the treated area. The treatment is as simple as it sounds. All patients report a substantial decrease in sweating within two days. Better still, many patients don’t sweat at all following treatment. Repeat treatment is usually recommended within 3-6 months. An injection into the armpits and hands has been shown to be very successful. Good results may be obtained after a single injection session and may last three to six months. The effect of the injection may take up to 21 days to work. In rare cases, some patients may need a repeat injection within four weeks if there has been little response.

After Treatment

Patient will be going home with minimal discomfort, simple analgesic will be sufficient to control the pain.

Getting you back to work and normal activities

You are able to go back to work the day after surgery as long as it does not require heavy duty work or stretching the arms above the shoulders

Back to full normal activities in 7 days time

Read more about antiwrinkle injections for excessive sweating

Do antiwrinkle injections hurt?

A small disposable syringe with a micro needle is used. When treating the armpits, most patients find the injections only cause mild, temporary discomfort. Local anaesthesia is required for the hands and feet treatments.

How will the area look after treatment?

Immediately after the injections there may be mild swelling which usually subsides within 24-48 hours. Application of cold (i.e. ice pack) for a few hours after treatment will help reduce any swelling.

Side effects of this treatment are rare. The most common are slight discomfort, redness, swelling and mild bruising, which usually last between 24 and 48 hours. If you are pregnant or breast feeding, if you suffer from neurologic conditions (myasthenia gravis, myopathies), or if you are taking medications like Ca Blockers or Quinolone Antibiotics (Ciprofloxacin, Ofloxacin, etc.), the treatment is not recommended.

How many treatments will I need?

Repeat treatments are usually needed every 3-4 months over a twelve month period. Clinical trials report that some patients, who have had treatment over 12 months, are requiring further treatments only twice per year. Please note it takes up to 21 days for the antiwrinkle injections to work.