Excessive Sweating

Excessive Sweating

Axillary Hyperhidrosis

Most people struggle to understand how much excessive sweating can impact on your life. From an inability to wear certain types or colours of clothes, to the social embarrassment of wet patches or hands. The good news is that Laser Skin Care can help with this condition.

Primary hyperhidrosis is a disorder of excessive sweating which may affect any part of the body, most commonly the axillae (armpits), palms of the hands, soles of the feet, and forehead. The condition is long-lasting and of unknown cause.

It has been realised for some time that wrinkle relaxer injections also block the sympathetic nerves which supply the sweat glands, and in the last 10 years, studies have confirmed positive outcomes in the treatment of hyperhidrosis.

How does the treatment work?

The wrinkle relaxer medication interacts with the nerves supplying the sweat glands (sympathetic nerves), blocking the release of acetylcholine, the neurotransmitter responsible for sweat gland function. This results in a reduction of sweat production for the time the medicine is active. The effectiveness of the injections in reducing sweat production is very good; a large majority of patients achieve at least a 50% reduction in sweating in the treated area.

The nerves do eventually recover, with a return of previous sweat production. The duration of the effects varies from 3 - 18 months, with the usual length of action 6 to12 months. Re-treatment may then be performed to maintain the reduction in sweating.

How is the treatment performed?

The medication is injected directly into the affected area in a series of evenly placed, small injections. In some cases, this area can be delineated more clearly by the use of a combination of iodine paint and starch applied to the skin. In many cases though, this is unnecessary, and your doctor will simply map out the area to be treated with a skin marker pen.

In the axillae some 20 or so injections are performed for each side. If desired, local anaesthetic (EMLA) cream can be applied to the skin to reduce the sensitivity prior to injection.

Is it safe?

The therapy has an excellent overall safety record. The small doses used for treatment of hyperhidrosis present no risk to the body in general.

Does it work for everyone?

To date, our doctors have had no failed responses in over 10 years of treatments. It is reported that a very small proportion of patients have pre-existing antibodies to the substance, and do not respond. Unfortunately, there is no way of identifying this small group of people beforehand.

Are there any side effects?

In the treatment of hyperhidrosis there are some possible side effects which you should be fully aware of. These include:

  • Bruising. This is temporary. Pain.
  • This passes quickly.
  • Increase in sweating in other areas (occurs in 4% of cases). Usually less problematic than in other forms of treatment for hyperhidrosis.