Overactive sweat glands can lead to excessive and uncontrollable sweating. The medical term for this condition is hyperhidrosis. Increased sweating can have disrupting effects on career choices, personal relationships and recreational activities, often resulting in marked stress, low self-esteem and social withdrawal due to embarrassment.
Though high temperatures and exercise can play a role in making us to sweat more, hyperhidrosis is more likely to be caused by the body’s inability to regulate temperature due to an inherited condition. Uncontrollable and excessive sweating is experienced by a large group of people world wide and can affect different parts of the body. The most disturbing impact is usually experienced by extreme sweating to hands, armpits, feet and face.
There are different approaches to control excessive sweating and a trial of conservative, non-invasive methods should be undertaken first. In case this proves non-effective, injection therapy to the area with high density of sweat producing glands might be a solution to the problem. The product applied for injection is Botulinum toxin A, which is frequently used to treat wrinkles and fine lines especially to the facial area. When injecting Botulinum toxin A, it blocks the sweat glands from producing sweat similar to blocking muscles from being able to move.
The injection treatment is usually well tolerated as this is done with an extremely fine needle and only minimal amounts of product are applied to each injection point. To reduce discomfort, topical numbing cream or ice applications can be used. After cleansing the skin (for treatment in the arm pit region, shaving of hair prior to treatment is necessary), the area to treat is identified and injection points are marked out. Into each injection point, a very small amount of toxin is injected. The procedure takes about 20 minutes with very little discomfort or bleeding. Depending on the area treated and the amount of product used, marked improvement of the localised sweating can be observed in as early as 1-2 weeks and this effect will usually last 7-9 months. Once the patient experiences an increase in sweating again, a repeat of the treatment is advised.
As with all medications, unwanted side effects are a possibility. The toxin only works locally around the injection site and is safely used for anti-wrinkle treatment in millions of clients worldwide on a daily basis. The most common side effects reported are perceived increase of sweating in other areas (due to the blocking effect experienced locally), discomfort or pain to injection sites and some mild reduction in grip strength to the hands or slight weakness to the underarm muscle area. All these symptoms are usually transient and mild and are outweighed by the significant reduction in sweating.
In summary, the benefits of treating hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating) with injections is:
- Fast treatment with little discomfort
- Remarkable reduction in sweating for up to 9 months
- Results are evident as early as one week after the treatment
- Improved self-confidence in work place or social setting
- Freedom to wear whatever you want without having to think about material, cut or colour
- Very cost effective compared to time consuming treatments with often only little or short lasting effect
To find out how you can benefit from anti-sweating treatment via injections book an appointment with Dr Dennett.