The body’s natural mechanism for cooling itself is to sweat. For some, this function is overactive — so much so that they may sweat four or five times more than is necessary, or normal. This may be evident through constant large sweat patches on clothing, leaving behind moist marks and so on.
If you sweat to this extreme, we know it can be embarrassing, uncomfortable, anxiety-inducing, and disabling. It can disrupt all aspects of a person's life, from career choices and recreational activities to relationships, emotional well-being, and self-image.
Excessive sweating is a serious medical condition - it's called hyperhidrosis and it afflicts millions of people around the world. Despite the large number of people affected, there is a lack of awareness about the condition. Because of this, many are never diagnosed or treated for their symptoms.
There are several types of treatment for hyperhidrosis:
- The first is a 20% topical Aluminium hexahydrate (driclor, applied like a roll-on deodorant).
- Second, iontophoresis (a non-invasive device) can be a good option for those who are prepared to have regular sessions with the iontophoresis units on the affected areas.
- A sweat gland-paralysing injection of solution (BTX) to affected areas.
- For the axilla (The space below the shoulder through which vessels and nerves enter and leave the upper arm; armpit), surgery is an option either to the local sweat glands or to the nerves that supply them.
Surgery can be a big step for many people, so if you don’t want to have this procedure and haven’t found topical applications helpful, then the injections of a solution (BTX) that targets the sweat glands could be a good option. These injections last between approximately six to 12 months, depending on the individual.
If you have primary hyperhidrosis the government may assist with the cost of the above injections if the 20% aluminium (driclor six-week trial) wasn’t successful.
The last option is for a consultation with a vascular surgeon, who may discuss a procedure called laparoscopic sympathectomy, particularly if you need treatment for your hands. This surgery however is a major procedure, and shouldn’t be considered lightly, and only applies to very specific cases. In addition, there is also a 20% chance that after having this procedure, you will experience compensatory hyperhidrosis in other areas, e.g. the trunk. Hence we strongly recommend exhausting other options before considering this procedure.
Please contact us for more information or to make an appointment with one of our Dermatologists. Phone us on (07) 5597 7170 or email [email protected].