Hyperhidrosis; what is it, do I have it and can anything be done to help?

This medical condition is increasing in numbers as the years go on. With more and more patients getting this condition, there are more enquiries and questions of how they can manage it and what would be best thing to minimise it.

Hyperhidrosis is a medical condition that effects the sweat glands. This condition regulates more sweat than the average person in a response to cool the body down from irregulated temperatures. It is normal for the body to produce sweat and is the body’s way to cool itself down, as a result of getting hot, such as through exercise or stress. With Hyperhidrosis there isn’t any obvious reason as to why it can happen and could be linked to another medical condition or may be a side effect of a current medication the individual is taking.

So, what can I do about it?

Hyperhidrosis can be treated with Botulinum Toxin Type A; more commonly referred to as Botox, this is a brand name of Toxin and the original form of the drug produced by Allergan. This is not just a cosmetic prescription drug, however, is frequently used for facial expressions or as a muscle relaxant. This type of toxin is a protein that is produced by a bacteria called clostridium botulinum which typically causes botulism (which is now a rare infection).

Botulinum toxin, is used to help with hyperhidrosis by relaxing the muscle that regulates the body to sweat. With a few tiny injections of toxin into the prohibited site the muscles are caused to relax with stopping or minimizing acetylcholine transmission from the nerve to the muscle (roughly taking about 10 – 14 day to fully work and lasting up to 3 months). Continuing with this treatment on a regular basis, may result in the effects lasting for longer periods.

Do’s and Don’ts to help with Hyperhidrosis!

Do

  • Wear looser fitted clothing and less thicker materials to minimise the signs of sweating
  • Wear darker colours to make excess sweating less obvious
  • Have a change of clothing if excess sweating is still occurring
  • Wear socks were appropriate to absorb excess moisture and change them a few times a day
  • Try and wear different shoes day to day

Don’ts

  • Don’t wear tighter clothing or more thicker materials
  • Avoid synthetic fabrics like nylon
  • Do not wear certain shoes that cause your feet to sweat more
  • Try to not do things that makes your sweating worse ie. drinking, sports or eating spicier foods

What other things can help?

Seeing your local GP or pharmacist can always help. We highly recommend seeing them first with what recommendations they have and if any tests are needed to help solve the problem.  Pharmacists may typically recommend things like, stronger antiperspirants instead of deodorant, armpit or sweat shields to protect your clothing, foot powders to help with excess sweating and soap substitutes that are more kinder on the skin.

 

Hyperhidrosis affects more than 3% of the population. Meaning that you’re not alone and there are thousands of other that have to deal with day-to-day management of this. The average person has 2-5 million sweat glands in their body. Yes, you heard that right! Hyperhidrosis can affect thousands if not millions of these glands to over produce sweat.

This condition can affect anyone, no matter what the age and can last all of the average body’s life span. Hyperhidrosis is not characterized by constant excessive sweating, but rather a more episodic condition. This basically means that you cannot and will not sweat excessively on a constant basis 24 hours a day. It will just bring about itself for a short amount of time. Also, Hyperhidrosis cannot be affected by the weather! Hot or cold hyperhidrosis has no preference and sweating can occur and will occur at any time.

A consultation is required prior to treatment of this condition being carried out, if you would like to arrange an appointment or just require more advice on whether treatment would be suitable for yourself, please contact the practice.

Share