Hyperhidrosis is the medical term for excessive sweating. Without proper treatment, Hyperhidrosis can have a great impact on a sufferer’s quality of life.
While not a dangerous disorder, Hyperhidrosis is unpleasant and inconvenient. Fortunately, doctors are now learning much more about this condition and how to manage it.
According to Canadian statistics, it is estimated that up to 2 per cent of the Canadian population suffers from excess sweating in a particular area of the body.
1) Focal Hyperhidrosis or Primary Hyperhidrosis affects local areas such as the underarms, palms, feet and face. It is caused by a malfunction within the sympathetic nervous system that causes an over- stimulation of the nerve to release a chemical called acetylcholine which over-activates the eccrine sweat gland to produce more sweat.
2) Generalized Hyperhidrosis or Secondary Hyperhidrosis usually affects the entire body. It is caused by other conditions such as menopause, metabolic disorders, obesity, neurological disorders, drugs, or even infections.
When sweating occurs in certain places only, it is known as focal hyperhidrosis. Most often, focal hyperhidrosis affects the palms, soles of the feet, underarm and face. Underarm sweating is by far the most common with over 50% of the reported cases. When sweating occurs over the entire body, it is known as generalized hyperhidrosis, but this is less common.
Yes. There are a number of treatment options available to manage Hyperhidrosis. These range from topical preparations to surgery.
The most common ways to treat Hyperhidrosis are:
Local injections: interrupting the signal from the nerve to the sweat glands.
Topical antiperspirant treatments: They temporarily plug the sweat ducts to stop sweat from being released. The active ingredient is aluminium chloride.
Oral medication treatments: Treat the underlying conditions that trigger secondary hyperhidrosis.
Iontophoresis: consists of an application of a safe, low-intensity electric current to the affected areas. Home treatments are available.
Surgery: severing the nerves that carry messages to the sweat glands or removing the sweat glands.
It’s important to realize there is no single “right” way to treat Hyperhidrosis. Everyone is different. If you have Hyperhidrosis, you and your doctor need to discuss the option that best suits your situation. Where your hyperhidrosis occurs and how bothersome it is are all factors that have to be considered before choosing a treatment.
A consultation with Dr. Nield, who as a dermatologist , is a sweat management specialist, will help you determine the best treatment option for you.
Yes, if you are over age 18 and Dr. Nield has examined you and found you to be in otherwise good health with no underlying reasons for the excess sweating. Please feel free to call for a consult with Dr. Nield to see if this treatment is right for you.
Dr. Nield will perform a Minor starch iodine test to determine the location of the sweat and the amount of injectable needed. Multiple tiny needle pricks will be made during the treatment, which takes less than 15 minutes.
The reduction of sweat may begin within 1 to 2 weeks and can last for 7 to 12 months.
Hyperhidrosis treatment is an area of expertise, and proper diagnosis is required to ensure that you receive the most appropriate treatment.