Hyperhidrosis is excessive sweating which interferes with the person’s everyday life. It’s a condition which can cause immense discomfort and embarrassment. As a result it can seriously affect the sufferer’s self-confidence and lifestyle.
Primary hyperhidrosis affects at least 1% of the population* and there is no cure.
Causes of hyperhidrosis
There are two types of hyperhidrosis, each having a different cause:
With primary hyperhidrosis the excessive sweating appears to be the result of the brain sending incorrect messages through the sympathetic nervous system to stimulate the sweat glands, even when there is no need to cool the body. Why this happens is unknown.
Primary hyperhidrosis can be a genetic condition (passed on through families) but it can also be triggered by other factors such as hormonal changes or stress.
Secondary hyperhidrosis is caused by an underlying medical condition or side effects of taking medication.
If you experience hyperhidrosis you should always speak to your doctor to rule out any underlying conditions.
Symptoms of hyperhidrosis
Sweating is a perfectly normal reaction to your body temperature rising – for example in hot weather or if you’re doing exercise. However, for people with hyperhidrosis, their body produces sweat in excess, even when their body doesn’t need to be cooled.
In the case of primary hyperhidrosis, it mainly affects the hands, feet and underarms. The face, scalp, back, neck, chest, groin, legs and buttocks can also experience excessive sweating.
Primary hyperhidrosis sufferers don’t sweat excessively when asleep, so this is a useful way of distinguishing it from other conditions such as hormonal hot flushes.
Primary hyperhidrosis affects both sides of the body equally and generally begins in childhood or adolescence.
Secondary hyperhidrosis, caused by an underlying condition or medication, tends to begin in adulthood.
It affects the body more generally (rather than in specific areas) and the sweating will usually continue even when the sufferer is asleep.
Treatments for hyperhidrosis
There are several ways to manage the effects of hyperhidrosis, although there is not currently a cure available. Some people find that the symptoms reduce as they age (although they can worsen for others).
Antiperspirants (rather than deodorants) can be effective in managing hyperhidrosis, particularly formulas containing aluminium chloride. However, care should be taken why applying them to sensitive skin, for example your forehead or groin.
Medication (usually taken in tablet form) may also help to reduce sweating. It works by blocking the nerve signals which activate the sweat glands. However, it can have side effects of blocking other nerve signals and, as a result, can cause problems such as dry mouth and constipation.
This process uses a low voltage electrical current passed through water directly into the area to be treated. This can be a helpful treatment for sweating of the hands, feet or underarms.
There are surgical options for hyperhidrosis sufferers, including removal of the sweat glands and cutting of the nerves which control sweating (although this should only be considered as a last resort).
Wearing loose fitting, cotton or linen clothing can help to keep your body naturally cool and lessen the risk of excessive sweating. You can also wear absorbent sweat shields under your clothes to contain the perspiration.
Black or white clothes will disguise sweat marks better than colourful clothing.
Avoid shoes made of synthetic materials, particularly close fitting sports shoes. Leather shoes are a good choice or sandals. Change your socks regularly and choose ones made from natural fibres such as cotton.
Some people find that they have particular triggers which can worsen the condition and, therefore, can be avoided. Typical triggers include alcohol, caffeine, spicy food and strong smelling food.
Avoid harsh soaps and instead use emollient washes and creams.
Stress is often a contributing factor. Seeking help in managing your stress, for example through counselling or relaxation exercises, can lessen hyperhidrosis attacks.
To help manage the symptoms of hyperhidrosis we offer botox injections. Botox works by reducing the nerves’ ability to send messages to the sweat glands, thereby significantly reducing the production of sweat. This is effective for primary hyperhidrosis sufferers. For those with secondary hyperhidrosis, treatment results can vary. Our practitioners will thoroughly assess treatment suitability during your consultation.
Our botox treatment can be used to manage excessive sweating of the underarms, hands, feet, upper face and groin.
Botox isn’t a cure for hyperhidrosis, and regular treatments (usually every three to six months) will be required to maintain the benefits. However, it is a safe and effective way of managing the condition.
I have suffered from underarm hyperhidrosis for about 11 years, during this time I have searched in desperation for some relief from this condition, trying everything from aluminium chloride deodorants and iontophoresis to surgery.
I also suffered an extremely painful and ineffective treatment of botox from what was obviously an inappropriately trained practitioner. After having exhausted all available treatments I resigned myself to living with this condition.
Melior Clinics was introduced to me purely by chance and after having the opportunity to discuss at length my previous botox treatment and learn that the discomfort and results I experienced were not normal, I went ahead with a further treatment.
The results have changed my life! I am now able to enjoy life without the constant embarrassment and anxiety this condition brings. I am free to wear the clothes I want to rather than those that disguise the problem and as a result I have developed a new hobby – clothes shopping!
Without the support, compassion and extreme patience of Dr Beazleigh I may never have given this treatment a second chance!
JT from London
Can teenagers have botox for hyperhidrosis?
Hyperhidrosis often starts in adolescence. We offer our botox treatment for hyperhidrosis to patients over the age of 18, or 16 and older with the consent of their parent/guardian.
Where can I find more information?
If you suffer from prolonged excessive sweating then you should visit your doctor to check for any underlying conditions and to review the treatment available to you. Helpful support information is available through Hyperhidrosis UK.
For children and teenagers, the International Hyperhidrosis Society has set up the sweat-o-meter website to provide advice and support.
Can botox be used to treat hyperhidrosis for amputees?
Hyperhidrosis is a common problem affecting the residual limb for amputees. Our botox treatment can be used to reduce sweating and every care will be taken to minimise any pain or discomfort from the injections.
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What our patients say
Thank you to our wonderful patients for these kind words
I’m absolutely thrilled with the results – the transformation is incredible. I just wish I’d had this done ages ago. Fantastic!
The results have changed my life! I am now able to enjoy life without the constant embarrassment and anxiety [hyperhidrosis] brings.
My face looks amazing :))
… I’m extremely thankful to Dr Timothy Beazleigh who carried out the [treatment for migraines] as I have felt so well since.
I am delighted with the result of my treatment – it’s even better than I dared to hope for.