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What is Hyperhidrosis?
Hyperhidrosis is abnormally excessive sweating that’s not necessarily related to heat or exercise. You may sweat so much that it soaks through your clothes or drips off your hands. Besides disrupting normal daily activities, this type of heavy sweating can cause social anxiety and embarrassment. Botox—often associated with cosmetic wrinkle reduction—is also a particularly effective treatment for focal hyperhidrosis. Botox injections use botulinum toxin to block the nerve signals responsible for sweating, stopping the sweat glands from producing too much sweat.
Another treatment option for sweaty palms, feet, groin and under breasts is Botox (also known as onabotulinumtoxinA). An experienced medical professional can inject Botox into your palms to dramatically reduce sweating. Effects are lasting (about 6 months) but the injections can be painful.
The Challenge of Hyperhidrosis?
Hyperhidrosis causes your body to sweat more than it needs to, sometimes for no apparent reason. Sweating can be uncomfortable and embarrassing, which is why many people never seek help. Hyperhidrosis treatments (like special antiperspirants and high-tech therapies) offer you options. You can reduce your symptoms and regain control over your life.
In hyperhidrosis, your body’s sweat glands overact. This overactivity causes you to sweat a lot, at times and places where other people wouldn’t. Sometimes, a medical condition or emotion (like anxiety) triggers excessive sweating. For many people with hyperhidrosis, controlling symptoms can be a constant challenge
Estimates suggest between 2% and 5% of people in the U.K have hyperhidrosis. However, that number may be higher. Many people who sweat excessively don’t talk about their symptoms and never tell their healthcare provider. That makes it hard to gauge how many people hyperhidrosis affects.
Sweating is how your body cools itself when it gets too hot (when you’re exercising, sick or really nervous). Nerves tell your sweat glands to start working. In hyperhidrosis, certain sweat glands work overtime for no apparent reason, producing sweat that you don’t need.
Hyperhidrosis symptoms can range widely in their severity and impact on your life. Minor symptoms may ebb and flow over a long time. Or excessive sweating may be an everyday challenge, a constant source of frustration and insecurity.
Hyperhidrosis affects people differently. Sweat may:
- Pool under your arms or around your back.
- Soak your shirt to the point that you need to change clothes to feel comfortable.
- Bead on your cheeks or forehead.
- Dampen or drip down your hands or soak your socks.
Excessive sweating may also lead to:
- Itching and inflammation when sweat irritates the affected area.
- Body odor, when bacteria on the skin mix with sweat particles.
- Residue from combinations of sweat, bacteria and chemicals (deodorants), leaving noticeable marks on clothing.
- Skin changes, such as paleness or other discoloration, cracks or wrinkles.
- Maceration (unusually soft or disintegrating skin) on the soles of your feet.
Your symptoms may offer clues to the type of hyperhidrosis you have. Excessive sweating due to focal hyperhidrosis usually affects both sides of the body (both hands or feet). Focal hyperhidrosis doesn’t cause night sweats and doesn’t go away without treatment. People with generalized hyperhidrosis may sweat while sleeping.
Generalized hyperhidrosis makes you sweat all over. Focal hyperhidrosis mostly affects the:
- Armpits (axillary hyperhidrosis).
- Bottoms (soles) of the feet (plantar hyperhidrosis).
- Face, including the cheeks and forehead.
- Lower back.
- Undersides (palms) of the hands (palmar hyperhidrosis).
Expert Hyperhidrosis Advice
During your appointment, your doctor will ask about your medical history and symptoms. You may also need a physical exam or tests to further evaluate the cause of your condition.
If an underlying medical condition is contributing to the problem, that condition will be treated first. If no clear cause can be found, treatment focuses on controlling excessive sweating. Sometimes you may need to try a combination of treatments. And even if your sweating improves after treatment, it may recur.
Drugs used to treat hyperhidrosis include:
• Prescription antiperspirant. Your doctor may prescribe an antiperspirant with aluminum chloride (Drysol, Xerac Ac). This product can cause skin and eye irritation. It’s usually applied to the affected skin before you go to bed. Then you wash the product off when you get up, taking care to not get any in your eyes. If your skin becomes irritated, hydrocortisone cream might help.
• Prescription creams. A prescription cream that contains glycopyrrolate may help hyperhidrosis that affects the face and head.
Nerve-blocking medications. Some oral medications block the chemicals that permit certain nerves to communicate with each other. This can reduce sweating in some people. Possible side effects include dry mouth, blurred vision and bladder problems.
• Antidepressants. Some medications used for depression can also decrease sweating. In addition, they may help decrease the anxiety that worsens the hyperhidrosis.
• Botulinum toxin injections. Treatment with botulinum toxin (Botox, Myobloc, others) temporarily blocks the nerves that cause sweating. Your skin will be iced or anesthetized first. Each affected area of your body will need several injections. The effects last six to 12 months, and then the treatment needs to be repeated. This treatment can be painful, and some people experience temporary muscle weakness in the treated area
Lifestyle and home remedies
The following suggestions may help you cope with sweating and body odor:
• Use antiperspirant. Nonprescription antiperspirants contain aluminum-based compounds that temporarily block the sweat pore. This reduces the amount of sweat that reaches your skin. This type of product may help with minor hyperhidrosis.
• Apply astringents. Apply over-the-counter products containing tannic acid (Zilactin) to the affected area
• Bathe daily. Regular bathing helps keep the number of bacteria on your skin in check. Dry yourself thoroughly, especially between the toes and under the arms.
• Choose shoes and socks made of natural materials. Shoes made of natural materials, such as leather, can help prevent sweaty feet by allowing your feet to breathe. When you’re active, moisture-wicking athletic socks are a good choice.
• Air your feet. Go barefoot when you can, or at least slip out of your shoes now and then.
• Choose clothing to suit your activity. Generally, wear natural fabrics, such as cotton, wool and silk, which allow your skin to breathe. When you exercise, you might prefer fabrics designed to wick moisture away from your skin.
• Try relaxation techniques. Consider relaxation techniques such as yoga, meditation
and biofeedback. These can help you learn to control the stress that triggers sweating.
Ofta frågade Frågor
The Botox armpits were also significantly dryer. Botox may foster favorable odorous substances by rebalancing the gland secretions and/or preventing unpleasant smells from skin-surface bacteria — thus improving body odor.
The pain associated with armpit Botox isn’t bad at all—it’s pretty comparable to plucking eyebrows. A topical numbing cream will be applied to the area before the treatment begins, and both arms are usually done in about ten minutes.
For optimal results, 50 units of Botox® are typically administered to each underarm. Individual results may vary however; at this dose results will typically last 6+ months. Using fewer than 50 units per underarm will generally result in relief of symptoms for only a few months.
According to the International Hyperhidrosis Society, underarm Botox injections can reduce underarm sweating by 82–87%. The effects can typically last 4–12 months, or up to 14 months in some cases. People who receive underarm Botox injections tend to see results 2–4 days after treatment.
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