Hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating) is sweating that is more than required to maintain normal heat regulation within the body. Most cases of excessive sweating are idiopathic i.e. there is no known cause for it. In some cases, it can be caused by other conditions or medication, e.g. menopause or some antidepressants.
If you have started with a sudden onset of excessive sweating, we would recommend you consulting your GP so any underlying cause can be investigated in the first instance.
There are a few treatments recommended by your GP or pharmacist for the treatment of hyperhidrosis. You may be familiar with a few of them as follows:-
1. Topical over-the-counter antiperspirants
2. Aluminium chloride 10%-35% antiperspirant
3. Anticholinergic medication
4. Intradermal injections of botulinum toxin A
Botulinum toxin A or Anti-Sweating Injections
An effective and proven treatment available for excessive sweating is the administration of botulinum toxin (Botox®) in the problem area, most commonly the underarms.
The toxin works by blocking the nerves that supply the eccrine glands, which in turn prevents sweating. There are millions of sweat glands in the body so the ability to sweat will not disappear, something that would not be safe or desirable. Only the area that is treated will be affected.
A full consultation with a healthcare professional is completed to assess the suitability of treatment.
Further information on botulinum toxin injections
Who can have this treatment?
- Patients who have not had a sudden onset of excessive sweating. If this is the case, we would recommend you seeing your GP to identify any underlying cause prior to starting treatment.
- Patients who have tried other treatments, which have failed or not been tolerated.
- Patients who want to reduce the embarrassment and inconvenience caused by overactive sweat glands.
How long will it take to see the effects?
Most patients normally see an improvement within the first week of treatment but optimum effects are usually seen after 2 weeks.
How long does the treatment last?
This can vary between patients but is most often between 4-7 months. Sometimes the effects can persist for up to a year.
Is the treatment painful?
The underarm and forehead areas are not painful. However, the palms of the hands and soles of the feet maybe more painful and an anaesthetic cream can be applied to help reduce the pain.
Are there any side effects?
As with all treatment, there can be some adverse effects. Most commonly, these were headaches, pins and needles and injection-site reactions. Most adverse effects resolve within 48 hours and without treatment. The treatment does not restrict you from continuing your usual activities (apart from intensive exercise and the use of excessive heat).
A full list of side effects can be viewed in the patient information leaflet