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Northampton Medical Services

Hyperhidrosis (Excessive Sweating)

 

Hyperhidrosis is excessive sweating. It may commonly affect the armpits, hands and feet. Hyperhidrosis is caused by over activity of one type of sweat gland, the eccrine glands. Often sufferers are embarrassed by their damp stains under their armpits and / or constantly wet hands.

 

People with Hyperhidrosis sweat much more than normal and the usual antiperspirants are not adequate to control it. Some medical conditions can cause it (secondary hyperhidrosis) but most people have no specific cause (primary hyperhidrosis). There are various environmental factors that can make sweating worse, including:

  • Exercise
  • Stress, anxiety or strong emotions
  • Heat or cold
  • Certain times of the day
  • Alcohol, coffee or tea, smoking or spicy food

 

Avoiding the above causative factors whenever possible can help to reduce excessive sweating, however the problem may remain troublesome. Body odour however can usually be prevented by regular washing of the armpits and clothes to remove the bacteria that feed on the sweat and cause the odour.

 

Treatments for Hyperhidrosis

 

Botulinum Toxin (Botox®) is recommended for the treatment of hyperhidrosis. Botox® blocks the nerve signals to the sweat glands and is very effective at reducing sweating significantly in the majority of patients. Several tiny injections of Botox® are made into the affected area and the effects usually start to develop within a few days and are complete within 2 weeks or so. It is usual for the effects to last 6-8 months before gradually wearing off if the treatment is not repeated. Botox® treatments are extremely safe but our doctors will routinely assess your suitability and answer any questions you may have.

 

Other treatments for Hyperhidrosis:

  • Strong antiperspirants such as Aluminium Chloride compounds can help reduce sweating when used regularly however they can sometimes cause skin irritation and are most effective for mild hyperhidrosis.
  • Iontophoresis - this is an electrical treatment with various chemicals which are caused to be absorbed into the skin. It is not readily available to most people and needs frequent use in the first few weeks but can be an effective treatment for excessive sweating of the hands and feet.
  • Oral medications - some drugs can be given orally to reduce sweating (anticholinergic drugs), however they usually cause unacceptable side effects such as blurred vision, dry mouth and constipation.
  • Sympathectomy - this is a keyhole operation to destroy some of the nerves that are involved in the part of the nervous system that controls sweating. It is not always successful.
  • Surgery is usually a last resort. The sweat glands can be physically scraped away from under the skin. Scarring is often a problem with this approach.

 

All of our Botox® assessments and treatments are carried out by our experienced doctor, Dr Jonathan Taylor. Initial assessment is £50 however this is deducted from the total cost of £430 leaving a balance to pay of £380 for the treatment.