Is Sweating making you uncomfortable?

With the warmer weather heading our way, some people begin to suffer from excessive sweating. If this is you, you may be suffering from hyperhidrosis.

Hyperhidrosis is sweating in excess of the normal needs of the body. Hyperhidrosis is broken down into two categories: primary and secondary. Primary hyperhidrosis is not due to any particular underlying cause and is usually associated with a family history. Secondary hyperhidrosis is the result of an underlying medical condition such as infection, metabolic disorders, neoplastic diseases, cardiovascular disorders, spinal cord injuries, respiratory disorders, anxiety and stress. Treatment of secondary hyperhidrosis will require treatment of the underlying cause first. While excessive sweating may be embarrassing there are treatment options.

Anti-perspirants are usually the first form of treatment for underarm and palm sweating, but fail to target other areas which include feet, face and scalp. Non-invasive options for treatment include anti-cholinergic medication (oral medication) and Aluminium chloride (topical medication).  Anti-cholinergic medications affect part of the autonomic nervous system, which is the nervous system for unconscious functions and help to reduce sweating. It is not however completely selective for sweating, and also tends to affect other parts of the autonomic nervous system which can lead to side effects including a dry mouth, constipation, urinary retention, and blurred vision. The advantage of anti-cholinergic is that it can treat sweating in any area of the body and a script can be written by your local doctor or the doctors at The Victorian Cosmetic Institute. Topical agents are usually recommended for facial sweating.

A common form of treatment for hyperhidrosis is the use of anti-wrinkle injections especially in the underarms, face and scalp. Anti-wrinkle injections work by stopping the nerve signal to the sweat glands in the area it is injected into. The underarms are the most commonly area treated by anti-wrinkle injections however it can also be used in the palms and feet. Anti-wrinkle injections to the feet and palms are very painful to inject in and may require some form of sedation/anaesthetic.

Another method for reducing sweating is Iontophoresis. This effective solution involves the use of an electrically charged current that is run through tap water with or without the addition sodium glycopyrrolate in the water. The hands, feet and sometimes the underarm area are put in this electrically charged water. The mechanism of action is not definitively known. At the beginning of treatment frequent sessions are required, until the sweating is controlled, and then regular maintenance sessions follow.

If you have been shying away from the sun in the past due to excessive sweating, contact The Victorian Cosmetic Institute today and we can organise the right treatment plan for you, to get you back in the sun.

Dr. Gavin Chan
Dr. Gavin Chan

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