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Botulinum Treatment for Hyperhidrosis

Hyperhidrosis feather image

Hyperhidrosis refers to excessive sweating which most commonly affects the armpits but can also affect the hands, feet and other body parts. It is common, affecting around 3-6% of the population.

It can often cause significant distress and embarrassment in some cases and people often avoid daily activities and social contacts due the embarrassment it can cause. Fortunately, hyperhidrosis is treatable, and Botulinum is usually very effective.

Causes Of Hyperhidrosis

Primary Hyperhidrosis

In this type makes up them majority of cases of hyperhidrosis. The cause is not fully understood, although it is thought to be due to a genetic predisposition which causes the nerve supply to the sweat glands to be overactive.

Often symptoms occur before the age of 25 but they can appear at any point in one’s lifetime.

Anxiety, heat exposure, spicy foods and exercise can trigger excessive sweating but often the anxiety and apprehension about the hyperhidrosis itself makes things worse.

Secondary Generalised and Focal Hyperhidrosis

This is where there is an underlying cause for excessive sweating. In generalised hyperhidrosis the cause could be conditions such as thyroid irregularities, diabetes, neurological disorder, conditions affecting the adrenal glands.In Secondary focal hyperhidrosis, resulting from either nerve damage to the associated area or contact with certain triggers.

It is important to identify and treat the underlying cause and, if necessary, localised treatments such as Botulinum can help lessen the symptoms if required.

If you have recently started getting symptoms of hyperhidrosis we would recommend seeing your GP, or making a GP appointment at our clinic, for an assessment so that other underlying cause can be excluded.

Botulinum Treatment For Hyperhidrosis

Botulinum can play a substantial role in the treatment of hyperhidrosis. The sweat glands are innovated and controlled by nerves in the skin . Botulinum contains Botulinum toxin A which, when injected under the skin, stops these nerves from working. Success rates of approximately 88% have been reported in various studies.

The procedure itself takes approximately 30 minutes. A topical anaesthetic is applied to the skin prior to the injections being given. You can usually resume normal activities after 24 hours.You should start to notice the effects within 1 week of the treatment and the effects usually last around four to six months.

Botulinum injections for hyperhidrosis are generally well tolerated and a commonly used procedure. There are sometimes risks and side effects which include infection of the injection sites, bruising, swelling, asymmetry between different armpits. In palmar hyperhidrosis (affecting the hands) Botulinum can cause mild weakness of the muscles of the hands.